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Texas Tech football notes for Sept. 10

Brewer update

Posted: September 9, 2013 - 3:24pm  |  Updated: September 9, 2013 - 11:38pm
  Michael Strong Photography
Michael Strong Photography
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Brewer update

Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury indicated Monday that he doesn’t anticipate a quick return for Michael Brewer, his most illuminating comments to date on the Red Raiders’ injured quarterback.

Brewer hasn’t practiced in a month because of a back injury. Kingsbury was asked Monday during his weekly news conference how much practice time Brewer will need once he is cleared to make himself a viable option again.

“I think quite a bit,” Kingsbury said. “We have that bye week coming up, which should help, but I would assume it’s going to be an extended period of time before we feel like he’d be game ready. It’s not easy with the style of play that we have, up tempo, and how much we put on our quarterback to just roll right in and pick it up.”

That seems to indicate freshman quarterback Baker Mayfield will get the nod for at least the next two games — Thursday against TCU and Sept. 21 against Texas State.

The open date to which Kingsbury referred is Sept. 28.

And then the question becomes, has Mayfield won the job anyway?

Kingsbury said after Saturday’s 61-13 Tech victory that Mayfield still has to earn the position on a weekly basis, but that he feels very confident his young quarterback is ready to face TCU.

Mayfield has taken the opportunity and run with it during Brewer’s absence, completing 71 percent of his passes for 780 yards and seven touchdowns during the first two games.

Brewer’s hometown newspaper, the Austin American-Statesman, recently reported he will see a back specialist this week to determine if he can return to practice.

“I talk to (trainer) Anthony (Pass) every day, and he updates me and says it’s day-to-day,” Kingsbury said, “and I expect him to be throwing very soon.”

 

Noticing the screen

The new Texas Tech video board made its debut Saturday night in the 61-13 win over Stephen F. Austin.

Sophomore linebacker Micah Awe noticed that it added to the atmosphere in Jones AT&T Stadium.

“Oh, yeah,” Awe said. “It definitely does. Before I came here, I used to play NCAA, and the home field advantage — you do the little R3 button to pump up the crowd.

“ Last year, with the old screen it wasn’t really effective. But now on the big screen, they see you (waving your arms, exhorting fans), and the crowd can see in HD. We have that sound system, the video board, the HD. Getting the crowd pumped isn’t as hard as it was before.

“That makes a huge difference. Another team sees you doing the same thing, too. They’re right there, and they might be jealous that they don’t have a TV as big as ours.”

While it amplified the excitement, it also helped out the receivers.

Junior wide receiver Bradley Marquez said that he used the screen on his 60-yard touchdown reception.

“Absolutely I did. The whole way,” he said. “It’s a big rear-view mirror.”

Junior tight end Jace Amaro joked that if he had looked at the screen, he wouldn’t have been caught from behind at the SFA 8-yard line on a 47-yard reception.

 

Now is his chance

Tech freshman quarterback Baker Mayfield reportedly wanted to play for TCU coming out of high school.

Mayfield had to change his outlook when the Horned Frogs didn’t come through with a scholarship offer.

Mayfield’s chance to show the Frogs what they missed out on comes Thursday when TCU visits Tech.

“I didn’t think he was a walk-on,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said in an item published Monday in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “He was a guy that came to our camp, We really thought he was a really good player. For whatever reason, we didn’t pull the trigger. Obviously, we’re not very smart.”

Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury wouldn’t bite when asked Monday if the chip on Mayfield’s shoulder would grow as he got ready to face TCU.

“I’ll leave that to y’all,” Kingsbury said, “but I know he’ll be fired up.”

Kingsbury doesn’t let freshmen speak to the media, so Mayfield hasn’t done any interviews while he’s become the early Big 12 leader in total offense.

 

Short week

After a game on Saturday night, the Texas Tech football team has a quick turnaround with this week’s Thursday night game.

With two fewer preparation days than usual and not as much time for on-field work, head coach Kliff Kingsbury is stressing the mental side.

“Just have to adjust some things, cut some things down and really talk to the kids about mental reps,” Kingsbury said. “You’re not going to get as many physical reps on the field as you would in a normal week.

“So it’s about film study, taking care of their bodies and being able to handle that quick turnaround.”

Tech hasn’t hosted a Thursday night regular-season game since 1994.

Linebacker Micah Awe said the short week of preparation puts a lot of responsibility on individual players.

“I’ve got to get hydrated, stay hydrated, stay mentally focused,” Awe said. “Getting that extra film in when you can, that’s the main problem with all of us. This game, we’ve got to win it Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, not Thursday. But Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday preparing for it, mentally and physically.”

Senior defensive lineman Kerry Hyder knows what it takes to prepare for the next game, no matter how many days are in between.

“They’ve just got to get focused, and you really have to put in the work,” Hyder said. “Guys really need to take some time off and get your legs back. But the thing is you’ve really got to get your work in.

“Those guys at TCU, I’m sure they’re getting ready too, but you’ve got to be mentally focused and get your mind right for this game, because it’s two days earlier than usual.”

 

Compiled by Don Williams
and Krista Pirtle

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