J.J. Gaines’ two interceptions Saturday gave him four for the season, tying the Texas Tech defensive back for sixth in that department in the FBS.
Defensive coordinator David Gibbs moved Gaines from safety to cornerback at the start of the year to protect the senior’s surgically repaired shoulders. However, Gaines’ production in the Red Raiders’ 66-31 victory against Iowa State -- with him making his first start at safety this season -- means he’s likely to stay for a while at the position he played for most of his career.
Texas Tech coaches last week moved true freshman Donta Thompson from outside receiver to “Y” inside receiver, offensive coordinator Eric Morris said Monday.
“We’re going to try to put 20 pounds on him and make him into a little bit of a smaller (Jace) Amaro,” Morris said.
The Ennis graduate reported this summer at 6-foot-4 and 203 pounds. He caught 77 passes for 1,453 yards and 16 touchdowns last season for Ennis’ Class 5A Division II.
Split end Devin Lauderdale, who missed Texas Tech’s 66-31 win Saturday against Iowa State, will be back this week, coach Kliff Kingsbury said Monday. Lauderdale suffered what Kingsbury previously described as “internal bruising” on a hit he took in the Red Raiders’ loss the week before against Baylor.
In his last 12 games, dating to his emergence at mid-season last year, Lauderdale has 39 catches for 812 yards — a 20.8-yard average — and 10 TDs.
Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury acknowledged Monday that Dylan Cantrell, the team’s projected starting flanker in August, probably will redshirt this season because of his ongoing back problem.
“I would expect that, after this week, that’s probably the direction we’ll go,” Kingsbury said.
The junior from Whitehouse hasn’t redshirted previously, so this year would work like a regular redshirt season. Cantrell has been limited to rehabilitation, and Kingsbury said he would not return this week.
Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said the injury split end Devin Lauderdale suffered Saturday in the Red Raiders' 63-35 loss to Baylor was “internal bruising” in his upper body, but declined to be more specific.
Lauderdale left the game in the second quarter after catching passes on back-to-back plays and didn’t return. On the first play from scrimmage after Baylor took a 21-7 lead, Lauderdale got cracked by defensive end K.J. Smith for no gain on a tunnel screen.
Nigel Bethel saw his first game action of the season Saturday and got mixed reviews. Texas Tech's sophomore cornerback was credited with two tackles and a pass breakup, but also got flagged twice for pass interference during the Red Raiders' 63-35 loss to Baylor.
“(He) looked like Nigel from last year to me,” defensive coordinator David Gibbs said. “He’s actually practiced good the last couple of weeks, and he earned the right to go play again. And he played like the rest of them — not very good. That’s coaching.”
Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury confirmed Monday that sophomore defensive end Talor Nunez and redshirt freshman fullback Stanton Keane are out for the season with knee injuries.
Both players are former walk-ons who had begun to make a name for themselves. Nunez was placed on scholarship in August, led the team in touch sacks in preseason practices, according to co-defensive coordinator Mike Smith, and began the season as the top backup to Branden Jackson.
If Ian Sadler can’t play this week, Jonathan Giles and Zach Austin would be the 1-2 at “Y” inside receiver, Texas Tech offensive coordinator Eric Morris said Monday.
It might not work out that way in real time, though. Morris said there could be some shuffling to get the four best options on the field. Giles is a true freshman, Austin a sophomore with no career catches.
A who’s who of Texas Tech football greats is expected to be back in town this weekend in conjunction with the Red Raiders’ game Saturday against No. 3 TCU.
Zach Thomas and about 40 of Thomas’ former Tech teammates and coaches are on the list. So are former all-Americans Tracy Saul, Wes Welker, Marcus Coleman and Bam Morris, according to Rodney Allison, director of the Double T Varsity Club.
The Texas Tech offense’s preparation for Saturday's game agianst TCU comes with some guesswork, considering the Horned Frogs have lost eight projected defensive starters just since the beginning of the season.
Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury trusts TCU coach Gary Patterson’s reputation as a defensive whiz to still field a representative unit. He said not being certain of all the names and numbers on the other side isn’t a big factor in preparation.