Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege, unlike most of his classmates and teammates, probably was ready to see the weekend come to a close.
Because, while Sunday's end means Monday is directly ahead, it also meant Doege would get the fresh start he craves after experiencing a loss on the football field. This week's motivation: Saturday's 41-20 loss to Oklahoma.
"It motivates me," Doege said. "I don't really care what people say or their opinions about me. My teammates trust me. They believe in me, and I believe in myself."
Through two Big 12 Conference games, Doege is responsible for five interceptions — two at Iowa State and three against the Sooners — which already is half of his 2011 total. Two of the five interceptions were returned for touchdowns.
Monday, Doege said he has played just one quality half of football in each of Tech's last two games, and Tuberville said Doege was critical of his own struggles during a senior meeting Sunday.
"Quarterbacks get a lot of praise and a lot of criticism," Tuberville said. "He works awfully hard at it. It's not one of those deals where he went out and wasn't prepared to play or ready to go."
Meanwhile, the Red Raiders' defense is presented with the opportunity to intercept a pass from West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith. Normally, intercepting passes may not as big a focal point as simply stopping the opponent's offense as a whole, but this is
no ordinary scenario.
Smith has not thrown an interception since the Mountaineers' regular-season finale last season, Dec. 1 at South Florida. Smith has thrown 30 touchdown passes since his last interception, to be exact.
West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen, though, downplayed the magnitude of the streak during his weekly press conference this week, saying the streak goes beyond just Smith himself.
"If you think (Smith) is the only one who can control that, you're nuts," Holgorsen said. "I know it's his stat, but everybody else can help control that. We don't talk about that. We talk about completions and putting the ball where you need to put the ball."
Smith, who, by most accounts, is the current Heisman Trophy frontrunner, comes to Lubbock on Saturday having thrown for 1,996 yards, 24 touchdowns and zero interceptions, all while completing 81.4 percent of his pass attempts.
However, it is Holgorsen's message that seems to be the approach Tech defenders are adopting for this week's game plan.
"We're not really worried and just focused on (Smith)," Tech safety D.J. Johnson said. "We're focused on what they do as a whole as an offense, and what their key things are."
By Jose Rodriguez — Special to the Star-Telegram