After the weekend’s games shook out, idle Texas Tech moved up a spot to No. 1 in the nation in total defense — a far cry from No. 114, where the Red Raiders finished last year. Tech’s yield is 160.3 yards per game, but against Northwestern State, Texas State and New Mexico.
“We have talked to our players about that,” Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said. “It’s good to look and say, ‘Hey, we have improved and we are getting better,’ and we have. But to that extent — being No. 1 — I don’t know whether we are at that point or not, or even close.
Texas Tech offensive coordinator Neal Brown was able to fulfill a preseason goal to get backup quarterback Michael Brewer a lot of playing time early. The redshirt freshman completed 23 for 34 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns, getting into all three non-conference games.
Now his playing time will likely diminish, for the obvious reason that Big 12 Conference games will be much closer.
Three of the 60 voters in The Associated Press Top 25 placed Texas Tech on their ballots this week, the same voters who included the Red Raiders last week. The three voters placed the Red Raiders at No. 21, No. 22 and No. 25, respectively, for a total of 10 points.
Texas Tech’s Oct. 6 home game against Oklahoma has been set for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff with specific television coverage to be determined. The game will be televised by ABC, ESPN or ESPN2. That determination will be made Sunday.
After getting 19 touches in the season opener via 16 rushes and three receptions, running back Eric Stephens wasn’t as busy in game two at Texas State. Stephens carried six times for 62 yards, the highlight being a 46-yard run on third-and-5 from the Tech 6-yard line. He didn’t catch a pass.
Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said Stephens has had some soreness in his surgically repaired knee, which is to be expected.
“You’re not going to go through an injury like that and not have some soreness,” Tuberville said. “I’m just proud of where he’s at.
Texas Tech had 500 yards and converted 10 of 16 third downs in beating Northwestern State 44-6. Even so, offensive cooordinator Neal Brown judged the performance as only “pretty good” and said he’s “not throwing any pep rallies.”
“We’ve got to get better at our run game,” Brown said. “We ran the ball quite a bit. Our production was just OK.
Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville named flanker Marcus Kennard, safety Cody Davis and defensive back Summitt Hogue the team’s offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week, respectively. Scout team players of the week were running back Josh Talbott and defensive end Kindred Evans.
Tuberville gives the awards after victories.
Kennard caught four passes for 40 yards, including 12- and 3-yard touchdowns.
With running backs Kenny Williams, Eric Stephens and SaDale Foster combining for 176 rushing yards and three touchdowns Saturday night, coaches held off playing DeAndre Washington and will try to redshirt him.
Washington played last year as a true freshman until he suffered a torn knee ligament in the next-to-last game. Washington had knee surgery three weeks after Stephens.
What happens if a month from now, Washington is better in practice than one of the other three?
“That’s a good question,” offensive coordinator Neal Brown said Monday. “He’s well enough to play.
Texas Tech outside linebacker Terrance Bullitt will return to the lineup this week, according to Red Raiders coach Tommy Tuberville.
In Saturday’s season opener, Bullitt injured the same shoulder that caused him trouble throughout last season, but Tuberville implied it was more a scare than anything else.
“He’ll be fine,” Tuberville said Monday. “He’ll practice this week.
Quarterback Seth Doege said it wasn’t a setback in preparation that two of his four starting receivers — Eric Ward and Alex Torres — went through spring and preseason practice on a non-contact basis.
Ward suffered a shoulder injury on the first day of spring ball that sidelined him the rest of the way, and was one of three players with concussion histories that were non-contact in August.
Torres is coming back from knee surgery.
“Even though they might have worn a non-contact jersey, they were still getting pressed (in coverage),” Doege said.