Five questions with Nick Kosmider from the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
To read my OU answers on Nick’s blog, click here.
1) I’ll start with the obvious first question: Is Texas Tech’s defense for real, or the result of a relatively light first four games?
I think Tommy Tuberville is eager to find out the answer to that question, too. There is little doubt that Tech’s defense has improved mightily from last season, when it ranked 114th overall and dead last against the run. New defensive coordinator Art Kaufman has quickly improved technique and, just as importantly, has instilled confidence into a group that had little during a five-game losing streak to end the 2011 season. Do I think Tech’s defense is the best in the country? No, I do not. But Tuberville said during fall camp that if the defense could rank in the top 50, the Red Raiders could win a lot of games. The unit seems well on its way to that goal.
2) One of the more interesting thing to me about last year’s OU-Tech game is how it essentially became the point in both teams’ seasons when things began to go south. Tech pulled this huge upset, and then completely collapsed, and OU went on to lose two more games and have a disappointing season overall. Are the Tech players tired of talking about how last year ended, and do you think it was the result of getting too high on themselves after that win in Norman?
Texas Tech players readily admitted last week that they were unable to come down from the high of a monster upset of the Sooners in Norman last season. It clearly showed a week later, when the Red Raiders were embarrassed at home by Iowa State, 41-7, a loss that started a dreadful five-game tailspin. So in a way, the Red Raiders were almost victims of their own success regarding the win at Oklahoma. There was clearly a much more business-like approach from Tech following its win against Iowa State last week, so I don’t expect overconfidence to be a problem for Tech this time around.
3) Do Tech players and coaches make much of the fact that Oklahoma hasn’t won there since 2003? Bob Stoops has largely dismissed its significance, and maybe the players don’t so much care about the history, but is there a pride factor at play here?
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