Texas Tech freshman cornerback Nigel Bethel II got his first start career start Saturday and lined up across fromWest Virginiaflanker Kevin White almost every snap. White tied a career-high with 13 receptions and finished with 123 yards, giving him 100-plus for all sixWest Virginiagames this season.
Tech abandoned its usual field cornerback/boundary cornerback scheme with White always lined up to the right of the formation, covered by Bethel, and split end Mario Alford always to the left, covered by Justis Nelson.
West Virginia’s Mario Alford returned kickoffs for touchdowns this year againstAlabamaandKansasand came in second in the nation in kick-return average. Tech mixed it up against Alford, twice using shorter “sky” kickoffs to keep it out of his hands.
Alford returned the opening kickoff for 32 yards and another in the second quarter on which linebacker Sam Atoe cut him down at the Mountaineers’ 15-yard line.
Kramer Fyfe, who replaced Taylor Symmank on kickoffs two weeks ago, also had three touchbacks on seven kickoffs.
Texas Tech quarterback Davis Webb aggravated an injured left ankle with about 12 minutes left in the Red Raiders’ 37-34 loss Saturday toWest Virginia. He hobbled off after a failed third-down play and had the ankle re-taped, but appeared to be still limping on the next series.
Webb said he rolled the ankle in the third quarter the week before atKansasState.
“No excuses,” Webb said. “Got it taped up and just got to make some completions at the end of the game.”
Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury reiterated Monday he has no plans to take quarterback Davis Webb out of the starting lineup after Webb threw four interceptions Saturday.
Kingsbury was asked if he considered opening up the quarterback competition this week, and he said he is not.
Kingsbury inserted true freshman Patrick Mahomes with a little more than three minutes left to play the last series in Saturday's 45-13 loss at Kansas State.
Texas Tech coaches got creative Saturday in a 45-13 loss at Kansas State. They ran a fake punt, a flea flicker and scored a touchdown on a play not in their playbook.
That’s the measures you take when the regular offense is stagnant.
Tech’s 13 points were a 33-game low and dropped the Red Raiders to tied for 67th among 125 FBS teams in scoring offense. They’re averaging 29.6 points, down from a No. 23 ranking with a 35.8 average last season.
Guard Alfredo Morales and cornerback Jah’Shawn Johnson both will miss Saturday’s game against West Virginia, Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said during his weekly Monday press conference.
Morales got hurt on the third play from scrimmage in Tech’s 45-13 loss Saturday at Kansas State.
“I’m not sure exactly how long,” Kingsbury said, “but he will be out for this week’s game.”
Texas Tech spokesman Blayne Beal announced Thursday that outside linebacker Chris Payne will be on the travel roster for Saturday’s game at Kansas State.
Payne, a senior from Columbia, South Carolina, hasn’t played in a game since Nov. 10, 2012, when Tech beat Kansas 41-34 in double overtime.
Payne was competing to start in the spring of 2013, but was academically ineligible for the 2013 season. He regained his eligibility in January, but suffered a torn Achilles tendon before spring practice and has been rehabbing since.
There’s no position on the Tech team with more depth and experience than guard, where four players have started: Alfredo Morales, James Polk, Baylen Brown and Dominique Robertson. And that’s not counting tackle Le’Raven Clark, who started a full season at guard.
Davis Webb looks good enough to be Texas Tech’s starting quarterback on Saturday, at least. There’s still no indication whether he will be.
Webb was suited up and in full pads, leaving the field with his teammates, when media were let in Tuesday to do post-practice interviews. Tech spokesman Blayne Beal confirmed that Webb did practice.