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November 6, 2008Texas Tech's defense has some experience going up against an extremely talented and dangerous pass-catch duo, Ruffin McNeill's squad sees one every day during practice in Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree. And they'll likely need to draw on that experience against Oklahoma State on Saturday as they go up against the similarly explosive tandem of Zac Robinson and Dez Bryant.
"He's a very good player," Tech cornerbacks coach Brian Mitchell said of Bryant. "He has very god hand-eye coordination, runs good routes, and is a guy that can make things happen when the ball is in his hands.
"He's a good football player that can catch, run, jump and do all of those good things."
The Robinson-to-Bryant connection has accounted for an astonishing 15 of the Cowboys' 20 touchdown passes and 1,054 of the team's 2,146 passing yards (49.1%), and a lot of that has to do with the continuing emergence of Robinson as one of the Big 12's upper-echelon quarterbacks.
"[Robinson] can scramble," explained Mitchell. "He makes good decision, he's got a good receiving corps, and they've got a great running game. Play action is great for that kid, he does a great job.
"I saw him coming out of high school, he's very impressive."
Bryant, who scored his first career touchdown against Texas Tech in 2007, did not find the endzone in the Cowboys' two games against ranked opponents (Missouri, Texas).
"They were physical with the guy," said Mitchell. "Missouri plays a lot of Cover 2 - I haven't watched the Texas game as closely defensively - they're just banging on him, making sure there's a guy on top and a guy underneath."
What might be worrisome for Red Raider fans is that Bryant's touchdown catches come in bunches. Thus far in his career, he has caught touchdowns in nine games, and has registered more than one in all but two of those games.