Offensively, Brilliant

The Texas Tech Red Raiders had their first scrimmage of the 2008 Fall practice session. While not a long scrimmage, there were plenty of highlights. RaiderPower breaks down individual players' and the team's progress thus far in this practice report.

News & Notes

• Hands down, best play of the day was a leaping catch by redshirt freshman Adam James. James, lined up to quarterback Graham Harrell's right, ran down the field and caught a pass between the linebackers and safeties approximately 20 yards down the field. James caught the ball, absorbed a teeth-chattering hit from Darcel McBath and was able to go a few yards further before being gang tackled.

Texas Tech
Taylor Potts stays relaxed and looks for the open receiver.
• QB Taylor Potts had an outstanding day and looked much more at ease than he has at any point during practice so far.

• Graham Harrell was brilliant today. He threw touchdown passes to Tramain Swindall and Michael Crabtree and checked into a run that also scored.

Baron Batch was the most impressive running back today, although he worked primarily with the second team offense. Shannon Woods and Aaron Crawford worked with the starters, getting about equal snaps with the first team.

• Defensively, it was a tough day as the offense was almost perfect in execution and play calling.

• The offensive line allowed only 1 sack during the scrimmage and opened huge holes for the running backs to run through.

• The best defensive play of the day was a sack by defensive end McKinner Dixon who was working with the second team defense. Dixon was able to get past the offensive line for the only sack recorded during the day.

Taylor Charbonnet had a good day, though he is still extremely small to be counted upon to do anything in Big XII play.

Marcus Bunton saw time as the starting right corner while L.A. Reed was resting what appeared to be a very mild tenderness in his left knee. Reed was allowed to run throughout practice; it appears that the coaches just wanted him to take it easy for the day. Bunton acquitted himself well during practice and while he may not be a full season starter, he can still provide quality snaps off of the bench.

Shawn Byrnes and Stephen Hamby rotated working with the first and second team units. The coaching staff will apparently make their decision on the starter during the week preceding Texas Tech's game against Eastern Washington.

Donnie Carona and Cory Fowler had strong day, though there was a minimum of special teams work today.

• Defensive end Brandon Williams was the moving defensive end today, originally lining up at right end before standing up and wandering around the field, then rushing between McKinner Dixon and Jake Ratliff.

• Defensive end coach Charlie Sadler looked like a 3rd base coach in his element as he signaled in the defense using a combination of arm pats, claps, and brim of the visor brushes.

Texas Tech
The defense tries to rally against a stellar offensive attack.
• To alleviate any fears that might exist, it didn't appear that the offense did so well in the scrimmage because of any serious defensive ineptitude but instead because the offense just had an "on" day. It should also be noted that the defense was rolling through personnel groups while the offense used exclusively the starters and second team players.


Offensive player of the day: Graham Harrell

Catch of the day: Adam James catching the ball and absorbing a walloping hit.

Defensive player of the day: Marcus Bunton

Defensive play of the day: Bunton knocking a ball away from Rashad "Hollywood" Hawk.

Quote of the day: "Everyone should be excited, DON'T BE SELFISH!" –Strength and conditioning coach Bennie Wylie talking to the defensive players that weren't on the field during a particular play.

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