Jones AT&T was once known as one of the rowdiest stadiums in the Big 12 Conference.
After three years of subpar results, it
is once again a nightmare for opposing teams.
Sophomore linebacker Micah Awe said the
upgrades at the stadium are a big reason why.
"Getting the crowd pumped up isn't as
hard as it was before and that makes a huge difference," Awe said. "Last year
with the old screen, it wasn't really effective. But now on the big screen, you
doing this (while waving his hands to pump up the crowd) and they can see it in
The defense has played well this season
and the atmosphere may have something to do with it. Tech is outscoring
opponents 81-23 in two games at home this season. Every defensive turnover has
come inside Jones AT&T Stadium.
It's not just the stadium upgrades
though. ESPN sideline reporter Samantha Ponder said on-air she could barely
listen to Tech Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury because female students were
"screaming as if this were a Justin Bieber concert".
I have no intention of assuming why the ladies were screaming, but I have observed many of the opposite sex talk about Ryan Gosling, who Yahoo! recently compared Kingsbury's looks to.
The ladies are not the only ones who are
ecstatic though. The alumni base donated record-setting numbers after Kingsbury, who graduated with a B.B.A. in Management from Texas Tech and started three seasons as the Red Raiders quarterback, was hired. Some nicknamed Kingsbury the "Fiscal Kliff."
Those two dimensions are certainly new to
the atmosphere, but possibly the most effective home field advantage is the
student section as a whole.
Texas Tech students have set a new
student attendance record both games this season. In Kingsbury's home debut,
the Red Raiders drew more students for Stephen F. Austin than the 2008 Texas
The conference opener shattered the new
record with a whopping 16,092 students attending the successful blackout. The
number is over 1,000 more than the home opener. Tech upset then No.24 TCU 20-10
keeping dual-threat quarterback Trevone Boykin and wide receiver Brandon Carter
out of the end zone.
Awe said the new features to the stadium
help him to pump up the crowd like he did when playing video games.
"Before I came here, I used to play NCAA," Awe said. "And the home field advantage, you know? The little R3 button to pump up the crowd?"
The Red Raiders are now 3-0 and there is
a good chance Tech will remain unbeaten into October. Dennis Franchione, who has never won at Jones AT&T Stadium,
has a history of trouble against Texas Tech. His Texas State Bobcats will need
a dreamcatcher Saturday. Tech renews conference play
with Kansas and Iowa State who have lost to non-BCS conference teams this
season. The next true test for Tech will be against the West Virginia
Mountaineers Oct. 19 and many are chalking that game up as a win already.
There is a lot to be excited about in
Jones AT&T Stadium. If the Red Raiders win a Big 12 Championship in the
next five seasons, the fan base may force some engineering students to improve
the foundation, because the stadium will literally be rocking.
The R3 Button
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