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Stephens' status uncertain after injury

Eric Stephens went down with a left knee injury as the Red Raiders fell to the Aggies in their first loss of the season.

Posted: October 9, 2011 - 12:37am  |  Updated: October 9, 2011 - 12:44am
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Texas Tech's Eric Stephens looks for running room on Saturday. The Red Raiders running back was injured in the fourth quarter, rode a cart off the field and did not return.  AP
AP
Texas Tech's Eric Stephens looks for running room on Saturday. The Red Raiders running back was injured in the fourth quarter, rode a cart off the field and did not return.
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Texas Tech’s loss to No. 24 Texas A&M on Saturday night might have been a double whammy.

Not only do the Red Raiders have to recover from their first loss, but a big part of their offensive attack could be in jeopardy after durable running back Eric Stephens went down with a left knee injury with Tech driving late in the third quarter.

There was no immediate report on the extent of the injury, but Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said, “It doesn’t look good.”

“Obviously, he’s been very productive,” Tech quarterback Seth Doege said. “He’s been maybe the best offensive player on this team. He’s a great guy, great leader, so it’s going to hurt.”

The Red Raiders would sorely miss Stephens if he’s gone for any length of time. The 5-foot-8, 195-pound junior from Mansfield Timberview came into the week as the nation’s 13th-leading rusher, averaging 22 carries and 117 yards a game.

He topped 20 carries and 100 rushing yards in four of the first five games, reaching 102 yards on 22 attempts in the 45-40 loss to the Aggies. The Red Raiders don’t have anyone else with more than 107 rushing yards this season.

“It becomes difficult,” offensive coordinator Neal Brown said. “I don’t’ want to talk about it tonight, because Eric just got hurt. I’m down about it, because the kid means a lot to me and he’s done a lot for our program and he’s a great kid. But tomorrow what we’ll do is somebody else will step up.”

Stephens got hurt on first-and-goal from the 5, trying to work back toward Doege and catch a pass that fell incomplete. Aggies outside linebacker Damontre Moore hit Stephens in the back of the left leg, causing the Red Raiders running back to twist backward with his leg pinned.

Both players were down for several minutes before Moore got up and left the field under his own power.

The Tech medical staff immobilized Stephens’ injured leg as he lay on the field. Then they loaded him onto a motorized cart, and Stephens sat up and flashed Tech’s guns-up hand sign as he was carried from the stadium.

Senior Aaron Crawford and true freshman DeAndre Washington took Stephens’ place the rest of the game, and Crawford wound up with 22 yards on seven carries. The Red Raiders also have used true freshmen Ronnie Daniels and Kenny Williams this season. “We’ll have to evaluate that tomorrow,” Tuberville said. “It’s not good, but I thought Aaron Crawford did a good job coming in. He’ll get his opportunities, (as will) DeAndre Washington, Kenny Williams. We’ve just got to go on with what we have. We do have some depth. We just don’t have a lot of experience.”

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cheap shot

it was a cheap Aggie shot hope your proud,Sherman

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cheap shot

Not the only one, either. I watched several like that. The Aggies came to win, anyway they could. Yes, they are good, but they are being taught/allowed to do things I don't think are above board.

Lots of lowering of the head and low hits, intended to hurt as well as tackle. This is a rivalry that needs to end. Most of the Aggies that I know don't consider it a rivalry anyway. Is that arrogance or what?

Oh, the player that nailed Stephens was injured as well? I wonder...or did he know what he did and try to hide it a little?

A&M has some really good players. They can likely go against anyone and make a game of it. I'm not saying we could have won. It's a shame to have the staff allow the kind of play we saw last night. Hope they are proud of themselves.

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You're right

Flatlander is right. This is one tradition the aggies have gotten pretty good at.

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It looked like Moore fell

It looked like Moore fell into the knee. It looked more unfortunate than intentional. At least MLU fans only booed downed Aggies.

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What I hope is that it's not

What I hope is that it's not to late for medical redshift. This gives Eric two more years that he deserves. He reminds me of James Gray.

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Classless

Cheap shot? You three can't be serious. You obviously weren't watching the same game. I noticed you didn't mention the helmet-to-helmet hit on Tannehill's second touchdown. And to cheer for injuries and trash the buses - what a classless bunch of worthless trash. Good thing you're in the Big XII-III because no other conference would want you.

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