MAHOMES GOES OFF
After only throwing for 219 yards in loss to Iowa State less than a week ago, Patrick Mahomes II erased some of the doubts about his ability to transform a game. The junior quarterback threw for 586 yards and six touchdowns as Texas Tech defeated Baylor 54-35 at AT&T Stadium on Friday. Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury talked about how much Mahomes has grown in his three seasons in Lubbock after the game.
ARLINGTON — As the son of a former Dallas Cowboy, Jah’Shawn Johnson acknowledges playing at AT&T Stadium energizes him more than usual — and he’s an emotional guy to begin with. Johnson’s dad Keith Davis, the old Cowboys’ safety and special-teams ace, showed up bright and early Friday.
“He’s probably been here since 11 this morning tailgating and things,” Johnson said. “He’s excited for this game.”
ARLINGTON — Kliff Kingsbury doesn’t have family in Lubbock.
His friends have been put to the side.
If he has a girlfriend, she probably hasn’t heard from him in a while.
No, for the past 14 weeks Kingsbury has been immersed in Red Raiders football.
ARLINGTON — After a devastating loss to Iowa State the negative noise around the Texas Tech program was deafening.
Kliff Kingsbury was on the hot seat.
The Red Raiders weren’t going to a bowl game, no matter what happened against Baylor.
And while those statements both still might be true, one thing is clear.
The Red Raiders responded.
What’s been wrong with Baylor the last four games? Is it even explainable?
“I think some of the outside distractions finally got to them, especially in the 62-22 loss to TCU. Losing Seth Russell against Oklahoma certainly hurt them in the Kansas State game.”
How good is quarterback Zach Smith and can he fill in adequately for Seth Russell?
Baylor is the only FBS school in the country to have four players average at least 48 rushing yards per game.
Three of those are running backs — Shock Linwood, Terence Williams and JaMycal Hasty — while the other is quarterback Seth Russell, who is out for the season after a gruesome ankle injury.
Linwood, a senior, became Baylor’s career rushing leader against Rice this season as he broke Walter Abercrombie’s record of 3,665 yards.
He now has 4,166 yards.
After starting the season 6-0, Baylor has fallen apart.
After a one-point loss to Texas on Oct. 29, Baylor isn’t just losing, it’s been blown out by at least three touchdowns in each of the last three games.
Now, quarterback Seth Russell is out for the year and the Bears (6-4, 3-4 Big 12) are starting true freshman Zach Smith, who completed 27-of-45 for 258 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions in a 42-21 loss to Kansas State.
For the past four years, Reginald Davis has spent his afternoons learning to read coverages and weave his way through defenders, the better to perform as a Big 12 wide receiver.
The Texas Tech senior has spent evenings developing a working knowledge of My Little Pony and Elsa and anything to do with princesses. He can find the Sprout channel, a cable network he never knew existed not too long ago, and he can tie a ponytail.
Tech safety says he has much for which to be thankful
On Saturday night, about 24 hours after his college football career ends, Texas Tech safety Keenon Ward will go home to Snyder and drive outside town to Les and Amber Rinehart’s house on their farm.
Ward stopped ringing the doorbell a long time ago, if he ever did.
“I haven’t ever really thought about it. He was just here,” Amber Rinehart said this week. “He didn’t have to ask to come over. He doesn’t knock when he comes in. He knows where everything is. He’s very at home in our house, and he’s always welcome.”
In 2008, with Jim Grobe on the opposing sidelines at Wake Forest, Robert Griffin III came off the bench in the second quarter and quickly laid claim to the starting quarterback position at Baylor.
Eight years later, with Grobe now on the Baylor sideline, he’ll watch as another freshman Bear quarterback takes the field as Baylor faces Texas Tech at 5 p.m. Friday inside AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
Compiled by Michael LaBarre, A-J Media
How former Texas Tech football players fared in NFL games this week:
TE JACE AMARO
Was inactive for Tennessee’s 24-17 loss to Indianapolis on Sunday. The Titans fell to 5-6.
WR DANNY AMENDOLA
Caught two passes for two yards and a touchdown in New England’s 30-17 win over San Francisco. The Patriots improved to 8-2.
OT LE’RAVEN CLARK
Sophomore safety Jah’Shawn Johnson says he and his Texas Tech teammates aren’t giving up or griping at each other, regardless of their 1-6 record over the past seven weeks that culminated with Saturday’s 66-10 loss at Iowa State.
Those showings, coupled with several players leaving the program during the season, have led to speculation that Texas Tech’s is a troubled locker room.
Not long after Texas Tech’s 66-10 loss Saturday at Iowa State, someone told me on Twitter he’d “like an honest explanation of what’s wrong with TT football.”
Well, he’s come to the right place.
Answering that request will take way more than 140 characters, though.
So here goes.
Jonathan Giles ranks among the top 20 receivers in the FBS this season for catches, yards and touchdowns, but he played only a little Saturday at Iowa State.
Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury indicated Monday there was nothing wrong with Giles, other than Keke Coutee making a better impression lately.
Kliff Kingsbury stepped to the lectern and did exactly what he should have done.
Before even speaking to the press Monday, Kingsbury made a public statement about the 66-10 loss to Iowa State and the state of the Texas Tech football program.
He said he was as embarrassed as he has ever been; that he took sole responsibility for the loss.
He said the Red Raider program means the world to him.
The performance Saturday was “Completely unacceptable in every way, shape and form.”