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.
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.