Wednesday Practice Report

The Red Raiders are hard at work preparing for the SMU Mustangs, who will be coming to town this Saturday for Texas Tech's season opener. With sophmore QB Graham Harrell getting the nod as the starter for SMU, the spotlight is now on him to be the next great Red Raider quarterback under head coach Mike Leach.

The No. 25 ranked Texas Tech football team practiced in shells for just over two hours Wednesday, furthering their preparations for Saturday's season opener at home versus SMU. The first half of practice was special teams intensive as the Raiders went through their punt, field goal and kickoff sets. In the field goal portion, senior Keith Toogood and junior Alex Trlica went 2-for-2 and 2-for-3 respectively with the longest coming on Toogood's 41-yard make that wrapped up the drill. During the punting section, senior Alex Reyes boomed several kicks with junior inside receiver Danny Amendola back deep on the returns.

In an 11-on-11 match-up between the first-team offense and defense, quarterback Graham Harrell found receiver L.A. Reed down the left sideline on a 35-yard strike for what would turn out to be the offense's only score during the brief session. Cornerback Brent Nickerson came up with an interception and Antonio Huffman recorded a pass break-up to help even things out for the defense.

The Red Raiders will hold a light workout tomorrow and another on Friday before welcoming the Mustangs to Jones AT&T Stadium for Saturday night's contest. Kickoff is set for 6:00 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on the radio throughout the Texas Tech Sports Network.


On how he is preparing for his first career start:
"I'm trying to relax but I am very excited about it and it will be a fun game and a fun experience to get my first start. Like I said, I've got to relax and try not to think about it too much and not get nervous. I'm just going to watch film, prepare for it and try to win the game."

On the difference in readying himself for a game as the starting quarterback:

"It's definitely different knowing that you're the one that's going to get all of the reps; it is just a different mindset. You've got to stay more focused, but you try to relax. When you're not the starter it's easy to relax because there's not much pressure. When you are the starter you try to relax and not think about it too much but you have to stay focused and try to win."

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