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.
Texas Tech special teams coach Darrin Chiaverini had a message Tuesday for punt-return specialist Cameron Batson: Keep applyign yourself, and eventually one of your big returns will count.
The freshman from Oklahoma City Millwood had a 48-yard punt return erased because of an illegal block in Tech’s 34-21 victory Saturday against Kansas. He had a 37-yard return wiped out because of holding in the Sept. 25 Tech-Oklahoma State game.
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.