Three Weeks In

With three games in the books, coaches and players examine where the team stands at this point.

Through three games of this young 2012 season, the Red Raiders are 3-0.

That shouldn't surprise many seeing that the three wins have come against sub-par competition in Northwestern State, Texas State and most recently against New Mexico.

But the biggest and arguably the most noticeable difference is the increased confidence on both sides of the ball and a winning attitude that was nowhere to be found last season.

"No, it couldn't have been much better," Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville said after the game. "You know, we played well in a lot of areas. If you look at the offense, we've only punted two times in three games. And we played good in the red zone. We've played well in short yardage situations. We've been able to run the ball on offense. We haven't turned the ball over that much. Defensively, we've tackled well, we've played well on third down."

On the offensive side of the ball, Neal Brown's offense has been very efficient thus far and it has the ability to create problems for the opposing defense because of of the various sets and formations that make them guess on whether the Red Raiders are going to run the ball or pass the ball.

Against New Mexico, the Tech offense put up 377 yards through the air and put on an additional 325 yards with the ground attack.

That kind of balanced attack is nothing new as entering the bye week the Red Raiders are averaging 367.7 yards per game passing and 230 yards rushing per game.

"(We're) where we need to be, through three games," Brown said. "Took care of business, three games we should've won, should've played well and we've done that. We've got a few weeks to rest up and get into the meat of this schedule."

On the defensive side of the ball, through three weeks the Red Raiders have allowed only 30 points and are holding opponents to just 75.3 rushing yards per game and 85 yards per game through the air.

The Red Raiders new-look defense has also shut down teams on third downs, which was a weakness for Tech in 2011 allowing opponents to convert 48 percent of their third-down conversions, but in 2012 opponents have converted just 28 percent of their third downs this season.

Tech defense has also been able to force turnovers with two interceptions against Texas State, returned 88 yards for a touchdown, which is almost double of what the Red Raiders were able to force in the entire 2011 campaign, just five.

Despite the defense standing tall so far this season, middle linebacker Will Smith said the defense has not yet reached their full potential.

"Yeah, I do feel that we're getting better each week," he said. "I feel like we haven't hit our peak yet. But I feel like we're on our way there to get there. I would say by the first game of conference play, we should be pretty close to hitting it."

Even with the impressive start from both sides of the ball, and the 3-0, Tuberville knows going into Big 12 Conference play they need to continue improving.

"So we've got to continue to get better," he said. "We'll get to a point, as I told the players last week, you get to a point you can be a good team, but the only way to continue to improve is improve your technique. We play hard, we play fast, and now we've got to continue to work with our hands and be lined up right."


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