Eric Ward’s 13 catches Friday against SMU constituted the second-highest total of his career, and the performance was notable for a couple of reasons: He caught seven passes in a couple of quick bursts and he wasn’t feeling it at halftime.
The Texas Tech senior wide receiver was slow coming out of the locker room and then missed part of the third quarter while trainers checked on him.
“What happened was, it was so hot out there, in pre-game you sweat a lot and I wasn’t taking enough fluids, obviously,” he said. “I was dehydrated. I started to cramp, so I had to go get some Powerades and fluids in me. It was cramping all over the field.”
Ward had six catches for 50 yards after the third quarter and finished with 13 for 150.
On the series in which Tech extended its lead to 27-16, Baker Mayfield threw to Ward on the first four plays as Tech moved from its 22-yard line to the SMU 30. On the next series, Mayfield threw to Ward another three times in a row, and he advanced the ball from the Tech 34 to the SMU 14, setting up a touchdown pass to Jakeem Grant and a 34-16 lead.
“When your number’s called, you’ve just got to make a play,” Ward said. “I just went out there and did my job like I was supposed to.”
Ward’s absence gave Shawn Corker added playing time.
“He did his job well,” Ward said.
Ward went over 2,000 career receiving yards during the game. Among active players in the FBS, he ranks fourth in career catches (185), ninth in receiving yards (2,066) and third in receiving touchdowns (23).
Compiled by Don Williams