Texas Tech is the surprising, feel-good story of the 2008 season
Every year we see a handful of indelible, season-defining moments. The latest came in Lubbock last Saturday night, when Texas Tech's
There is always some surprise team, some ugly duckling outfit that metamorphoses by midseason into a swan or Cinderella. You hear promising reports from spring ball, from fall camp, but they don't really register, because
Two years ago it was Rutgers. (Twenty years from now, it may be the Scarlet Knights again!) Last year it was Kansas. This year it is
After some early season jitters, third-year quarterback Harrell has arrived as a frontrunner in the
When I talked to him over the phone last Sunday night, Leach said merely that
It helps that Harrell is working behind a huge, talented, veteran offensive line. The Red Raiders did not get lucky against Texas last Saturday. Tech won because it dominated in the trenches on both sides of the ball. That's another reason I expect them to improve to 10-0 and move to No. 1 in the BCS rankings this weekend (Because, you see, 'Bama's going down in the Saban Bowl). Yes, the Cowboys are loaded with NFL-bound skill guys. But they don't rush the passer well. Okie State has a borderline-pathetic 11 sacks on the season. You do not want to give Graham Harrell five, six, eight seconds to find an open receiver.
Because he will. Whether it's Crabtree, in the driver's seat for his second straight Biletnikoff award; or speed merchants
It was Leach who slapped the "Evil Elf" handle on Morris, an ex-high-school quarterback from nearby Shallowater High. Leach sees Morris as less of an adorable, Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer kind of elf, and more as a
"He had on the full elf costume -- little hat and everything," recalls Leach. "He hops up on the table, does a little elf dance, and leaves. He's a prankster type."
There are more stories on this roster than in the Naked City. Aside from
Only at Tech would you have a kicker who was pulled out of the stands at a home game after winning a placekicking contest. On Sept. 20, between the third and fourth quarters of the Red Raiders 45-21 win over UMass, sophomore
Watching from the sideline, Leach could not help admiring the height Williams got on the ball. "I'd just got done raising hell about why can't we get the ball
Williams' story is no more incredible than the fact that the center of the college football universe will be out in west Texas for the second straight Saturday, where a motley crew of elves and pirates, cast-offs and contrarions have become the story of this season by just doing their jobs.