Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury indicated Monday, Sept. 9, that he doesn’t anticipate a quick comeback for Michael Brewer, his most illuminating comments to date on the Red Raiders’ injured quarterback.
Brewer hasn’t practiced in a month because of a back injury. That being the case, I asked Kingsbury during his weekly news conference how much practice time Brewer will need once he is cleared to make himself a viable option again.
Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury on Monday said guard Beau Carpenter and inside receiver Jordan Davis are “day-to-day”, Carpenter with an ankle sprain and Davis with a tweaked hamstring. He said safety Tre Porter, who came out of the game late on Friday, was “just tired” and is fine for this week.
Carpenter was in a walking boot, then on crutches as he went to the locker room after the game Friday.
Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury has said several times that the proliferation of spread-passing offenses makes giving up yards inevitable, so his goal is to force turnovers and limit teams to field goals.
Tech came up with no turnovers Friday, but tough red-zone defense was key to the team’s 41-23 victory Friday at SMU.
“At times, we were really stingy,” defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt said Monday, “especially in the red zone. Our guys were bowing their neck and playing aggressive and not giving up touchdowns.”
Co-defensive coordinator Mike Smith can foresee a day when Zach Barnes and Malik Jenkins are key players on the Texas Tech defense. When asked Tuesday which newcomers have a chance to help early, Smith said those two have stood out in preseason practice.
Barnes, who Tech lists at 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, has moved from Tech’s “bandit” outside linebacker to defensive end. The freshman from Loganville, Ga., is learning behind senior Dartwan Bush and sophomore Branden Jackson. Jenkins, listed at 6-2 and 205, is a middle linebacker.
Rashad Fortenberry will start at right tackle in the season opener, Texas Tech offensive line coach Lee Hays said, after finally getting enough time in training camp to win the job. The 6-foot-5, 297-pound senior missed most of spring practice with an ankle injury and the start of August workouts coming back from meniscus surgery.
“Right now, Rashad’s starting to come on,” Hays said Tuesday. “I’m excited about how much he’s improved. I’ve gotten a chance to see him get after it a little bit. He was hurt the first half of camp, really, but I’m excited about him.”
Texas Tech co-offensive coordinator Eric Morris could play a couple of true freshmen at inside receiver positions this year. The “H” and “Y” inside receiver spots both are two-deep with returnees, but February signees Dylan Cantrell from Whitehouse and Carlos Thompson from Manvel will travel for the SMU game, Morris indicated Tuesday, and are being prepared to play.
The 5-foot-9, 173-pound Thompson was a low-profile recruit despite a 67-catch, 1,400-yard senior season at a Class 5A high school. He could get some snaps behind Jakeem Grant and Sadale Foster.
The $5.3 million in annual donations to the Red Raider Club that Texas Tech announced last week will be sufficient to cover scholarship costs for all athletes, a Tech official said.
According to Amy Heard, associate athletic director/Red Raider Club, the total tab for athletic scholarships for fall, spring and summer comes to $5.217 million.
It’s the first time donations have met or exceeded scholarship costs, according to Tech officials. In recent years, annual shortfalls have been in the range of $2 million to $3 million, according to reports in the Avalanche-Journal.
Texas Tech fullback Omar Ontiveros played in 19 games the last two years, primarily on special teams and getting limited time on offense as a blocking back. Those chances won’t be any easier to come by this season.
The Red Raiders aren’t planning many big-back sets, according to running backs coach Mike Jinks, and he doesn’t want Kenny Williams and DeAndre Washington spending much time on the sideline.
Texas Tech freshman Jalen Barnes posted Tuesday on his Instagram account that he had shoulder surgery and will be out for the season. Crawford included a picture of himself with his arm in a sling, saying he was “fresh out of surgery.”
That development means junior-college transfer Dorian Crawford or redshirt freshman Keenon Ward could be J.J. Gaines’ backup at strong safety. Crawford and Barnes were competing for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart.
Sam Eguavoen and Will Smith are the frontrunners to secure the starting inside linebacker jobs in the Texas Tech’s 3-4 defense.
“Those guys have really emerged,” defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt said Monday, “and then we still have really good depth.”