With one weekend’s games remaining in the Canadian Football League regular season, former Plainview and Tech standout Jamar Wall is tied for the CFL lead with six interceptions.
Edmonton linebacker Dexter McCoil, a first-year player from Tulsa, also has six interceptions.
The 26-year-old Wall, in his third season with the Calgary Stampeders, is fourth on the team with 57 tackles.
The Stampeders are 14-3, having clinched the best record in the league and home field for the Western Final on Nov. 23.
The CFL playoffs start Nov. 16, and the Grey Cup is Nov. 30.
Texas Tech lineman Baylen Brown played nearly the entire second half of Saturday’s game against TCU at right tackle after starter Reshod Fortenberry’s back flared up.
The sophomore from San Antonio O’Connor has eight career starts at guard, but none at tackle. And Brown said he hadn’t practiced much at tackle either.
“Just had to adjust on the fly, yeah,” he said.
Brown moved to the flank from his usual right guard spot, and James Polk took over that position.
“It wasn’t too bad,” Brown said. “I thought I did well. Just keep working on it.”
Middle linebacker Sam Eguavoen’s lower-leg injury that he suffered in the Oct. 18 Kansas game forced Texas Tech interim defensive coordinator Mike Smith to add players to his usual three-man inside linebacker rotation of Eguavoen, V.J. Fehoko and Micah Awe.
Sam Atoe and Malik Jenkins made three tackles each in last week's 82-27 loss against No. 10 TCU. Atoe was credited with a sack and a quarterback pressure, and Jenkins made a tackle for loss.
With the temperature around 90 degrees and TCU throwing deep on many of its 45 pass attempts, Texas Tech substituted at cornerback more than usual last week.
Tevin Madison and La’Darius Newbold both saw some action on defense in relief of starters Nigel Bethel and Justis Nelson. It was the first game action this season for Newbold. The touted 2012 signee slipped to third team during the first half of the season and didn’t make the travel roster some weeks.
Texas Tech has largely dispensed with its field cornerback/boundary cornerback deployment in recent weeks.
Three weeks ago against West Virginia, Nigel Bethel played left corner and Justis Nelson right corner. In last week’s 82-27 loss at No. 10 TCU, Nelson played left corner and Bethel right corner, although backups gave both a breather.
The game before against Kansas, Nelson and Bethel alternated sides each series, but stayed on the same side of the field throughout a possession.
Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said on the Red Raider coaches’ show Thursday night he expects starting receivers Bradley Marquez and Jakeem Grant to play on Saturday at No. 10 TCU.
Marquez aggravated a rib injury last week in a 34-21 win against Kansas and did not finish the game.
Grant came out of the game twice for treatment of shoulder and ankle injuries, then was hospitalized early Sunday for a neck laceration he suffered in at an off-campus melee.
Saturday’s Texas Tech-TCU game will be the 10th anniversary of the Red Raiders’ 70-35 rout of the Horned Frogs in Lubbock.
Tech interim defensive coordinator Mike Smith, safeties coach Trey Haverty and TCU co-offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie were all Tech seniors that season.
Tech ran up 70 points after not scoring on its first seven possessions.
“I remember we were down 21 to 0,” Haverty said this week. “(Mike) Leach called a timeout and gave us some ... profound words. Then we had a little run and put up some points and won the game.”
Brothers Kevin Oliver and Bryson Oliver will be on opposite sidelines Saturday.
Kevin Oliver is a sixth-year member of the Texas Tech staff, now serving in high school relations/quality control.
Bryson Oliver is a first-year graduate assistant at TCU, working on offense. He was a student assistant at Tech from 2007-10.
The Olivers are from Sweetwater.
Tech coaches are committed to redshirting safety Payton Hendrix. The freshman from Dallas Bishop Dunne couldn’t have helped Saturday even if the Red Raiders needed him to with their shallow pool of safeties.
Hendrix’s position coach, Trey Haverty, said he’s sidelined with a groin injury.
“Not that we’d pull a redshirt this late,” Haverty said. “You’ve got to look at what’s best for the program and decide. Right now, we couldn’t even play him if we wanted to, but he’ll be back in the next couple of weeks.”
Texas Tech played a lot of snaps against West Virginia and several more Saturday against Kansas using a defensive front four of Andre Ross, Jackson Richards, Branden Jackson and Pete Robertson. That’s three defensive ends/outside linebackers and one former defensive end.
Playing Ross and Robertson — two quasi-linebackers — at end and moving Jackson to tackle is a way to get more players with pass-rush talent onto the field at once.