The Kliff Kingsbury era started out on a high note Friday night in Dallas as the Texas Tech Red Raiders defeated the SMU Mustangs 41-23.
True freshman walk-on Baker Mayfield, the only true freshman walk-on to start at quarterback for a BCS-level school in history, led Tech to a solid victory over an overmatched SMU squad on a hot Texas night. Texas Tech scored 28 second half points and held SMU to just 14 points in the third and fourth quarters as Mayfield threw for 413 yards and four touchdowns. Five total touchdowns for the freshman and 425 total yards.
Senior receiver Eric Ward recorded his eighth career 100+ yard game tonight, going for 13 catches and 150 yards. He really came alive in the fourth quarter, sparking the drive that ended in a Mayfield TD on the ground, putting Tech up by two scores late.
After serving out the remainder of his penalty following a second-half ejection in the Texas Bowl, Jace Amaro Burst onto the scene in the second half, catching three straight passes for 42 yards in Tech’s first drive of the third period.
Matt Wallerstedt’s defense made good on his promise for attacking looks, guys flying around the field and sacks, as the Red Raiders recorded five total quarterback sacks on SMU’s Garrett Gilbert.
Five true freshmen burned their redshirts in the first game of the season, including Mayfield. If it wasn’t abundantly clear before, it is now: the youth movement is on in Lubbock.