Facing the Challenges

In Monday's media luncheon there were a lot of questions posed about leadership and much more.

Coming off Saturday's inexplicable performance against Iowa State, the Red Raiders don't have time to dwell on the negatives, it's time to diagnose problems and improve.

Texas Tech faces a Texas team on Saturday that is finding its groove and firing on all cylinders.

In Monday's media luncheon, Texas Tech Head Coach Tommy Tuberville, senior DT Donald Langley, and Seth Doege discuss the challenge ahead and what can be learned from the Iowa State loss.

Speaking on the Iowa State game, head coach Tommy Tuberville had this to say.

"Again, we're not good enough to go out there and say we can out-execute another team," Tuberville said. "We're not even close to that. We didn't do it, so we have to get back to the emotion part. Won't have any problem this week because of who we're playing. After looking at the film, we didn't play or coach that well on either side of the ball."


The first step to overcoming major problems is admitting the issues. Tuberville and staff have addressed the problems immediately following losses in 2011.


Obviously, coaches can always find room for improvement in watching game film, but the loss to Iowa State likely created a larger amount of urgency and focus than either of Texas Tech's previous losses this season.


Tuberville had this to say about the state of the team after having some time to process last Saturday's game:


"I know our guys yesterday in this room you could tell how disappointed they were," Tuberville said. "But it's a lot easier to get over disappointment when you have a big rival game like this. Again, I think this should be a very good one."


Tuberville also spoke extensively about leadership and the idea that it has to come from within the team; effective leadership cannot come from the coaching staff.


"We've got some good leaders on the practice field, but right now when we get into games, we've got serious problems especially on the defensive side of the ball of everybody doing their thing, much less pulling the guy along with them," Tuberville said. "That comes from experience. That comes from success. The game two weeks ago will go a long ways in learning how to play and knowing that they can play, knowing they've got a good enough team to play with anybody that they play. But still you have to have a lot more of that."


Senior defensive tackle Donald Langley is one player who could step into that leadership role and give teammates someone on which to rely.


Here are his thoughts on tough starts at home and being a leader:


"A lot of guys sometimes are just uptight or whatnot, but we just have to relax more, especially being me as a senior," Langley said.  "I've got to be a leader and get the guys more relaxed and focused on the job because we all want to play for the home crowd. The fans have been great. I mean, when we've been playing all year, they've been coming out and supporting. So we have to take care of our end. It's about execution and playing our game."


QB Seth Doege also spoke about the early game this week and how to avoid starting slowly like the Red Raiders did against Kansas.


"It's all about starting fast. If we have the ball first, we need to go down and put up points instead of kind of delaying on getting started. I think it kind of goes for both sides of the ball. Defense starts fast, and maybe if they go out first, we need to stop them and get us the ball. We need to go down there and put points up. That's huge. I think it was huge against Oklahoma when we scored on the first drive knowing that kind of making a statement that we were there to play, and we were going to put up a lot of points," Doege said.


For Texas Tech to finish strongly in the remaining four games this season, consistency is key.


The Red Raiders must find a way to play with focus and energy throughout every game left. Coming out flat against Iowa State gave away the last "gimme" penciled in on the schedule.


As motivation, every member of the team ought to be incensed, because Texas Tech got punched in the mouth against the Cyclones and never responded.


Playing the Longhorns in Austin on national TV is a great opportunity for Texas Tech to show that the Iowa State outcome, rather than the OU game, was the oddity.

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