Red Raiders Amping up for Texas

Anticipation couldn't be higher for the game this weekend as the #6 Red Raiders prepare to face the #1 Texas Longhorns. With ESPN College Gameday headed to Lubbock, sports pundits making their predictions, and fans already setting up camp outside the stadium, the most difficult task for the Red Raider football team may be keeping their minds off the hype and focused on the task at hand- winning.

After obliterating the #23 Kansas Jayhawks 63-21 last Saturday, Texas Tech is finally getting some well-deserved respect from the national media. Analysts who brushed off the undefeated Red Raiders as untested and overrated are now keenly aware of the Red Raiders and what the implications will be if they are able to pull off the upset against the top-ranked team in the country.

The team's focus, however, is not on the hype but rather on the goal: winning the next game.

Head coach Mike Leach stresses that the key to getting a victory is not getting caught up in external factors.

"We just need to be the best we can be and worry about what we do," he said. "We need to be the best at what we do."

And according to the head coach, this year's team seems to be keeping their focus on football.

"I think they are a focused group," Leach stated. "They are a group who spends a lot of time together. They may be on the same page more than some of the other groups I have had."

That single-mindedness has been a key factor in the Red Raiders' success so far this year. They are off to an 8-0 start for the first time since 1976 and have won 10 straight, including five road games.

Senior Captain Jake Ratliff echoed Leach's sentiments about avoiding the hype. "Everyone tries to keep their nose out of the newspaper. I think we have done a decent job so far keeping our eye on the prize."

Despite their focus and intensity, the players are very aware of the magnitude of the game.

Senior OL Rylan Reed explained, "[We're] very excited, just excited to have this opportunity and be in this position. We are all just ready to make the most of it."

S Darcel McBath, who had a career game Saturday and pulled in three interceptions, concurred, "We know it's a big game; they are number one in the country. We aren't thinking about what's behind it, it's just another game and we are excited to play."

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