Each week, we break down Texas Tech’s most recent game to find five key developments pertaining to the Red Raiders. Here are five facets that were noteworthy from Tech’s 61-13 home victory Saturday against Stephen F. Austin.
A fast start
One of the best ways to beat a lower-division opponent is to not be lethargic early. Texas Tech was anything but sluggish against Stephen F. Austin, scoring touchdowns on its first four possessions and 45 points in the first half. The Red Raiders had 259 yards in the first quarter. They finished with 731 yards, most since the 2009 Kansas State game (739).
No one’s saying Stephen F. Austin’s is a great team, or even a great FCS team. But the Lumberjacks do have a senior quarterback and did put up 40 points and 564 yards in the season opener. Nevertheless, the Tech defense was having none of that, allowing just a trick-play TD in the first three quarters. And NG Jackson Richards and LB Zach Winbush came up with the team’s first takeaways in seven regular-season games. So that drought’s over.
Tech coaches are trying to be creative at finding ways to use Jakeem Grant’s speed. In each of the first two games, he’s taken handoffs at running back. On Saturday, Grant scored a 42-yard touchdown on which he came in motion behind the quarterback, caught a swing pass out to the right and then wove his way through traffic to score.
A game that was 45-7 at halftime easily could have become boring. Carlos Thompson kept it from descending to that, at least for Tech fans. The freshman slot receiver returned a punt 35 yards and returned a free kick after a safety for 73 yards. Sadale Foster is Tech’s No. 1 punt-return choice, Jakeem Grant the same for kickoff returns, but Thompson gives coaches a new option to keep in mind.
Many Tech fans were hopeful that, based on Baker Mayfield’s success, coaches would try to redshirt true freshman quarterback Davis Webb. Kliff Kingsbury said that was never a thought, and he removed any suspense by playing Webb the entire second half. So there’s no guesswork about the team’s first two QBs, at least not until Michael Brewer gets back. If Mayfield were to get hurt, at least Webb’s had a little game action.
Compiled by Don Williams