LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville knows that although a month may seem like a long time to some, it is not that long for he and the Red Raiders to be fully prepared for their first game against SMU on Sept. 5.
Monday was another step in the right direction as Tuberville admitted the coaches were working the players "pretty hard" and liked what he got out of the defense and seeing the guys in pads for the first time this fall.
Tech senior linebacker Brian Duncan was also happy to put the shoulder pads on.
"The intensity from the guys and what coach (James) Willis is bringing to us has been pretty good," he said. "We're getting everything down. First day of pads was live. We're having fun, we're learning, keep learning how to tackle better. But the intensity is just great."
Commenting on Sunday that the team can not afford to move at a "snail's pace" but does need to keep in mind the welfare of his players, Tuberville will move the remaining practices this week to the early morning.
And yes, practices will remain closed to the public with the majority of it closed to media members as well.
A lot of the concern for closing the practices has to do with not just the plays and schemes being put in but also the safety of fans who may get too close to the action if the Red Raiders move workouts to their new FieldTurf practice field behind the Football Training Facility.
"We have problems with space," Tuberville said. "Obviously if we kept it in the stadium we could get everybody in there. But you also want to use the element of surprise. This is our first year but we want to give ourselves a chance to have that element of surprise.
"A lot of times, it gets a little overblown but a lot of this is for our players' concentration. This is probably the first time I've ever closed it this early, but it's probably better because of all the young guys we've got."
New Red Raider
Tech announced Monday morning that former Virginia Tech
player Nubian Peak enrolled at Texas Tech this morning and is now a Red Raider.
He joins his brother, Tahrik, on the Tech roster but will have to sit out the 2010 season, per NCAA transfer rules.
Nubian Peak said he would more than likely play defensive back. Peak was clocked at 4.2 in his 40-yard dash at Va. Tech.
As first reported on Monday's Morning Raider, Britton Barbee had in fact torn his achilles tendon in his right leg on Sunday and would need season-ending surgery on Tuesday to fix it. Defensive lineman Kerry Hyder is also out right now with a twisted knee but is expected to return soon.
"We hate it for Barbee," Tuberville said. "He's a senior, his last year and for something like that to happen is tough after all the hard work. But we just have to persevere and pull together, because we're going to start pushing them harder."
Wild Raider Formation?
Is there a new "Wildcat" formation making its way into Neal Brown's playbook?
Tech ran the formation on Saturday with Detron Lewis lined up behind center and Taylor Potts flanked to the left side with Eric Stephens lined up in the slot position. The "Wild Raider" may not completely take over the Red Raiders' playbook but could be used a few times this season, Tuberville said.
"We'll look at everything," Tuberville said. "We may go into some games where we could use it, and we have something like that depending on who we want to run it. But our running backs are too good to get into too much of that."