Texas Tech played most of Saturday’s game with an all-freshman secondary after free safety Keenon Ward was knocked out of the game with a head injury while making a tackle on the third play.
The Red Raiders already were without starting safety J.J. Gaines (shoulder) and cornerback Justis Nelson (head injury), who got hurt the week before. Ward’s injury left them with Tevin Madison and Nigel Bethel at cornerback and Jalen Barnes and Derrick Dixon at safety – all except Barnes being a true freshman.
Texas Tech recruited Jah’Shawn Johnson to play safety. And he’s going to, after the detour to cornerback that started his college career.
The freshman from Ennis has been switched to safety and joined that position group for meetings while he recovers from shoulder surgery, safeties coach Trey Haverty said Monday.
Johnson played the first four games at cornerback before he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. He made five tackles and an interception.
Twice on its first offensive series Saturday, Texas Tech was flagged for illegal procedure in third-and-short situations. Both times, the Red Raiders hadTylerScalzi lined up at tight end and at least once the Red Raiders gestured toward the Sooners.
“That was what I was told, was they were simulating a snap count,” Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “But that goes on, and you just have to be focused and sit in there. That’s inexcusable, whether they’re doing it or not.”
Texas Tech lost two starting defensive backs in its 42-30 loss Saturday with cornerback Justis Nelson suffering a head injury and not playing after the first series and strong safety J.J. Gaines leaving with a shoulder injury in the fourth quarter.
Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said Nelson was held out for precautionary reasons. Nelson broke up a pass during his one series, his 14th of the season. He came into the game tied for second in the FBS in that category.
Texas Tech had three staff members holding up towels throughout the team's 42-30 loss Saturday to shield its defensive play calls fromOklahomacoaches in the press box.
“Obviously, with the situation we had earlier in the year,” Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said, “I’m sure our signals had been passed around. So we’ve changed some up, and they just wanted to make sure.”
Quarterbacks Davis Webb and Patrick Mahomes both have practiced this week and will be available for Saturday's game against Oklahoma, Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said Thursday on the weekly Tech football coaches show.
Kingsbury did not name a starter.
"They have both been sharp," Kingsbury said. "I feel confident in both guys getting it done."
Saturday’s the final home game for Texas Tech senior Sam Eguavoen.
Even better for Eguavoen: It looks as if he’ll be playing in it.
The Red Raiders’ middle linebacker said Monday he’s “a hundred percent” and will be good to go against Oklahoma after he missed the last two games with compartment syndrome in his right calf.
“Had to cut it open and then stitch it back up, let my muscles relax,” Eguavoen said.
Tech will recognize 20 players — 18 seniors and two juniors who are leaving the program early — before Saturday’s game against Oklahoma.
Inside receiver Brad Pearson and cornerback Brandon Bagley, both listed as juniors, are going through the senior day ceremonies.
Pearson has eight career catches, including career highs of three receptions in last year’s Stephen F. Austin game and three more in the Red Raiders’ most recent game against Texas.
He’s scheduled to graduate in May with a degree in energy commerce.
With one weekend’s games remaining in the Canadian Football League regular season, former Plainview and Tech standout Jamar Wall is tied for the CFL lead with six interceptions.
Edmonton linebacker Dexter McCoil, a first-year player from Tulsa, also has six interceptions.
The 26-year-old Wall, in his third season with the Calgary Stampeders, is fourth on the team with 57 tackles.
The Stampeders are 14-3, having clinched the best record in the league and home field for the Western Final on Nov. 23.
The CFL playoffs start Nov. 16, and the Grey Cup is Nov. 30.
Texas Tech lineman Baylen Brown played nearly the entire second half of Saturday’s game against TCU at right tackle after starter Reshod Fortenberry’s back flared up.
The sophomore from San Antonio O’Connor has eight career starts at guard, but none at tackle. And Brown said he hadn’t practiced much at tackle either.
“Just had to adjust on the fly, yeah,” he said.
Brown moved to the flank from his usual right guard spot, and James Polk took over that position.
“It wasn’t too bad,” Brown said. “I thought I did well. Just keep working on it.”