Thoughts from Texas Tech’s Scrimmage in Frisco

Random thoughts from Texas Tech’s Frisco scrimmage.

  1. First and foremost, need to give a shout-out to Justin for giving me a ticket. I finally met his wife and terrific family. Also was honored as the the only non-Mensa member of a Mensa meeting with Dan, his son Ryan, and friend Todd. Thanks for letting me participate. The photo above was taken around 2:25 p.m. or so, about 35 minutes before the scrimmage was to start. I was outside in the designated area for about 20 minutes, but when no one showed up for that 20 minute period, I decided to go inside and be warm rather than be outside (because I’m a wimp).
  2. The suspended guys played and that’s really good news. The iron fist of Kingsbury somewhat relented in that they were punished for a week, participated this past week and traveled with the team to play in Frisco.
  3. The guy that popped to me more than anyone else was RB Da’Leon Ward, who played in the first couple of series, but he looked like a game-changer. He hit the hole faster than any running back and the yards he gained were really impressive. He was running with the first team offensive line, so he gets the benefit of that, but he looked really fast and really impressive. I’d love to see him add some weight, but he can play.
  4. Most of you are probably here for quarterback discussion and for me personally, Jett Duffey has more zip on his passes than McLane Carter. Carter has a fine arm, but Duffey has the juice and that’s why he’s still on the team. Duffey’s ability to squeeze the ball into spots is probably his best and worse trait, he thinks he can make plays that maybe he should just pull back, but he’s got the arm strength to do it. And when Kingsbury says that Duffey needs more reps, that’s where he needs more reps, to either figure out why he should or should not make a particular throw. Duffey had one floater pass that was a bad pass down the right sideline to a receiver that wasn’t really open. At least he didn’t throw it to where the receiver would be open.
  5. Clayton Hatfield is back. A couple of early field goals were absolutely terrific and it was so good to see those suckers go through the uprights. So much changed on being unable to hit field goals last year. So much changed.
  6. As far as young defenders, I thought Adrian Frye looked really good and I was impressed with is athleticism. Quincy Addison also looked good in my opinion. They’re good athletes and athletically they are there.
  7. Brayden Stringer looks like a completely different human. Maybe it was just me and not noticing things, but he’s huge.
  8. Donta Thompson is going to be a huge part of this offense, but he’s got to stop the penalties. He had two huge holding calls while he was blocking downfield. That’s not acceptable and he’s got to be better than that. As a receiver, he can play and he’s good and if the offense ever lines up with Antonie Wesley at the X, Thompson at the Y and T.J. Vasher at the Z, that will be the biggest wide receiving group in the country, maybe ever? That’s three guys who are 6’5″ and could be a pretty significant advantage for whoever plays quarterback.
  9. I very much liked a couple of the inside guys, De’Quan Bowman and Jojo Robinson. Robinson can has the jets, although he’s much smaller than I thought he was, while Bowman I think has his opportunity and figured things out. Bowman had a jailbreak screen that was run to perfection and there was no one that was going to catch him. I could envision Bowman having a Cam Batson sort of year. Also, Kingsbury said after the practice that Xavier Martin has a groin issue, which has kept him out all spring.
  10. I also liked Quan Shorts offensively, he’s a thicker receiver and has plenty of height and I liked his speed on the outside. I think he’s got the best speed of the group.
  11. I didn’t watch the defensive and offensive lines as much as I wanted to. I don’t know how folks watch both the line and skill positions because I can’t do that in one sitting. I’ll have to go back and watch the game again to get a proper assessment of both. Other than the Ward early rushing success, I thought the defensive did a pretty good job of containing the run. I thought there were some bogus pass interference calls, but whatever.
  12. Don’t ask me to give you substantive thoughts on this, but I really like special teams coach Adam Scheier. His special teams session was pretty well organized and he had guys flying around, with rep after rep.
  13. The defense is going to be fine. No, scratch that, they’ll be better than fine, they’ll be good. I’m quietly confident of that.
  14. I saw some comments during the scrimmage that the recruits in attendance looked bored and well, they’re watching a scrimmage so I don’t know how amped I’d expect them to be. If I weren’t a die-hard fan, I would have been bored too because it’s not exactly riveting stuff. Also, kids in general aren’t going to get too excited about much of anything, so I don’t know what the expectation is. I think the key is that the kids were treated like VIP’s and they have the opportunity to be a part of the team and the scene. That’s the part that you didn’t see, the interaction with the coaching staffs and recruiting staff. No one else has a scrimmage like this. No one in the country. No one else can offer this, so it’s a big deal in that respect. If you expected high school kids to be anything other than “too cool for school” then I don’t know what to tell you, but that’s kids today (and kids back when you were kids too).
  15. If I had to guess, I’d say that the stadium maybe had 6,000 to 8,000 people in attendance? I’m not a professional crowd estimator, but I thought things looked half full, maybe a bit more than half. If the stadium holds 12,000 total, about 6,000 to 8,000 seemed about right. So with a bad weather day, it probably had an affect on things. Last year, there was a ton of stuff for kids to do and it was more of an event. With what was happening yesterday, there weren’t a ton of folks outside before the scrimmage.

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