LUBBOCK — Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis knows a thing or two about trying to move forward and appreciate every new day.
The coach found himself fighting for his life after the Cowboys practice facility collapsed in May 2009 and DeCamillis was left with a broken neck.
He survived and is still on the sidelines coaching the Cowboys and gave an emotional speech the night before an 0-2 Dallas beat Houston, 27-13, about moving forward and not dragging the past with you.
Texas Tech could probably use some of that same speech therapy as the Red Raiders try to shake off their first loss of the season and the lingering feeling that followed during the bye week.
"I wanted to play this past weekend just to get out there, score a lot of points and win a ballgame," Tech quarterback Taylor Potts said. "I think a lot of us wanted to get out there and play and forget what happened two weeks ago. That chance is coming up this week and we'll be ready to play."
Tech (2-1, 0-1 Big 12) looks to win its first Big 12 Conference game this season when it travels to Ames, Iowa to play Iowa State (2-2, 0-1) at 6 p.m. CDT, Saturday.
It may especially be vindicating for Potts and the Tech offense. The Red Raiders were held to their lowest offensive yardage total in 20 years (144 yards) and scored just one touchdown against the Longhorns, who wound up losing to unranked UCLA on Saturday in Austin.
Tech linebacker Bront Bird appeared somewhat bitter about watching the Bruins hand UT the loss, wishing Tech could have been the team to do it two weeks ago.
"It's just frustrating," Bird said. "I don't want a team to lose until I get to play them again, but that's probably not going to happen. … What it all comes down to is, ‘Are you going to beat yourself?'"
Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville put an emphasis on keeping a game-type atmosphere around his team during bye-week practices rather than go through the usual motions with scout teams and film. Bird and Potts described it as "Good-on-good," referring to the two No. 1 squads playing against each other and creating a more competitive atmosphere. Tuberville said he just doesn't want to win games, that's a given. But he really wants to see the complete game out of his group.
"Winning games is huge in our business because you kind of go with your ups and downs," Tuberville said. "But I told our team, ‘Let's not go up there worried about winning. Let's worry about playing.' We haven't played a complete game yet — or even played a full three quarters.
"I think the offense and defense in the first couple of wins played pretty much about a half each and then we made enough mistakes in the other half on both sides of the ball to get us beat in any game we're getting ready to play. There's nobody panicking. They work hard and in practice and they're starting to understand more and more what they are doing. We'll go this week, we'll play and hopefully that's good enough."