LUBBOCK, Texas — Tommy Tuberville is making red the new black.
It's a new season at Texas Tech and the new feeling and look will be the sea of red that greets players, fans and coaches when they walk in the stadium, as well as those at home watching the Red Raiders on TV.
"This year we are really asking everybody to be involved," Tuberville said after practice on Thursday. "In the stands with students, alumni and fans. We really want to show a presence of red. We are the Red Raiders and we want to make an example when we are on national television. Two of the first three weeks, a lot of people will see us. We want everybody to go out and buy a red shirt or a jacket or whatever — a red hat — and wear them into the stadium as a unit, as one.
"We're asking the team to play as a team so we're asking everybody in the stands to be a team and to join the team and be a part of it emotionally. I think this year it would be outstanding if everybody came in with something on that's red and support their team from the stands and in the parking lot. Get a red flag, put something red at your house. I think it would be inspirational to show what this season is going to be about."
It's all part of the new attitude that Tuberville's regime is bringing to West Texas and how this team hopes to build from this season forward toward a championship every year.
Tuberville also acknowledged that black helmets will still be worn and black jerseys will also be used from time-to-time. But the message is clear, just as he made it to everyone at the Kickoff Luncheon earlier on Thursday.
"We want to make sure that everyone understands that red is our color," Tuberville said. "We were picked as the toughest place to play in college football. Let's make it even tougher by showing support with red."
The faces of many of the players may be catching on to what the new color is as well. Tech practiced in the heat of the day on Thursday, something the coaches want the players to continue to adjust to and be able to keep their endurance with when they play a game in the hot West Texas temperatures. Like the first game of the season, which is a 2:30 p.m. kick and just 17 days away.
"We needed this one," Tuerville said. "We needed a hot day. We did a lot of fast work trying to get them moving a little bit and in terms of having them think and make decisions on the run. We're getting a little better every day."
It's no secret now that the running game will play an intricate part in Tech's new Air Raid offense under offensive coordinator Neal Brown. With running backs Baron Batch, Eric Stephens, Aaron Crawford and Harrison Jeffers in the backfield, who could blame him. Brown has nice assortment of different runners to choose from in different schemes and Tuberville said he likes the way things are looking with the ground game.
"It's a lot more physical," Tuberville said. "The running game is coming along a little bit better than expected. It's just good to see that working because that will make everything else work."
Stephens said he is starting to see how well things are working as well for him and the others in the backfield, and why practices continue to get more physical.
"We're starting to polish everything up, get everything ready for the season." he said. "I think as we get closer to game time, everybody is starting to feel it now, let loose a little bit. Just ready to hit."
Anyone that has been out to a Texas Tech practice has been asking themselves the same question at least once:
Who's this McRoy kid?
Ben McRoy, a freshman wide receiver from Lakeland, Fla., has been showing off his speed each day during fall camp and is quickly becoming a player who will undoubtedly see some extensive time this season once he hits the field.
Tuberville said earlier this week that McRoy could even see time on special teams and may make a nice addition on kickoff returns with Stephens.
The only problem for McRoy may be growing and building himself up more as he matures this season and beyond.
"I think anyone that's seen him can tell that the kid is extremely fast," Stephens said. "He's just got to put on a little bit more weight. One-sixty, or whatever he weighs, won't cut it. He's definitely going to have to get a little bit more physical but the speed part — he has that."