At one point it looked like the water-boys might get some playing time before the third quarter even ended as Texas Tech opened Jones AT&T Stadium for business in 2013 with a 61-13 blowout win over the SFA Lumberjacks Saturday night, marking the first home win of first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s young career.
By the end of the first half, true freshman walk-on quarterback Baker Mayfield amassed 433 yards of total offense and three touchdowns. After a weather delay of about 30 mins, Mayfield and company didn’t delay in scoring on their first possession of the game, going three plays and 63 yards, including a 42-yard touchdown pass to Jakeem “Jukes” Grant.
From then on it was all Tech, as the Red Raiders brought the wood on the Lumberjacks for two brutal quarters before calling off the dogs at the half. Junior tight end Jace Amaro finally returned to his West Virginia-form, catching eight passes for 142 yards and a touchdown to lead all receivers. Junior Bradley Marquez added two receptions for 94 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown pass from Mayfield to cap a 94-yard scoring drive late in the second quarter.
Fellow true freshman Davis Webb led the offense onto the field to start the second half. All in all, 10 true freshmen saw playing time last night, including under-the-radar slot receiver Carlos Thompson who returned two punts for 47 yards and a free-kick for 73 yards.
The surprise of the evening was the reemergence of Tech’s running game. Junior running back Kenny Williams and sophomore DeAndre Washington accounted for 73 yards and three touchdowns in the first half, but redshirt freshman Quinton White stole the show in the second half with 71 yards and touchdown on just seven carries.
Tech’s first-string defense dominated SFA all night except for a 75-yard touchdown on a double reverse pass to put the Lumberjacks on the board in the first quarter. They would not score again until late in the fourth against Tech’s third-string defense. Along with the running game improvement, Tech’s defense finally ended their regular season turnover drought by recovering a fumble in the first quarter and intercepting a pass in the fourth quarter.
Based on these first two performances, Tech’s offense looks very dangerous and Mayfield is every bit the player most thought he would be and more. The defense plays with aggression and technique, especially with the added confidence a couple of takeaways can bring.
Check back later this afternoon for some more notes and thoughts from last night’s win.