Zach Winbush has replaced newcomer Andre Ross as Texas Tech’s backup bandit outside linebacker and has a chance to stay there for a while. Winbush played about 10 snaps Saturday in Tech’s 37-27 victory at West Virginia, giving relief to starter Pete Robertson.
Ross didn’t travel to West Virginia. Before Saturday, Ross had played in every game this year except against TCU, which he missed with an injury.
Co-defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach Mike Smith said Ross is OK physically now.
“He’s got to continue to get better every week and do the right things on and off the field,” Smith said. “We’re here to get an education and go to class and do all the right things. Football’s second. There’s some things he needs to correct and clean up.”
Winbush had found playing time hard to come by at inside linebacker, though he has a fumble recovery and a 63-yard interception return. The junior from Schertz Clemens is an engineering major, and his classroom workload caused him to miss some spring practices and fall behind some other players competing for inside linebacker spots in the two-deep.
He’s in his third week training with the outside linebackers.
“It’s still new to him,” Smith said, “but every week he’s getting better. The thing I like about Zach is he has the will. He wants to learn. He wants to get better. He’s going to come to my office every day, ask questions. The more he understands it, the more he’s going to play.”
Smith said it’s a good opportunity for Winbush, because he’d like to rest Robertson a little more than he has in the first half of the season.
Sophomore DeAndre Washington had a career-high 88 rushing yards 10 days ago against Iowa State, carrying 13 times. His previous best was a 16-carry, 84-yard game two years ago at Oklahoma, and the Red Raiders are going back to Norman this week for the first time since.
“It was one of my best games,” Washington said. “I guess you could say it was kind of a coming-out party for me. I’m just looking to build off of that this year, two years later, and make things happen.”
Washington’s contribution in the 2011 game helped Tech beat Oklahoma 41-38, ending a Sooners 39-game home winning streak.
Compiled by Don Williams