Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury steered around the flap Texas defensive end Breckyn Hager stirred up Monday, five days before their teams face each other. Hager told Austin media the Longhorns needed to “injure that quarterback,” referring to Tech’s Patrick Mahomes already being banged up lately, then released a lengthy apology hours later.
Given that Kingsbury himself was a high-profile quarterback, he was asked Tuesday whether bulletin-board material resonates in the locker room or if it’s overblown by media and fans.
Center Tony Morales will return for a seventh year in the Texas Tech football program in 2017, approved by the NCAA, so he won’t go through Tech’s senior day recognition on Saturday. Morales missed four full seasons due to injuries.
A Tech spokesman said Tech filed for an extension of Morales’ five-year eligibility “clock” after last season and NCAA personnel who reviewed his case said Morales’ circumstances dictated he could have an extra two years — 2016 and 2017 — if he wanted.
Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said it was about attitude.
The Red Raiders held TCU to 399 yards of total offense and only 17 points in regulation in Saturday’s 27-24 double-overtime win — a tremendous improvement from a week earlier when they surrendered 66 points and 854 yards in a seven-point loss to Oklahoma.
Patrick Mahomes II and Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury spent much of the past 48 hours assuring Red Raiders fans their quarterback’s sore shoulder is fine, the spill Mahomes took at the end of Saturday’s double-overtime victory at TCU being just a scare and nothing more.
Oh, well, if Mahomes isn’t hurt, Breckyn Hager vowed Monday to change that.
The Texas linebacker apologized for saying he plans to “injure that quarterback,” a comment that went coast to coast in no time.
FORT WORTH — Clayton Hatfield didn’t hit it clean.
It was a little low.
“It probably wasn’t my best hit, but when I looked up and saw the ball going, I kind of figured how it was going to end up. My holder, Cam (Batson) saw it was going to happen the whole way and picked me up before I even got to see it go through.”
Hatfield’s kick gave Texas Tech a 27-24 win over TCU in double overtime on Saturday at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
But, it all could have ended up another way.
Texas Tech wide receiver Devin Lauderdale and defensive end Gary Moore didn’t travel for the Red Raiders’ game Saturday at TCU in what Kliff Kingsbury termed a “coach’s decision.”
Kingsbury wouldn’t elaborate except to say their absences weren’t injury related.
Tech wide receiver Derrick Willies traveled, but missed his third game in a row with a knee injury. Also out were linebacker D’Vonta Hinton and a couple of backups: defensive end Jacarthy Mack and cornerback Desmon Smith.
FORT WORTH — Clayton Hatfield saw enough of his kick to make him think the football would go through.
Actually seeing it was another story.
Little Cam Batson, the holder, hoisted the Texas Tech kicker and swung him around before Hatfield could fully appreciate his handiwork. No wonder. The Red Raiders hadn’t felt this much exhilaration all season.
FORT WORTH — The blood trickled down Patrick Mahomes II’s forearm.
Above it was a smattering of other bruises and strawberries. Some were old but irritated, others were nice, fresh and bloody.
And the majority of what he did Saturday was hand the football off.
Hate to see what freshman running back Da’Leon Ward looks like after shouldering the load of the Texas Tech offense in a 27-24 double overtime win over TCU at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
But, he probably, doesn’t care how banged up he is today.
What is one thing people would be surprised to find out about you?
“Besides playing football I really enjoy watching baseball. I love the Rangers, so that is my thing. (In the World Series) I am going for the Cubs because they haven’t won it in (108) years.”
Did you play baseball growing up?
“I never got the chance to play. I never did and I regret it.”
What is your number and why did you choose it?
Senior linebacker made team season-best 14 tackles last week
TCU’s victories against Texas Tech the last two years were emotional letdowns for the Red Raiders in different ways.
Two years ago, the Horned Frogs administered an 82-27 beatdown at Fort Worth, saddling the Red Raiders with an opponent single-game record point total. Last year, the Horned Frogs won 55-52 on a tipped touchdown pass with 23 seconds left that even some Horned Frogs might acknowledge looked fluky.
Which was worse?
Texas Tech takes a three-game losing skid into Saturday’s game at TCU, which has won the last two games in the series in completely opposite fashions.
When the Red Raiders visited Fort Worth two years ago, TCU set school and Big 12 scoring records in an 82-27 victory. In their first meeting as Big 12 foes in 2012, Texas Tech won 56-53 in triple overtime.
However, last season the Red Raiders (3-4, 1-3 Big 12) lost 55-52 on a deflected pass for the winning touchdown with 23 seconds to go.
Texas game sold out
Texas Tech announced Friday that its Nov. 5 football home finale against Texas is sold out. It’s the second of six home games this season to do so.
Last week’s game against Oklahoma also was a sellout tickets-wise, though there were empty seats in the north end corners of Jones AT&T Stadium.
The Tech-Texas game is set for an 11 a.m. kickoff and will be nationally televised on Fox Sports 1.
Lawrence Schovanec spent 30-plus years working for Texas Tech before he stepped in as the university’s 17th president three months ago. A lot of sports fans who pay no attention to that sort of thing suddenly know Schovanec’s name, though.
The new president took on a polarizing issue Wednesday, reprimanding Red Raiders fans for crude language at Jones AT&T Stadium and calling for a little decorum after what he witnessed in last week’s Tech-Oklahoma game.