Texas Tech has used 11 true freshmen this season, and that’ll be it, coach Kliff Kingsbury said Tuesday, unless injuries dictate otherwise.
That means the Red Raiders will try, from here on out, to redshirt five of the six high-school defensive linemen they signed for 2016. From that group, only defensive tackle Joe Wallace from Dallas Skyline has played.
Texas Tech inside receiver Jonathan Giles said the team spent two weeks practicing the trick play on which he caught a 42-yard touchdown pass Saturday in a 59-45 win over Louisiana Tech. He said the Red Raiders could’ve used it the week before against Arizona State, but Kliff Kingsbury didn’t break it out.
The play started with Giles going in motion, taking a handoff from Patrick Mahomes II, pitching to inside receiver Cameron Batson and continuing toward the left sideline. Mahomes then flipped a pass to Giles just outside the numbers, and he cut upfield and outran the pursuit.
Wide receiver Derrick Willies played 62 of Texas Tech’s 79 offensive snaps Saturday. Willies said Monday he didn’t have a problem handling the workload, easily the most he’s played in three games.
“In practice, you get your body ready for it,” he said. “The game’s a lot easier if you go hard in practice.”
Former Texas Tech lineman Josh Outlaw is a second-team offensive tackle for Louisiana Tech, so he’ll be playing on Saturday against his former teammates.
“It’ll be a bittersweet moment,” Outlaw said. “It’s an opportunity to come back and see a couple of friends across the field Saturday evening. I look forward to coming in and hopefully pulling out a victory for the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.”
Louisiana Tech inside receiver Trent Taylor said the effusive praise he received this week from Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury “means a lot, coming from him.”
Taylor’s a 5-foot-8, 178-pound senior with career numbers of 210 catches for 2,632 yards and 23 touchdowns. To put those into a Texas Tech context, Taylor has six more catches than Danny Amendola and yardage and touchdowns virtually identical to Joel Filani.
Kent Hance once told a joke about some fellow supervising an offseason football stadium project. Asked if the work would be completed in time for the opener, he answered with a question: “Is it a day game or a night game?”
No such worries on Texas Tech’s north end zone development, apparently, at least as far most people will be able to tell.
Texas Tech had two freshmen start at linebacker at different times last season, and that could be the case again this year.
Jordyn Brooks, a 6-foot-1, 243-pound freshman from Houston Stratford, and graduate transfer Luke Stice from the University of Houston are vying for the job at weak-side linebacker. Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said after Tuesday’s workout Brooks could start.
“I’m not sure if he will,” Kingsbury said, “but I would not bet against it, particularly as the season goes on. He’s got that type of ability.”
Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said he’s seen enough from Joseph Wallace to know the freshman defensive tackle from Dallas Skyline will get some playing time this season.
“He’s been having a heck of a camp,” Kingsbury said after Monday's workout. “Explosive. Still figuring out how to do it, but he fires off the ball and he’ll definitely be playing for us this year.”
It’s the second time in the past week Kingsbury’s spoken highly of Wallace.
Redshirt freshman Madison Akamnonu has taken the lead at Texas Tech's vacant left guard position, Red Raiders coach Kliff Kingsbury said Monday, a spot that began a week ago as a four-man competition.
Coaches consider left tackle Baylen Brown, center Tony Morales, right guard Justin Murphy and right tackle Terence Steele cinches to start.
Texas Tech’s preseason practices and scrimmages are closed to the public and media.
But if you’d been at Jones AT&T Stadium on Saturday, you might’ve liked what you saw from Keenon Ward and Keke Coutee apparently.
Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said the senior safety from Snyder and the sophomore inside receiver from Lufkin were the players of the day during the scrimmage.