Bradley Marquez, Jakeem Grant and Jordan Davis — Texas Tech’s top three inside receivers — all were in shorts and workout shirts, but not pads and jerseys like the rest of their teammates at the end of Tuesday’s practice.
Offensive coordinator Eric Morris indicated Monday that Marquez (ribs) and Grant (ankle, shoulder, neck) probably wouldn’t practice early in the week, but still could play in Saturday’s game at TCU. Davis has not been cleared from a concussion.
Texas Tech sophomore Davis Webb is fourth in the FBS in passing touchdowns with 22 and tied for second most interceptions with 12. Last year, playing in 10 games, he threw 20 TDs with nine interceptions.
Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury was asked Monday if he’s seen improvement in the sophomore quarterback this season and, if so, where.
“Yeah, I think accuracy early on in the season I didn’t think was there,” Kingsbury said. “I think it’s getting closer. We’re still missing some things we can’t miss.”
Texas Tech has at least a dozen players on the injury list going into Saturday’s game at No. 10 TCU. Eight are on defense, which doesn’t make preparation any easier for interim defensive coordinator Mike Smith.
“We’ve got no depth up front,” Smith said Monday. “Linebacker, we don’t have any depth. Corner, we don’t have any depth, so it’s really our whole defense.
“We’ve got what we’ve got. These guys are playing a lot of reps. That’s what it has to be, so I’m proud of the way they’re fighting.”
Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin belongs in the Heisman Trophy discussion. The junior from West Mesquite is fourth in the FBS in individual total offense and gets high marks from Kingsbury for throwing only three interceptions to go along with 14 touchdown passes.
Kingsbury was asked Monday if Boykin, a frequent target of criticism last year, has made the biggest jump of any quarterback in the Big 12.
Texas Tech is the second most penalized team in the FBS, based on per-game averages for both penalties and yards. The Red Raiders were flagged only four times for 22 yards Saturday, though, which meant they dodged punishment after the 34-21 win against Kansas.
“We have a certain number of penalties that we either have some extracurricular after practice or we don’t, and we fell under that number,” Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said Monday. “I don’t know if (the players) were more excited about winning or the fact they were under that number on Saturday.”
Texas Tech had a slew of players who either missed Saturday's win against Kansas or got hurt during it. Most notable in the latter category were inside receiver Bradley Marquez (ribs) and middle linebacker Sam Eguavoen (leg). Neither finished the game.
“I haven’t talked to my roommate,” quarterback Davis Webb said, referring to Marquez. “He’s in high spirits. … He’ll be OK. He’s tough.”
Texas Tech safety Josh Keys has been kicked off the team for a team rules violation, Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said after the Red Raiders’ 34-21 victory Saturday againstKansas. He did not elaborate, other than to say Keys will not be back this season.
Kingsbury said he was “not sure yet” if Keys would have the opportunity to return after the season ends.
With Keys gone and starting free safety Keenon Ward out with a concussion, strong safety J.J. Gaines and free safety fill-in Jalen Barnes played all 72 defensive snaps.
Texas Tech running back Kenny Williams played a half dozen snaps on offense Saturday, but didn’t touch the football. In hindsight, running backs coach Mike Jinks said maybe he should have used Williams on a couple of key short-yardage situations Tech failed to convert in the third quarter of a 37-34 loss to West Virginia.
DeAndre Washington was stopped for no gain on fourth-and-1 from the WVU 35-yard line. On the very next series, with Tech facing third-and-goal from the 4, Davis Webb flowed right and threw back left to fullback Rodney Hall, who also got nothing.
Texas Tech will get starting left guard Alfredo Morales back from a knee sprain this week that caused him to miss nearly two full games.
The junior from Arlington Houston practiced Tuesday.
Morales’ presence means the Red Raiders can back away from a dangerous ledge depth-wise. Tech has four upperclassmen guards with starting experience — Morales, Baylen Brown, James Polk and Dominique Robertson, but went into last week’s game with Morales and Robertson (concussion) sidelined.
True freshman Justin Murphy was the next option, but coaches don’t want to use him this year.
Texas Tech offensive tackle Josh Outlaw practiced Tuesday at defensive tackle. It was his first day there.
Offensive line coach Lee Hays said the move was to add depth and linked to defensive lineman Demetrius Alston’s getting hurt in the Red Raiders’ 37-34 loss Saturday to West Virginia.
Hays was asked if it is just an emergency, short-term move.