Sept. 2, 2003
Head coach Rocky Long
Question: How anxious are you and the team to get back on the field?
Rocky Long: I am sure they are excited about going to Lubbock and playing Texas Tech because of what happened last year and because of them being a Big 12 or BCS opponent.
Q: Are you excited to play Texas Tech?
RL: Well I guess I don't get as excited as players do, because I know the upside and the downside. I have watched them on tape and our players haven't even seen them on tape yet.
Q: What have you seen of Texas Tech on tape?
RL:I think they are pretty good. They are probably just as good as they were last year and obviously we didn't match-up very well last year. In fact I was hoping there would be a big downturn with the new quarterback (Sr. B.J. Symons), but there isn't and in fact this one runs faster. He doesn't have the experience that Kingsbury had, but he seems to have just as good an arm and when he scrambled with the ball, he was faster than Kingsbury running with it.
Q: Will Symons pull it down and scramble quicker?
RL:He didn't get much heat against SMU, so I don't know how he will handle the blitz. Kingsbury obviously handled the blitz very well the last two years we played them. They have a good handle on what they want to do against the blitz, but we actually haven't seen him handle it yet.
Q: Does their offense present a difficult match-up for your defense?
RL:No, I think there are more and more teams like that. I think it comes down to them executing and us executing. I mean BYU will do some of the same stuff, San Diego State will do almost all the same stuff. I hear Utah is running the same kind of stuff, so every year you see more and more teams running that kind of stuff and I think it give teams on offense some advantages unless a team has good man cover guys. If you have four big time man cover guys that offense isn't worth a darn. If you don't have four big time man cover guys then that offense causes you a lot of problems, because if you want to play zone and cover all the zones he is going to have forever to throw the ball and eventually someone gets open. If you want to blitz them and play man then it comes down to the receiver and the timing of the pass is better or the guy covering is better, because obviously you can force them to throw the ball on time by blitzing, because they only have five offensive lineman and one running back, so you can send seven and they can't block them all. That means the ball has to be gone on time before he gets hit and the timing with the receivers has to be good or the coverage has to be real good.
Q: After you looked at the film, how did the new Lobo corners do?
RL:I thought the corners played real well except for one play. The other one that was a long one was on a safety and that was man coverage. He had the guy covered and decided to go for the interception. Instead of knocking the ball down, he missed the interception and they caught it. The corners basically gave up one long pass and tackled pretty well on all the stuff that was caught in front of them.
Q: What are the Red Raiders like defensively?
RL:I was unpleasantly surprised. I was hoping that when I watched the tape on Sunday that their defense would be suspect. I think they have 11 freshman, most of them redshirt freshman, but they do have a true freshman starting at corner and linebacker. I think they have five red shirt freshman and six sophomores, probably redshirt sophomores, that are in the two-deep on their defense. So, what you wanted to see was a very inexperienced defense making a lot of mistakes, but that's not what you see on tape. They are lined up right, they hustle around, they play good coverage and they tackle well. They look like they have decent speed, they're big, and they have huge defensive linemen.
Q: They have a new defensive coordinator, so has anything changed?
RL:A lot of things have changed. They are more of a 4-3 team now, a little bit has changed in the coverage concepts. They blitzed more last year then in the first game this year, but maybe they didn't have to blitz. They seem a little more conventional now, a little safer now they take fewer chances. It probably goes right with their offense that is going to put up a lot of points against almost everybody.