Walking Wounded: The following Red Raiders did not play: Le'Raven Clark, Lee Adams, Tony Morales, Chris Payne, Will Smith. Consequently, Alfredo Morales ran with the ones at right guard, Jared Kaster with the twos and center, and Blake Dees with the ones at MIKE. The second team linebackers appeared to be Micah Awe, Zach Winbush and Daniel Cobb.
Balance: Based on the scrimmage, offensive and defensive performance levels have reached an equilibrium. As you would expect, the number one offense had its way with the second defense, and the starting defense subdued the second offense, but when the ones squared off it was pretty much a stalemate. The offense certainly got its licks in, but so did the defense. Neither side dominated. And as a coach, that is probably exactly what you're looking for.
New Starter: Javon Bell went with the starting unit. Whether this "promotion" is because of Bell's excellent play or has more to do with Eric Ward's continued non-contact status is difficult to say. What is clear is that Tech is stacked at X receiver with Bell and Ward at the call.
DE by Committee: It seems the starting defensive ends change with virtually every practice and scrimmage. What this says is that Tech doesn't have a single dominant defensive end, but instead has a cadre of good ones. Whether it's Jackson Richards, Pete Robertson, Kindred Evans, Branden Jackson, or Dartwan Bush on the playing field, Art Kaufman should get very solid end play. But don't expect any of these guys to amass 15 sacks, if for no other reason than that they'll all be getting roughly equal snaps.
Position Change: One defensive end who won't be getting any sacks is Chris Knighton, because he has been moved to fullback where he'll back up Omar Ontiveros. Knighton is a strong, physical player who likes contact, so he might do well at his new post.
Second Linebackers Take Advantage: The absence of Chris Payne and Will Smith gave Daniel Cobb and Micah Awe an opportunity to show their stuff, and both stepped up admirably. Cobb, who was becoming a bit of an afterthought, spent lots of time in the offensive backfield knocking running back heads. Awe too was extremely active, and looks good in coverage as well as against the run. You might think true freshman Awe would redshirt, but from this vantage point he looks like a future star who might be good enough to play right now.
Brant Holieway and Jamelle Brewer: Third string quarterback Brant Costilla and backup QB Michael Brewer ran the option a couple of times, and actually looked good doing it. We assume this wrinkle is to help the defense prepare for future opponents and will not be a part of Tech's offensive package, but you never can tell. The shifty Michael Brewer could definitely be an option threat if given the opportunity. And incidentally, Brewer did get some reps with the ones today.
Games Are Gambles: Blitzes, stunts and twists tend to excite the fans. Problem is, these defensive games are gambles that sometimes do not pay off. Case in point came late in the scrimmage when the defensive front four stemmed. DeAndre Washington hit a hole that was created by a moving defensive tackle and burst though the line for a 30-yard touchdown run.