After a stellar debut in Texas Tech’s 41-23 win over SMU Friday night, true freshman walk-on quarterback Baker Mayfield earned Big 12 offensive player of the week honors this morning. He’s the first Tech player to win the award in Week one since receiver Carlos Francis back in 2000.
As the first true freshman walk-on to start at quarterback in a season opener for a BCS-level team, Mayfield completed 43-of-60 pass (71 percent) for 413 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions and added an 11-yard touchdown on the ground. The Lake Travis, Texas, native set the record for most completions by a Tech quarterback in a career debut, and became the fifth Red Raider to pass for 400-plus yards and throw at least four touchdowns in their first game. Accolades that put Mayfield’s name along side guys like Cody Hodges and (who else?) Kliff Kingsbury.
Mayfield was solid all night. Even after a rough first quarter where the Red Raiders struggled to score points, he hung in and eventually delivered a strike to junior receiver Jordan Davis between two defenders for his first career touchdown. After that, Mayfield added another touchdown pass in the third quarter to junior Bradley Marquez, a rushing touchdown in the fourth, a perfect toss to sophomore Jakeem Grant in the corner of the end-zone, and finally a quick screen to freshman Reginald Davis who took it 22 yards to the house.
If Mayfield can duplicate that performance this weekend against Stephen F. Austin, it’ll be hard to take him off the field if/when sophomore Michael Brewer returns to full health. For now, Baker’s the guy.