Texas Tech vs. SFA: Matchups to Watch

Aug 30, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders wide receiver Jakeem Grant (11) runs the ball during the game against the Southern Methodist Mustangs at Gerald J. Ford Stadium. Texas Tech won 41-23. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Tech kicks off their home opener against the SFA Lumberjacks this Saturday at 6:00 p.m. in Jones AT&T Stadium. Here are some key matchups to keep an eye on.

Jakeem Grant and SaDale Foster vs. SFA’s Kick Coverage

Six of the 50 points the ‘Jacks gave up to Weber State on Saturday came by way of a 100-yard kickoff return in the first quarter. Every Red Raider who watched the last two games of 2012 knows how dangerous a return man Jakeem Grant is, and by all accounts SaDale Foster is just as deadly. If the wind doesn’t keep the ball out of Grant’s hands and if Foster can get some blocking, we might see some kicking game excitement on the brand new video board.

Edge: Grant, Foster

Baker Mayfield vs. Michael Brewer

Tech released an official depth chart Monday listing the starting quarterback as either “Michael Brewer OR Baker Mayfield,” in that order. When questioned about Mayfield’s status as the starter for Saturday, Kingsbury wouldn’t commit to the frosh, but merely replied, “We’ll see.” Not sure what this means for Brewer’s health, but it’s certainly a good sign for the season. This could just be Kingsbury messing with everybody again, but I can’t help but get excited at the prospect of Brewer playing the rest of the season.

Even though the evidence supporting Brewer’s return mounts by the day, I have a feeling it’ll be later rather than sooner. Better to insure he returns to full health for TCU next week than risk injury against a cupcake.

Edge: Mayfield

Tech Defensive Backs vs. SFA Passing Game

It’s no secret the ‘Jacks like to throw the ball; last year’s squad was second in the country among FCS schools in passing yardage. Quarterback Brady Attaway kicked off his senior campaign with 450 passing yards and four touchdowns against Weber State on Saturday.  Tech’s secondary is the most inexperienced group on the defensive side, and has only one turnover in seven games dating back to last season. Attaway isn’t known for ball security (46 interceptions in 23 games), but then again neither is Garrett Gilbert, SMU’s quarterback who threw for 388 yards and no picks on Friday. This is the matchup I’ll be watching most closely, because if our defensive backs can’t make things happen against SFA, they’ll be picked apart in the Big 12 play.

Edge: SFA

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Tags: Big 12 SFA Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks Texas Tech Football Texas Tech Red Raiders

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