It took some time to gain traction, but Texas Tech provided the type of offensive fireworks during a Friday night scrimmage at Jones AT&T Stadium fans hope will be a trademark of the Kliff Kingsbury era.
The Red Raiders scored touchdowns on eight straight series during one stretch, highlighted by an electric 65-yard pass from Michael Brewer to Jakeem Grant, who caught the ball at the 50-yard line, juked past a defender and turned on the jets to beat linebacker Will Smith to the goal line.
“I thought the offense started really slow,” Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “The defense was getting after them. After that it kind of switched. It was good to see both sides exchange punches. Energy was good, effort was good.”
Grant, the electric sophomore who finished the night with four catches for 125 yards, had caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Brewer one play before the 65-yarder.
“He’s the one guy on the team that can run like that and leave people behind,” Kingsbury said.
Despite its blistering pace in the second half of the scrimmage, it took the offense some time to get the wheels turning. A 30-yard interception return by La’Darius Newbold off Brewer and a sack for a safety by linebacker Will Smith were part of a strong start from the defense.
After a short break in the action, Kingsbury gathered the offense and challenged the unit not to waste any more opportunities in front of the 5,867 fans in attendance.
“He was just trying to get into us because we started so slow,” said junior receiver Jordan Davis, who caught seven passes for 85 yards and two touchdowns. “He was just trying get us in gear.”
It worked. After the defense came up with two straight stops in goal-line defense sequences, the offense began its touchdown streak with a pair of 8-yard touchdown passes — the first from Davis Webb to Dominique Wheeler, the next from Brewer to Davis.
On the next series, Brewer found Quinton White in the open field, and the redshirt freshman running back spun around and sprinted into the end zone. It was part of an impressive evening for White, who rushed nine times for 71 yards, including a 35-yard touchdown run off the right side.
“He had some great runs,” Kingsbury said. “He does everything you ask in practice. Coach (Mike) Jinks does a great job with him. He’s come a long way from day one, so I’ve been really pleased with his progress.”
Both quarterbacks had bright spots in their performances Friday, and Kingsbury said he was most impressed with the way Davis and Brewer bounced back after slow starts. At one point, the defense thwarted the offense in five consecutive short-field situations, leading to two failed fourth downs, two Kramer Fyfe field goals and a missed field goal.
“I was impressed they hung in there,” Kingsbury said of the quarterbacks. “They didn’t get rattled. It was ugly early, but they kept going and made some great throws at the end. That’s what you want, short-term memory.”
Brewer, the sophomore from Austin Lake Travis, completed 20 of 31 passes for 281 yards and four touchdowns. Webb, the freshman from Prosper, was 12 of 23 for 135 yards and three TDs.
Webb’s best throw actually came early in the scrimmage. On fourth down from the defense’s 37-yard line, he rolled to his right as the pocket collapsed and delivered a strike on the run to Davis for a touchdown. Webb also tossed a 19-yard touchdown pass to Derreck Edwards.
Brewer had touchdowns passes of 8, 14, 19 and 65 yards.
Kenny Williams returned to the field after sitting out the Midland scrimmage last week and rushed 12 times for 48 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught four passes for 22 yards.
“It was good to have Kenny back,” Kingsbury said. “He’s a great runner, tough runner.”
Running back DeAndre Washington, who played well in Midland, didn’t play Friday “for precautionary reasons,” Kingsbury said.
TEXAS TECH SCRIMMAGE
at Jones AT&T Stadium
Kenny Williams 2 run (Ryan Bustin kick)
Jordan Davis 37 pass from Davis Webb (Bustin kick)
Safety, Will Smith sacked Michael Brewer in end zone
FG Kramer Fyfe 30
FG Fyfe 23
Dominique Wheeler 8 pass from Webb (Fyfe kick)
Davis 8 pass from Brewer (Seth Mannon kick)
Quinton White 14 pass from Brewer (kick failed)
Derreck Edwards 19 pass from Webb (Mannon kick)
Williams 7 run (Mannon kick)
Jakeem Grant 19 pass from Brewer (Mannon kick)
Grant 65 pass from Brewer (Fyfe kick)
White 35 run (Fyfe kick)
RUSHING: White 9-71, Williams 12-48, Sadale Foster 4-23, Webb 4-8, Clayton Nicholas 1-3, Grant 1-(-4), Brewer 5-(-37).
PASSING: Brewer 20-31-1—281, Webb 12-23-0—135, Nicholas 0-2-0—0.
RECEIVING: Davis 7-85, Grant 4-125, Williams 4-22, Brad Pearson 3-60, Brent Mitcham 3-31, White 3-25, Jace Amaro 3-21, Foster 2-11, Edwards 1-19, Reginald Davis 1-9, Wheeler 1-8.
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