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September 4, 2012

Notebook: Working on T.O.s

MORE: Notes from Tuesday's practice | Free 30-day trial

The Texas Tech defense played about as solid of a game as it could against Northwestern State, but there was one area in which Art Kaufman's unit hopes to improve significantly in the coming weeks: forcing turnovers.

This week, the Red Raiders get Texas State and the Bobcats' undoing in their game against Tech last year was turnovers. Dennis Franchione's team turned the ball over four times in that game, and Kaufman's unit is hoping to repeat those numbers Saturday in San Marcos.

As a result, the big emphasis Tuesday was creating turnovers.

"We're a little bit ahead of schedule after having a practice yesterday and one today," head coach Tommy Tuberville said. "We cut back a little today because we got so much done yesterday. We worked a lot on our pressure game today, the defense did. We're working on trying to get up the field and trying to cause more turnovers, playing more man coverage, those kinds of things.

"Last week we were pretty basic. This isn't just for this week but down the road."

Injury wise, the Red Raiders are in great shape but several players were held out of Tuesday's practice due to the stomach flu as well as a few pulled muscles.

"We worked a lot of kicking game today," Tuberville said. "We've got to continue to get better there. Good day of work other than the heat and we've got to do a lot of film work getting ready for their offense and their defense Saturday."

Bullitt is practicing

Starting strongside linebacker Terrance Bullitt left the NSU game with a shoulder injury, but what at first seemed very serious turned out to be just a sprain. Bullitt practiced with the team on Tuesday and gave some details after practice about what led to his injury.

"It was a blitz call and I came off the edge," Bullitt said. "Instead of moving my feet, I reached out with my arm. It was kind of a self-inflicted injury because I should have been wearing my brace. I'm wearing it now. And I should have been moving my feet.

"It was more of a sprain and it kind of scared me. Really, I felt like if I needed to be back in the game I could have. I just went in and iced it up."

Tuberville said Tuesday that Bullitt will play but he's not sure how many plays they will keep him in for.

Alfredo Morales still holding onto the LG spot

Both redshirt freshman Alfredo Morales and sophomore Beau Carpenter got work at left guard in last week's game against NSU, and Tuberville indicated Tuesday that Morales will likely start against the Bobcats.

"I'd say Alfredo played the best," Tuberville said. "He's had more snaps out here. He's worked at it. Beau is starting to compete for it. We're going to need him down the way. We need to get Tony Morales back; he's started to jog a little bit. He'll give us a little bit more depth.

"I thought Alfredo played the best, but we're going to try to get them an equal amount of reps in the next few weeks."

Learning from Houston's mistakes

Tuberville noted that what hurt Houston the most in its upset loss to Texas State last week was its inability to move the ball and score points once it slowed the Bobcats' option attack in the second half.

"A lot of single wing, guys going everywhere, misdirection, early in the game you've got to adjust to it," the head coach said. "You've got to slow down a little bit and play assignment football. (Houston) didn't make any adjustments, they just tackled better (in the second half).

"It takes a while to get into the speed of the game because you can't really practice it in practice. Especially between the type of offense we run and they run. So it takes a lot of discipline and a lot of focus. They got stronger as the game went on; they just couldn't score any points."

Other notes

• Tuberville said he liked Leon Mackey in his first game as a defensive tackle but he has to do a better job with his pad level.

• S Keenon Ward and QB Tucker Tuberville are simularing Texas State's Shaun Rutherford on the Red Raiders' scout team. Both players are freshmen and were effective dual-threat quarterbacks in high school.





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