Red Raiders Complete Bye Week

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After an unusually early bye week, Seth Doege has his sights set on New Mexico

September 12, 2011

by Britton Drown
Texas Tech Athletics Communications

Inside Monday's weekly press conference, it didn't take long for Seth Doege to show just how anxious this Texas Tech squad is to return to the football field. The sign came when the junior quarterback fended off a late question about the quality of their next opponent, New Mexico.

Doege instead answered candidly with a clear indication of just how excited this squad is after an unusually early bye week.

"The thing is we are just so excited to play again," Doege said. "It's almost like the season hasn't even started for us."

"We are just so excited to play again. It's almost like the season hasn't even started for us."

The Red Raiders (1-0 0-0 Big 12) are coming off of a convincing 50-10 season opening victory over Texas State on Sept. 3, and entered their bye week last week.

The early week off has allowed the Red Raiders, a team littered with newcomers and first year starters, including two true freshmen in Blake Dees and Sam Eguavoen, listed as starting linebackers, ample time to grow heading into Saturday's 2:30 p.m. kickoff in Albuquerque, N.M.

For coaches and players, the early week off may have proved to come with some benefits.

"It was a good week," head coach Tommy Tuberville said. "We got a lot of things done on both sides of the ball."

The Red Raiders hosted one scrimmage during the bye week and placed an emphasis on team conditioning before they officially switch their focus to New Mexico on Tuesday.

"We had plenty of practice," junior running back Eric Stephens, who posted a game-high 126 yards rushing and two touchdowns against Texas State, said. "The thing that comes to my mind is the conditioning. We did a lot of running over the bye week, and I feel like it's going to help us."

The Lobos (0-2 0-0 MWC) enter the game on the heels of a 52-3 loss to Arkansas in Albuquerque. New Mexico has not scored more than 10 points in its two losses this season.

Meanwhile, Texas Tech leads the all-time series with New Mexico 34-6-2, having won 12 of the last 13 meetings, including a 52-17 win over the Lobos last season.

Saturday's game will mark the first road trip of the season for Texas Tech. However, even with a young roster, Tuberville said he isn't worried about the challenges that the first road game of the season might pose to his squad.

"We can't really worry about where we're playing or who we're playing," Tuberville said. "We're not to that point yet. We've just got to go worry about playing better ourselves."

Texas Tech officially begins preparations for New Mexico on Tuesday, as the Red Raiders will look to stretch their current winning streak to four games dating back to last season.

"We know where we want to go," Tuberville said. "We're just trying to teach these young guys, and some of the older guys how to get there."



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