Making progress, and improving throughout a season is arguably one of the most important things a football team can do to further its chances on making an impact in conference play and even in bowl season.
The Aggies are a big roadblock standing in the way of a 5-0 start for the Red Raiders, and are arguably the toughest opponent for Tech thus far.
Since game one when Texas State took a 10-9 lead into the locker room, there has been improvement for the Red Raiders, on the offensive and defensive side of the ball week in and week out.
Where do they stand now in these areas heading into the game against the Aggies?
For the first time in six years, Doege is leading an offense under center as the starter and not from the sidelines with a clipboard in his hand as the backup or injured.
The Frenship High School product has proven to everyone that despite suffering two potential career-ending injuries in high school to both of his knees, there is hope.
Doege didn't play football in his junior and senior year, but still came to Tech as a quarterback.
Doege has put up some impressive numbers going 118-for-161 for 1,315 yards, 14 touchdowns and just one interception – through just four games.
"Good, he's made good decisions," Tommy Tuberville said. "The thing about Seth (Doege) is he'll go through his progressions. He's going to do what the offense gives him … The great thing about a young quarterback, first time starter, he's gotten off to a great start by doing those little things right."
This weekend's game will be the biggest test of his collegiate career thus far, and with all the hype around the game Doege will have to bring his A –game.
Playing in the shadows of Baron Batch has been the place Texas Tech running back Eric Stephens found himself for the past two seasons.
Now in his junior season wearing the scarlet and black, Stephens is the go-to guy in the backfield for Doege and has proven his value not only as a running back, but also as a wide receiver.
In the game against Nevada, Stephens ran his way into the record books with a six-yard carry, which put him past Tyrone Thurman for 10th all-time in all-purpose yards in Tech history.
So far this season Stephens has amassed 468 yards on the
ground for Tech, and also 13 catches for 116 yards.
"I think he's in a better rhythm, because he was a backup to Baron (Batch)," Tuberville said. "Eric had some games, had some highlights, he got a little hurt during the year, little banged up and wasn't as aggressive … He's bounced back, he's a lot stronger. He's a little bit faster and he's a lot more durable – he can take a lick. He's doing a good job of vision, plus he's catching the ball well."
Stephens still has a lot of time to put the final touches on his career as a Red Raider, and it will be in the record books.
This area has been the biggest area of concern for the Red Raiders all season, under new Defensive Coordinator Chad Glasgow.
The pass defense proved itself against Kansas hauling in three interceptions, which helped Tech get back into the game and eventually win.
"Last week I thought at times we looked pretty good running, lining up, breaking on the ball, making plays," Tuberville said. "Our secondary looked a lot more aggressive, the interceptions, breaking in front of receivers."
Stopping the run has been the biggest issue for Tech through the first four games, and heading into a game against a team that has a quality running back and running quarterback in its arsenal does not help.
Heading into this weeks game Tuberville said the defense is just working on the little things to get better every week.
"This group is so young that we can't ever think about
getting away from basics," he said. "Just going out and putting a game plan in.
We've got to work hard on everyday on technique and fundamentals.
"We're better now than we were the first game, we'll find out how much better come Saturday."
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