Bad Weather Brings Good News

The Texas Tech Red Raiders practiced on one of the least pleasant days of the last week, enduring rain and the inevitable humidity that follows. The unpleasant weather brought out the fire and intensity in the defense, though. Come inside for the RaiderPower August 11th Practice Report.

Breathing a Sigh of Relief

The Texas Tech coaching staff can breathe a little easier. The biggest news coming out of practice today was that defensive end McKinner Dixon will be eligible for the 2008 season. Dixon was able to get his academics in order and has been cleared by the NCAA.

McKinner practiced with the team today and is third string as of now. However, with his obvious talent and ability, it appears that as long as he keeps things in order academically, Coach McNeill will get him on the field quite a bit.

News & Notes

Chris Perry and Brandon Sharpe returned to practice today while Daniel Howard and Eric Morris were once again held out.

• Freshman Harrison Jeffers continues to run hard and while he didn't break a long run like he did in the last few practices, he continues to break tackles and run all the way to the end zone every time he has the ball.

Texas Tech
The offensive line protecting Graham.
Rylan Reed returned to practice today and the offensive line, particularly the starters, had an amazing day. At one point the offensive line held out the second string defensive line for almost 10 seconds, allowing Graham Harrell to find a wide open Detron Lewis for what would have been a touchdown.

Adam James had an outstanding day of practice, even though he did miss a change to a hot route during the team portion of drills.

L.A. Reed had a strong day of practice, though he was definitely out-performed by Jamar Wall. Wall is by far the best athlete on defense and has a knack for making plays at exactly the right time. He had a near interception, a massive hit on Tramain Swindall forcing an incompletion, and a brilliant play against Lyle Leong to force another incompletion.

Blake Collier had three near interceptions and would have had a sure interception except that Leong wrestled the ball from him for a first down.

• With the return of Brandon Sharpe, Brandon Sesay went back to working with the third team. This, however, didn't stop Sesay from making several strong plays and also chasing down a pitch to the far side of the field.

Taylor Potts had a better day today, though he still looks slow making his reads.

• Chris Perry returned to wearing pads today and looked very strong. Perry could definitely be the most athletic 300 pound defensive tackle that you'll ever see.

Brian Duncan had another very strong day of practice, both against the run and the pass.

Edward Britton had a tremendous day blocking and continues to show improvement as far as catching the ball is concerned.

Shawn Byrnes and Stephen Hamby were both working with the starting/back-up offensive line. These two are very close friends and there seems to be no animosity brought about by their competition.

Donnie Carona missed a field goal at the end of practice, while Cory Fowler made his in a reverse of yesterday's practice. Carona's, however, can be attributed to a somewhat poor hold by punter Jonathon Lacour. Lacour also had an off day and drew the ire of Coach McNeill, who temporarily put his old special teams coach hat on.

• Defensive tackle David Neill was driven to the turf by right guard Jake Johnson. Johnson appears to be much more comfortable at guard than he ever was at tackle.

Bront Bird and Michael Crabtree got into a fairly serious altercation after Crabtree was talking trash to Bird. This helped to really up the intensity during practice and brought about some great competition.


Offensive player of the day: Michael Crabtree

Texas Tech
Michael Crabtree had another oustanding day at practice.
Catch of the day: Michael Crabtree making a brilliant catch in the back of the end zone while fending off pass interference from Daniel Charbonnet.

Defensive player of the day: Jamar Wall

Defensive play of the day: Jamar Wall absolutely decking Tramain Swindall to force an incompletion.

Quote of the day: "It's hard to defend. I used to have a full afro and now I've got this. I don't have a four-head I have a five-head. It's especially hard if 5 & 6 are in there." Defensive Coordinator Ruffin McNeil, when talking about the Air Raid offense and the issues defending it.

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