Bottom Line For Robinson: 'Punish' Tech

Here's to you, Mister Robinson. Texas gave up 508 yards in a BCS-busting loss at Texas Tech in 2002 and then 494 yards in last season's narrow escape. What's your plan for stopping college football's most prolific passing team on its own turf?

"Punish 'em," fiery Co-Defensive Coordinator Greg Robinson said Tuesday.

Just the facts: With it's third starting QB in three years, Texas Tech leads the nation in passing offense (427.7 ypg) and is second in total offense (517.3 ypg). X-Receiver Jarret Hicks leads the NCAA with 137.2 receiving ypg while QB Sonny Cumbie is the nation's leading passer (420.2 ypg). Mister Robinson, this is one of those weeks where you earn your paycheck. Woe are the Horns if the Red Raiders jump on top with a couple of early TDs and Texas has to play catch-up for three quarters.

Just the facts about Robinson: He's not about to tell a group of reporters how he specifically intends to defense an offense that's posted 425-plus yards in every game this season. But from day one (and again on Tuesday), Robinson has generally insisted that his MO is not about schemes but rather the attitude, passion and intensity with which you play the game.

So, here it is in a nutshell: Robinson intends to beat a scary offense by putting an even scarier defense on the field.

"The bottom line is... we need to fly around, we need to hit the heck out of 'em and punish 'em. If we do that, good things will happen. All that other schematic stuff, that's not what it's going to come down to. It's going to come down to if we snuff 'em, if we knock the heck out of 'em. That's the bottom line."

Anything else?

"We need to feed their offensive line coach something that might make him sick."

Robinson was kidding, folks! He said he didn't know the name of Tech's O-line coach (that would be fifth-year TTU coach Robert Anae) but that "he does a great job. I tell you what, that's what makes most of that thing go."

These days, nobody goes like Tech's one-back, spread offense. But if the old adage is true that it really does begin up front, then you won't see many fronts like Tech's wiiiiide splits along it's front five.

"The line, with the way that they're built and with their splits, they're talented and well-coached up front. They really are. I'm very impressed."

But once the ball is snapped, the air Raiders literally flood the field with eligible receivers. Four of the Big 12's top five receivers this season have TT on their jerseys and that includes F Back Taurean Henderson. The junior will pop a few unsuspecting runs to the tune of 71.8 ypg. (Just ask Kansas: Henderson took a 3rd-and-six ball 70 yards to the house for the winning score in a 31-30 barnburner at Lawrence. The Jayhawks raced to an early 25-point lead but did not score in the second half.)

"They'll take you to the limit," Robinson said, before adding, "Their offense is more complete than people want to give them credit for. They do it all. They run the ball through the screens. They run the ball through handing it off. They come out with different personnel. I don't think of them as one dimensional."

The Red Raiders have played just two home games all season and posted 70 points in each of them. The 70-10 shellacking of Nebraska on October 9 was the worst loss in that program's history. (The Huskers were guilty of seven turnovers in that debacle, including five INT.)

Head coach Mack Brown said earlier that Robinson's 14-years of NFL experience would be particularly valuable Saturday night.

"That's very nice of Mack to say that," Robinson quipped. "If it just came down to me just rubber-stamping it, that'd be great. We'd be really good. We'd never worry about losing again, but it's what you can get across to your guys and what you deliver. And that's the challenge."

So, other than punishing 'em and sending week-old potato salad to the offensive line coach?

"I'm not gonna tell you guys what we're going to do," Robinson said.

But look for hard-hitting sophomore Michael Griffin to be on the field early and often in the nickel package (putting SLB Eric Hall on the sideline), plus an added measure of zone blitzes with WLB Derrick Johnson leading the charge.

"They've got a running back who can go, they've got a quarterback who can get the ball around, they've got an offensive line that are probably the best pass protectors that we'll face this year, they've got receivers that can play," Robinson concluded. "We're just going to have to go in there and play 60 minutes of football."


Robinson has never been to Lubbock but his parents were married there just more than 60 years ago. How long did they remain in that garden spot?

"Not long," Robinson said. "My dad was in the Air Force in World War II."

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