Opening Day

The Red Raiders opened fall practice on Saturday afternoon

The Red Raiders opened fall practice on Saturday afternoon
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Texas Tech held its first practice of Fall Camp on Saturday afternoon.

August 6, 2011

video camera Training Camp Day 1 Highlights | video camera Post-Practice Interviews | Photo Gallery

by Britton Drown
Texas Tech Athletics Communications

Neatly separated by their black and white Under Armour practice jerseys and white helmets, Texas Tech football players scurried out one-by-one from the Football Training Facility and onto the two blazing practice fields underneath the hot Lubbock sun.

And even before organized stretching began, the Red Raiders ran through drills with a jovial sense of energy that felt suppressed underneath the long and mundane summer months.

Yes, Saturday had that distinct feel of the first day of practice.

Football season had finally arrived.

When the final stretch was complete the team huddled together in front of head coach Tommy Tuberville for the first time this season. Their time had arrived, and together the team broke out to the word "win" signaling the start of the first practice of the 2011 season.

With their sights set on the Sept. 3 season-opener against Texas State now officially set, winning is exactly what this team intends to do. Today, was just the first step.

"I thought it was a good start," Tuberville said. "You should have a good start on the first day. Everybody is ready to go, energetic and out here running around pretty well, trying to make a good impression on the coaches. But it is going to be a long time between now and four weeks from today when we play our first game. We have a lot of work to do."

It was about a two-hour long practice, and with its completion, came the start of a myriad of storylines that will soon unfold throughout camp.

Perhaps the most compelling of which, will be the transformation the Red Raiders make during Tuberville's second year at the helm of the program.

After Saturday's practice, Tuberville noted the team already appears more athletic than it did just a year ago.

"We look more like a better football team this year just by walking out here in terms of size and strength," he said. "We are in pretty good physical shape."

It's something the players have noticed as well.

"It's all around," senior receiver Alex Torres said. "The older guys have put in a lot of hard work and really put pressure on the younger guys and said, `This is what you are stepping into and we are not going to slow it down for you.' They stepped up to that challenge, so it's looking really good talent-wise."

And for Seth Doege, that's a good thing. The junior, who looks to become the starting quarterback by the season-opener, worked with the receivers for a majority of the practice.

After practice, he discussed the increased talent level of his group of receivers.

"We have got a lot more speed on offense now," Doege said. "We can get some guys the ball and they can make something happen with it."

But of course, it's just Day One. Doege and the Red Raiders have about two-and-a-half weeks of training camp still remaining.

"It's a building block," Doege said. "We just have to get better everyday."


Fountain of Youth:
Head coach Tommy Tuberville said the younger members of the team will get more work in on Sunday afternoon. He also added that he will limit the number of snaps Seth Doege and Jacob Karam will receive during camp in order to protect their arms.

Hitting the Books:
Six Red Raiders graduated on Saturday afternoon before practice. Graduates included: Aaron Crawford, Tyrone Sonier, Jesse Smitherman, Donnie Carona, Lonnie Edwards and Alex Torres. A total of 23 student-athletes graduated on Saturday.

Strapping on the Pads:
The team practiced in helmets and shorts today. According to Tuberville, the Red Raiders will put on shoulder pads beginning Monday.

Numbers Game
Recorded temperature in degrees Fahrenheit of the field turf during practice on Saturday.

Quote of the Day:
"We set our standards high. Last year we ended the season with eight wins and that's a pretty good season for any team. But not us. The older guys know it. That's not our standard anymore. We are looking to go above and beyond that."
- senior receiver Alex Torres




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