April 16, 2007

Signals from the static

Texas Tech held their annual Red & Black Game on Saturday at Jones AT&T Stadium and several questions were seemingly answered but several questions also arose. In this edition of Signals from the static we take a look at several of those questions and answers:

THE LYLE FILE: One of the unsung offensive heroes from the Red/Black Scrimmage was freshman receiver Lyle Leong. He had no spectacular plays like Michael Crabtree and Ed Britton, and he didn't bring down as many passes as Danny Amendola and L. A. Reed, but Leong did snare a respectable four balls for 44 yards, one of which was a beauty of a tightrope job on the sideline against DeShon Sanders. And it is clear that the chemistry he developed over the years with Taylor Potts in their Abilene playing days has carried over to Texas Tech. Potts feels very comfortable throwing the ball to Leong, and the latter does not disappoint. I have a feeling Leong will develop into a very good possession receiver for Tech.

There were questions about whether Leong would be strong and physical enough to compete at the D-1 level, but he is slowly putting those questions to bed. Heck, he's already better at defeating the jam than Armon Dorrough ever was.

SHOVEL TROUBLE: The shovel pass has, to varying degrees, been a bread-n'-butter play for Tech throughout the Mike Leach years. Basically Tech's version of the draw play, the shovel seeks to exploit the inevitable pell-mell pass rushers by slipping a back past the defensive linemen and just as he breaks that forward wall, "shoveling" the ball to him. The play has worked well enough in the past to keep it in the playbook.

The shovel pass was, however, a miserable failure Saturday. Potts tossed one to Kobey Lewis early on and Lewis who was instantly blasted by Paul Williams and Britton Barbee. He was fortunate not to have fumbled. Later, Potts delivered a shovel that was very nearly intercepted.

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