Texas Tech Spring Practice Day 5 (3/29)

RaiderPower's Paul Bussell reports on day five (3/29) of spring practice for Texas Tech football.

Today was a break from the wind that the team has dealt with for the past week. Its substitute was the heat. Without the wind as an excuse for the receivers' drops or other mistakes, most had a good day.

Quote of the day: At the end of stretches defensive coordinator James Willis asked "Where's Batch?" in response to silence "What number is Baron Batch?" One of the players spoke up telling Willis he's right in front of you pointing at number 25. Willis then sheepishly added "Oops, haven't seen you out here."

- After an impressive scrimmage, running back Gerardo Acevedo seemed to have garnered more reps throughout practice and his role seems to have become that of full back.

- Brian Duncan was back for practice today after missing practice due to a death in the family on Friday as well as the scrimmage on Saturday. Duncan was being used at outside linebacker today.

- It was also very noticeable that today's practice went to a new level of fast tempo. The offensive line was split in half at one point to giving defensive fronts looks at stuffing the run. It would go one side then the next just as soon as the last one had finished.

- At one point during practice, the team had an 11 vs. 11 scrimmage in which only run plays were called. The most impressive player during this drill was Tennessee transfer Donald Langley. He consistently broke through the line and made several stops for minimal to no gain. Langley looks to be a major contributor for his new team and could develop into one of the premier defensive linemen in the Big 12 if things continue the way they have.

- Aaron Crawford continues to make his presence known and make a stronger case for more playing time. He is probably the strongest running back of the four primary backs and could be very useful when needing to pick up the short yards.

- Offensive lineman Lonnie Edwards did not practice today after being injured in the intra-squad scrimmage. Joining him on the sidelines was receiver Derrick Mays.

- Receiver Garrick McCray definitely deserves a closer look. He is a big, strong receiver who is not afraid to take a hit. McCray also seems to really want earn more playing time. McCray and Jacoby Franks stayed late after practice and worked with quarterbacks Taylor Potts and Brant Costilla (a walk on).

- After a year to redshirt, receiver Eric Ward looks to take a large role in the offense. There were several times during practice in which Ward was thrown a jail break screen and took it to the end zone. The screens could almost be categorized of the "crabtrabulous" variety. (Yes, Mr. Jensen, I may be young but I've been listening to you for a while.)

- Taylor Potts struggled mightily today throwing three picks with two more thrown to defenders who simply couldn't on to them. On one play, Potts threw right to LaRon Moore on the outside, which in a game type scenario, could've been taken to the "house." Potts' very next play was a throw to the goal line in lots of traffic and bounced off Moore's hands.

- Later in practice Potts threw to the back of the end zone to a perfectly defended receiver and after a tip was intercepted by Will Ford. Potts continued to struggle and threw another interception to Franklin Mitchem.

- Potts was not the only quarterback to throw an interception on the day. Steven Sheffield threw his own pick to Mitchem. Sticks' second interception came when he threw into double coverage. The ball bounced off of Alex Torres' hands and then came down in the hands of defensive back Corey Lee.

- Potts continued to struggle throughout the practice where as Sticks got better after his mistakes. Sticks often hit the receivers in stride allowing for them to get up the field and make yards after the catch.

- Potts had very erratic passes he would make a great play, for example the absolutely beautiful bomb of a pass to Eric Ward which was probably in the air for about 60 yards, hit Ward in stride making it easy for him coast into the end zone. Nonetheless, it was a day to forget for Potts who consistently led receivers into defenders, over threw and under threw them.

- The defensive front made their presence known during the final 11 vs. 11 drills. There was blitz after blitz. Quarterbacks had a very difficult time escaping pressure; the play was blown dead due to sack several times.


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