Depth Chart: These may not be completely accurate, but most of the switching occurs on defense. Pete Robertson is listed as second team DE behind Jackson Richards. Chris Yakey is now the backup at safety behind D.J. Johnson and Ola Falemi is listed as second string CB behind Eugene Neboh. Also, Jace Amaro is listed as only a TE, and is not listed under the Y receiver, which features Tyson Williams and Austin Zouzalik. New backups on the offensive line are Jared Kaster at center and Trey Keenan at RT.
Tuberville knows being the #1 ranked defense in the country is more a product of who the Red Raiders have played and who everyone else has played. I compare it to a NASCAR driver who leading the race for a lap or two after the lead pack goes in for a pit stop.
"(Being the #1 defense) Kind of ironic. I think we'll get a much tougher test the next nine weeks than what we have had, and not that the teams that we have played couldn't move the ball a little bit. I'm proud of where we are at in terms of stopping the run. We have not seen a lot of passing teams, teams throw it down the field much, so we'll get a lot biggest test there."
Confidence and excitement seemed to be a overall theme from everyone that spoke on Monday, whether it was about the work in the off-week or the trip to Iowa State.
"It's good to have some success. I think our guys are building confidence. The reality will
set in in terms of what we are getting ready to get into. We have talked to our players about that.
It's good to look and say, hey, we have improved and we are getting better and we have. But we are not
where we were last year at this time, either," said Tuberville
Doege echoed the same sentiment.
"The vibe around the locker room and the building is totally different than it was last year. Guys are excited about this game, which they should be. It's a big first test. And we remember what happened the last two years; they definitely got, you know, did what they wanted against us and we didn't perform very well on offense. So we are excited and you can tell, guys
are focused and ready to play. We have one common goal and that's to win.
In addition to the confidence, the focus of the leadership on this team is a Big 12 championship. This team, especially the seniors, want to win and win big.
"We didn't come to Texas Tech to be the last-ranked defense or the worst team or however you want to look at it depending on different opinions. We came here to win and that's our goal as a team, as a unit, and every individual came here to make a statement, to do something that Texas Tech has not done," said senior safety DJ Johnson.
With Coach Brown, the focus is going to be starting fast and how they will attack a defense who strength is its linebacking corps.
They are by far the best defense we've played. I think they are going to be one of the better defenses in our league. With those guys, it always starts with the two linebackers, Klein and Knott, are as good as
anybody in our league. They are physical kids. They do a great job in the pass game, getting in their zone drops.
Fans have to like the message that's coming out of the Texas Tech camp right now. This group is determined to turn things around and they know it starts Saturday night in Ames.