Thanks to Seth at Viva The Matadors, formerly Double T Nation, for taking the time for a little Q&A (ok, not so little. I asked a lot of questions). Find my responses to his questions here.
Before we dive into it, I want to mention that I actually requested that he make a nice "Stoolwater" reference, just for fun. Here was his response...class guy...
No references to Stillwater as Stoolwater. I'm not good at making fun of other schools or teams. I lived in Tulsa for three years while going to law school at TU and loved my time in Tulsa. I went to a couple of OSU games while there and had a lot of fun. Good people and terrific campus.
1. How much do you think the 66-6 demolition Tech suffered last year in Lubbock will play into this year's game?
I hope it is some motivation, but if a team is needing all of it's motivation from not wanting to get it's ass kicked again, then that's usually a very bad plan. Last year, Texas Tech was soundly beat by UT and the game was closer. The players did mention that last year's game stuck with them and I hope it's the same. No player likes to be embarrassed like that.
2. Tech, both offensively and defensively, has seemed a bit "hot and cold." Is that accurate, and if so, what do you attribute the inconsistency too?
Well, I think the offense has been pretty consistent. The offense had some trouble scoring in the redzone, but overall, I feel like it's been pretty consistent. Not perfect, but pretty consistent. The defense on the other hand, it's gotten progressively worse after a fantastic start. The better competition has really struggled against the better offense. On one hand, I think that what the defensive coordinator is doing hasn't changed and that being a defensive coordinator in the Big 12 is incredibly difficult. You know the yards will pile up and you know that the scoring will be epic. I think most defensive coordinators in the Big 12 understand that it is about just maintaining as much as possible. Take Baylor's Phil Bennett, who coached with Bill Snyder and he seems to know what's happening. Bennett just didn't suddenly become a bad defensive coordinator, I don't think, but not having a ton of talent on the defensive side of the field and trying to rein in Big 12 offenses is one of the tougher jobs in the country.
3. Like OSU, Tech has been visited by the injury bug. Word has it that Tubby's recruiting has helped you guys push through some of that. True? Jace Amaro looked to be having a great season until the rib injury. What is his status?
Amaro is most likely out. Total speculation on my part, but I think the injury in internal and not just bruise ribs. And yes, he will be great when he's healthy, just stinks that he was hurt so early in the season. Yes, there have been some injury issues, the best cornerback has been out about the same amount of time as Amaro, Cornelius Douglas, a couple of good receivers went down earlier in the year. I think with the injuries to the two receivers and Amaro, the offense hasn't been as vertical, but pretty good. Tuberville did recruit a bunch of JUCO guys and they are contributing and that has helped quite a bit. RB Sadale Foster, LB Will Smith and CB Bruce Jones have been very good contributors this year and have helped with the overall depth.
4. I've mentioned Doege, Ward, Moore, Williams in my offensive preveiw. Is there anyone else OSU folks should be aware of?
The inside receivers are actually pretty fun to watch. Tyson Williams is a bigger insider receiver and he is incredibly annoying to opposing defenders because he loves to block defensive backs. I know that doesn't sound like a very impressive skill and he is adept at catching the ball, but he'll annoy the hell out of whoever is covering him. Also, Jakeem Grant is fun to watch because he's 5-6/165, he's got terrific speed in the open field. Also, RB Sadale Foster has excellent change of speed and is the third down back. He'll be the running back to catch the ball out of the backfield.
5. Besides King running around in a drunken rage Saturday afternoon, what is your biggest concern about the Red Raiders' trip to Stillwater?
For me, I think it's the OSU offense beating up Texas Tech's defense. Texas Tech hasn't had any answers against recent offenses and I see no reason to think that OSU won't continue to do what they do at home, which is score a lot.
6. Smoking Musket referred to the Red Raider as "Yosemite Sam." What say you?
I think it's somewhat accurate. I didn't follow this back in the 1980's, but a local merchant created a mascot that resembled Raider Red, the mascot, and started to sell merchandise. They got into a big lawsuit over the use and there was this tidbit from some of the correspondence from Texas Tech to the local merchant ( ):
In correspondence from Texas Tech University to Red Raider Outfitters, the University claims that Red Raider Outfitter’s cowboy icon is confusing to Raider Red. In further correspondence, Texas Tech University suggests that the Red Raider Outfitter cartoon cowboy is confusing to the Warner Bros. character Yosemite Sam. This was an admission that Raider Red is also confusing to Yosemite Sam.
So the short answer is yes, there is a distinct possibility that Raider Red was based off of Yosemite Sam.
7. Bobby Knight...Mike Leach...Billy Gillespie...Tommy Tuberville. Coaches who can be, shall we say, a little tough on players and/or asst coaches. Is Tech on a mission to hire the meanest coach available?
Well, this is strange to consider in retrospect. At the time that Bob Knight was hired, I thought it was terrific. Instant credibility and all of that stuff. Then he slaps a kid in the chin, fires a shotgun at a neighbor and got into an altercation with the Chancellor at a salad bar. I thought Gillispie had changed from his conduct at Kentucky, but he was the same guy. He went on and on when he was hired about how the death of his mother changed him and he was different as he had also been to alcohol counseling. When he gets another job and another blogger asks me what I think about Gillispie, I'll tell them that he most likely hasn't changed a bit. With Leach, I never thought he abused Adam James. I do think that in retrospect that both Leach and the TTU administration probably needed to part ways as they just weren't getting along any more and the relationship was caustic on a lot of levels. With Tuberville and him pulling that headset off the graduate assistant, I think the thing with me is that in his weekly press conference said apologized to the GA and said that he expected more of himself. That was good enough for me. I think the other thing that it says about Tuberville is that he's not know for being very passionate. Well, he was passionate about a game with Kansas and it sorta demonstrates to me that he very much cares and I think that he maybe knows he's coaching for his job.
8. Last but not least...How does this game play out, and your prediction?
I think Oklahoma St. trucks Texas Tech this week. The OSU defense has shown the ability to stop opponents, Texas Tech has not. I don't think the 10.5 points is enough and wouldn't take Texas Tech if given 15 points.