Patrick Mahomes II said he’s so used to playing with the left knee brace he’s worn for the past eight games that he doesn’t notice it. He’s not even sure if he could have done better without it. He ran 484 yards and 10 touchdowns during the regular season and leads the FBS in total offense at 397.3 yards per game.
HOUSTON -- Texas Tech’s situation seems to be a perfect storm of how not to prepare for LSU star Leonard Fournette in Tuesday's Texas Bowl. Fournette’s all-America credentials versus Tech’s 125th ranked rushing defense is mismatch enough on paper, but the Red Raiders also are working with a piecemeal young defensive staff after Kliff Kingsbury fired three assistants last month.
Davis Webb’s future is expected to be determined shortly after the Texas Bowl. The Toledo Blade reported this month that the Tech quarterback will follow new head coach Mike Jinks from Tech to Bowling Green, though Tech’s made no acknowledgment along those lines.
Webb was the Holiday Bowl offensive MVP two years ago and the starter the first eight games last season, but Patrick Mahomes II has held the job the last 16 games.
HOUSTON -- Texas Tech’s last practice Sunday for the Texas Bowl took place at Houston Methodist Training Center, the Houston Texans’ indoor facility right next to NRG Stadium.
Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said, with rain possible, he didn’t want to take chances.
“It’s our perfect-play Thursday (equivalent),” he said, “and we wanted to make sure it was crisp and clean.”
A series of posts of posts showed up Saturday on Texas Tech safety Derrick Dixon’s Twitter page indicating disenchantment with the program and frustration with a lack of playing time.
The same day the Red Raiders were beating Kansas State 59-44, Dixon’s account showed the following:
“Bro I want to play football again this school taking me for granted”;
“Tired of sitting back and watching knowing the talent that I have”;
“True freshman last year to not even traveling”;
“Say what you want to say but I’m not happy here”;
“This was suppose to be my year”.
Texas Tech ranks No. 38 of 127 FBS teams in rushing offense, putting the team on pace for its highest finish in that category in 17 years.
Tech finished 24th in the nation in rushing in 1998, the year Ricky Williams ran for 1,582 yards and made second-team all-America. That team averaged 201.7 yards rushing per game and 4.1 yards per attempt.
This season, the Red Raiders are averaging 196.8 yards rushing per game and 5.6 per attempt.
Jakeem Grant said Monday his injured left shoulder is OK, nothing that will keep him from playing on Thanksgiving night at Texas.
The Texas Tech receiver came out from the pain of a hard hit twice in the second half Saturday, but went back in the fray both times. He said he suffered a shoulder stinger when he got popped by Kansas State cornerback Duke Shelley.
“It doesn’t matter what’s hurting,” Grant said. “I don’t care if I have a broken wrist, a broken toe, anything, I’m going to go back in the game and sell out for my team.”
As well as the Texas Tech offensive line played Saturday, line coach Lee Hays said left tackle Le’Raven Clark was the best of the bunch by a long shot.
“It wasn’t a close second,” Hays said Monday. “I felt like he dominated and really, really looked like an all-American up front. It was unbelievable to watch him work this week.
“The week before (at West Virginia), he had a great game, too. The rest of the cats weren’t as physical as we wanted to be up front.”
Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes II will have to be cognizant this week of big-play Oklahoma cornerback Zack Sanchez. On Monday, the junior from Keller Central was named the Big 12 defensive player of the week for the second time this season and the third time in the Sooners’ last 14 games.
“He’s not a guy that’s afraid to gamble, and that pays off for him a lot of times and sometimes it doesn’t,” Tech offensive coordinator Eric Morris said. “Great cover guy. He’s a long guy that’s a fiery player. I love watching him on tape. I love the way he plays the game.”
Texas Tech defensive coordinator David Gibbs used the term “a little flustered” to describe how Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield looked in the early going of the Longhorns’ 24-17 victory two weeks ago in Dallas.
Later in his media session on Monday, Gibbs was asked if he’d try to “fluster” the Sooners the way the Longhorns did.
“We can’t fluster anybody,” Gibbs said. “We fluster ourselves.”
Tech visits OU at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
Tech’s allowing 37 points and 554 yards per game, figures that rank 113th and 122nd, respectively, in the FBS out of 127 teams.