Tommy Tuberville: “We played lights out on both sides. I was proud. We played hard and that’s hard to do.”October 24, 2011 – 10:54 am by Steven Cuce
The Texas Tech Red Raiders ended the Sooners 39-game home win streak in Oklahoma over this past weekend. Seth Doege threw for 441 yards and four touchdowns, easily moving his way up to becoming the top passer in the country. For the No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners it was a crushing 41-38 loss, becoming the second top-five team to go down on Saturday after Wisconsin fell to Michigan State.
Tommy Tuberville is still working on changing the culture in Lubbock. He knows his team doesn’t have the talent yet defensively, but this victory could go a long way towards shaping the future.
Tommy Tuberville joined WJOX in Alabama with The RoundTable to discuss Texas Tech’s upset win over the Oklahoma Sooners, running an offense that throws the football more often, having a good feeling about his game plan against the Sooners and the lightening delay having any kind impact on his team before the game.
Congrats on the win. How is life on the Texas Tech campus?
“Well this week is pretty good. Last couple of weeks it wasn’t very good. You go week-to-week in this business. It is like Groundhog Day. You win or lose you get up the next day and go back to work and this week we are obviously getting a few accolades with how our guys played. I was proud of them. It’s tough throwing the football and we do throw it. If we hadn’t run the ball in that game for 160 yards we would have never had a chance, so it all comes back to playing defense and running the ball, which opened up the passing game and we got a heck of a quarterback now. He’s closing to being ranked the top passer in the country now with what he’s done the last two weeks even though we are 5-2. He is pretty much just on top of all the games we won.”
That quarterback is Seth Doege, who averages around 50 throws a game. Do you enjoy running an offense that throws the football more?
“Yeah. I really do. You go back and look at the snaps we have. Texas A & M for instance, we lost a game 45-40, but we had an 119 offensive snaps in that game. In the SEC you’d probably average 65-70. Kansas State we had 105 snaps and against Oklahoma we had 98 snaps. It gives you more opportunities. We are still kind of making this a more physical football team. When I got here it was if you can’t throw you are going to lose. We are trying to put together a defense with what we were doing on the offense and if we can do that we are going to have a good football team. Right now we are getting in the mix. We are young. I didn’t take one senior on the defense to the game Saturday against Oklahoma. They were all freshmen and sophomores with a couple of juniors sprinkled in there. We’re still learning, but I was proud with the way we played. We played very hard and the mentality here is if you can’t score 50 points you can’t win. We are trying to change that. We are going to win a game sooner or later that is 17-14 or 14-10. Something like that. It’s going to be a culture shock around here. This league is so potent offensively. Everyone was saying: ‘Coach you are going into this game and you are the sixth ranked offense in the country?’ I said, ‘Well Oklahoma is 4th. Baylor is 2nd and Oklahoma State is 3rd.’ They play offense over here now. We gotta get ready each week and take them as they come.”
Did you have a feeling that you had something on film that could beat this Oklahoma Sooners team? The defense was excellent as well:
“The big thing was defense. When you go on the road you are not going to outscore many people. You gotta play defense and the thing we were able to do is that we were able to make them punt four times in the first half. I think they punted four times all year. You talk about an offense? This team has an offense line that is as good as you will see. They’ve got tight ends. They’ve got receivers that can play. They got a quarterback that has been phenomenal. What we try to do is the reverse. I said guys listen if they are not going to huddle then we are not going to huddle on defense. We are going to run the same defense the first seven or eight snaps and see how we handle it. You know what it worked? Our guys were able to line up. We didn’t flip our corners right to left. We kind of lined up play and caught them off guard a little bit by not trying to blitz. We only had one man coverage snap the whole game of their 85 snaps. That’s pretty unusual. We just played zone and being able to do that and get them off the field early and every time we pretty much got the ball in the first half we scored. We were up 31-7 with six minutes to go in the third quarter. I knew they would come storming back, but we would make enough plays to escape that place with a victory.”
Did the lightening delay benefit your team at all?
“No. Not really. I was hoping it would. They had 85,000 people there and it was sold out. It was their homecoming and we go out and warm up and the officials come in and say, ‘Coach it’s probably going to be an hour.’ It was a little cramped of a dressing room. I guess we did the exact opposite of what they did. They ran indoors. They were working out and running plays and our coaches – we give our players and I have done this before – we did this at Auburn. When we have a 30 or 40 minute ride on the bus to the stadium, which when you play OU you have to stay in Oklahoma City. I give them a big sack of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and bars. We go back in and our coaches are listening to George Strait on the radio. We got the music up in the coaches locker room. Our players are listening to Lil’ Wayne and they are all eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I’m thinking you know this doesn’t look right? We are playing one of the top teams in the country and our guys are eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They didn’t have a worry in the world and we played like it. We played lights out on both sides. I was proud. We played hard and that’s hard to do. It’s hard to beat anyone on the road in this business, but to do that and play the way we did. I was really proud of them. We played hard. We are not that talented. We got a pretty good offense now. We can score some points. It’s just defense where we don’t have the weapons yet to say hey we are going to go out and shut somebody out. We are far from that.”