Spring practices are going well for the Red Raiders, according to head coach Kliff Kingsbury. They have set the pace and the strategy, both offensively and defensively, and position battles are staying competitive.
But no matter how much you practice, there are still situations that can't be simulated. Still, the Red Raiders are using travel and playing in front of a large crowd to meet this end. The team will get plenty of both when they head to Midland for the first open practice at Grande Communications Stadium on Saturday at 1 pm.
"I'm really excited," Kingsbury said after Thursday's practice. "Anytime you get your guys in front of people and see how they react in front of crowds, it's a great opportunity. And then to travel and get them used to that is a great opportunity for our team to grow and get better."
Traveling and playing in front of crowds are aspects mostly taken for granted by fans, but are invaluable experiences for a new head coach and mostly new coaching staff eager to see how their team will respond under these conditions for the first time.
"The more reps you can get at those things the better," Kingsbury said. "You don't know how they'll respond until you go through it."
Midland seems like a perfect place to hold an open practice. It's an area busting at the seams with oil, growing like crazy, and fanatical football fans are a plenty. 14,000 people are expected to be packed inside Grande Communications Stadium and apparently the tailgates are already starting. For Texas Tech to not only practice in that kind of environment, but spread the Double T logo to an area largely untapped, is great for the university.
"I mean with all the oil going on there (Midland) it's grown dramatically," Kingsbury said. "So to get our product out there and take it to them is a great opportunity for this university."
While the coaches are looking at Saturday as an educational experience for the team, the players are simply looking forward to getting away and avoiding the monotony that can sometimes set in during spring practices.
"I'm excited to play in front of a good amount of people for the first time in awhile," linebacker Will Smith said. "It should be real fun to get out of Lubbock and see another city."
This is the first of three open practices the Red Raiders will hold, all culminating with the spring game on April 20th at Jones AT&T Stadium.
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