Doege an O’Brien semifinalist
Texas Tech’s Seth Doege made the cut to 16 semifinalists for the Davey O’Brien Award, which goes to the nation’s top quarterback. The senior from Frenship leads the nation in touchdown passes with 28.
The semifinalists were announced Monday. Among the others are Collin Klein from Kansas State, Landry Jones from Oklahoma, Geno Smith from West Virginia, Nick Florence from Baylor and Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M.
The Big 12’s five semifinalists is the most for any conference. No other league has more than three.
Five on the list also were semifinalists last year: Doege, Jones, Southern Cal’s Matt Barkley, Clemson’s Tajh Boyd and Michigan’s Denard Robinson.
There is a fan vote component through www.VoteOBrien.org.
The three finalists will be announced on Nov. 19, and the winner announced during the annual college football awards show scheduled for Dec. 6 on ESPN.
Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville didn’t say tight end Jace Amaro, cornerback Cornelius Douglas and nickel back Tre Porter would miss Saturday’s game at No. 4 Kansas State, but he didn’t say any of them would play either.
Amaro and Douglas both got hurt in Tech’s Oct. 6 win over West Virginia, Porter in Tech’s victory Saturday against TCU. Amaro is recovering from an internal injury suffered when he was blasted in the midsection by a West Virginia linebacker.
The two defensive backs, Douglas and Porter, both have knee injuries.
Tuberville said during his weekly Monday news conference that Porter and Douglas both were running, though not actually participating, in Sunday’s workout. Players have Monday off.
Of Porter, Tuberville said, “I don’t know what day of the week he’ll practice, but they feel good about him.”
Jarvis Phillips backs up Porter at nickel back. Tuberville said he does not want to use a cornerback who’s not at 100 percent, so that will determine Douglas’ return date. Bruce Jones has played virtually all of the last two games in his place.
“It’s going to be close,” Tuberville said of Douglas, “but he’s a lot further along than I would have thought. Last week, he was kind of limping around. Yesterday, he looked pretty good.”
Amaro, the Red Raiders’ big sophomore tight end, got hurt in the same game he put up career best numbers of five receptions for 156 yards and a touchdown.
“Jace is still bruised up,” Tuberville said. “He’s day to day. He was in meetings yesterday going through everything, so we’ll just have to wait and see when the doctors will eventually release him. But he’s anxious and eager to get back out.”
Finally, a letdown
Tech is No. 7 in the nation in total defense, down three spots from last week.
After watching his team allow 516 yards and 53 points to TCU, Tech coach Tommy Tuberville expressed dissatisfaction with his defense for the first time all season.
“That was the first time we’ve seen our defense all year long (where) we lined up wrong, we played the wrong gaps,” Tuberville said. “We didn’t look like we were totally into what we were trying to execute game plan-wise, and we didn’t tackle very well.”
When asked later which position group needed to improve most to give the team a chance this week at No. 4 Kansas State, Tuberville said the linebackers.
“They’ve played some good games,” he said. “Last week, they were out of position. For some reason, we just did not look confident in stopping the run. ... We just looked like we were in a different world Saturday compared to the other games where we’ve played some good running teams and played pretty well.”
Tech coach Tommy Tuberville was asked again Monday about the Red Raiders’ conservative three-play series late in regulation against TCU. Trying to protect a 36-33 lead, Tech opted for three running plays then punted as the clock dwindled from 2:23 to 1:20.
The play selection became a topic of debate after TCU subsequently drove 56 yards for the tying field goal, forcing overtime and grabbing momentum.
“They made one good drive before that. We didn’t think they could do it again, but they did,” Tuberville said. “ ... We always go back and look at those scenarios of what decision we made, why we made it, would we change it?”
Tech took possession at its own 49-yard after recovering an onside kick, and the runs went nowhere. Eric Stephens made 1 yard on first down out of the wildcat formation, then 2 on second down. On third-and-7, Sadale Foster took a snap in the wildcat and was thrown for a 2-yard loss.
By calling three rushing plays, the Red Raiders forced TCU to use its last two timeouts. Then they let the clock run after the third-down play before taking a delay-of-game penalty in punt formation.
Tech was one first down away from being able to run out the clock with kneeldowns.
“Probably, you’d like to say, ‘Hey, man, we should have gone out there and tried to make that first down by throwing one or two,’” Tuberville said. “But what if you throw it to them and they run it back?”
Tech QB Seth Doege has had six interceptions, two returned for touchdowns, in the last four games.
“Now that it’s over with and we won it, we made the right decision,” Tuberville said. “But if we hadn’t (won), it would have been the wrong one.”
Time management issues
Tech coach Tommy Tuberville wasn’t happy that his team had to use three timeouts at the 8:08, 7:13 and 6:40 marks of the fourth quarter Saturday, all on one offensive series. The latter came because of personnel confusion before a two-point conversion after Tech took a 27-26 lead.
“Just the organization of our sideline wasn’t near as good as it’s been,” he said.
Tech-UT time not set
ABC and FOX exercised a six-day advance option on Big 12 Conference games of Nov. 3, so the kickoff time of Texas Tech’s home game against Texas won’t be determined until late Saturday or Sunday.
The possible start times, Tech spokesman Blayne Beal said, are 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. A 2 p.m. game would be televised on FOX. For any of the other times, it would be shown on ABC.
Bowl ticket plans
Tech will begin taking bowl ticket requests at 8:30 a.m. today from season-ticket holders and Red Raider Club members.
Tech said first priority goes to season-ticket holders and Red Raider Club members at the $100 level. They can submit requests online at TexasTech.com or by calling the Tech ticket office at (806) 742-8300 or (806) 742-8324.
Tech gained bowl eligibility Saturday, improving to 6-1 with its win at TCU.
Players of week
The team’s in-house player of the week awards went to wide receivers Eric Ward and Alex Torres for offense, end Dartwan Bush for defense and punter Ryan Erxleben for special teams.
Scout team players of the week were freshman linebacker Kris Williams and sophomore running back DeAndre Washington.
In Tech’s win at TCU, Ward caught six passes for 61 yards and three touchdowns, and Torres caught five passes for 53 yards and two TDs. Bush was credited with five tackles and a sack.
Compiled by Don Williams