Big 12 football notes: Texas Tech QB off to amazing start

Posted Monday, Sep. 09, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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More information Big 12 Players of the Week OFFENSE QB J.W. Walsh, Oklahoma State: The sophomore set a school record with a 88.9 completion percentage in the Cowboys’ 56-35 win at UT San Antonio. The Denton Guyer ex was 24 of 27 for 326 yards and four touchdowns. He also added a rushing touchdown. DEFENSE S Gabe Lynn, Oklahoma: The senior recovered a fumble and returned it 27 yards and recorded his first career interception, returning it 6 yards. SPECIAL TEAMS KR/PR Tramaine Thompson, Kansas State: The senior combined for 234 all-purpose yards in the Wildcats’ 48-27 win against Louisiana-Lafayette, including a 94-yard kickoff return for a score to start the second half. Quotable “Our game plan was to stop the run, and we didn’t come close. We have better players than we have production. That’s why the decision was made. It’s not a panic move because we’re early in the season.” — Texas coach Mack Brown on firing defensive coordinator Manny Diaz after the Longhorns’ 40-21 loss at BYU.

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The numbers are staggering for any quarterback.

But for a freshman walk-on, they’re hard to fathom.

Texas Tech’s Baker Mayfield, who has started the Red Raiders’ first two games with sophomore Michael Brewer sidelined with a back injury, has lit up the record book.

He leads the Big 12 in total offense with 862 yards and tops the league with 64 completions, 90 attempts, 780 passing yards and seven passing touchdowns. He also leads Tech in rushing with 82 yards.

Mayfield has put up these numbers against SMU and FCS Stephen F. Austin. He’ll face a tougher defense in No. 24 TCU (1-1) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Lubbock.

“He’s really picked things up quick and he executed really well this past Saturday but he still has a long way to go in our system,” first-year Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “I know we’re playing a really good defense this week so that tends to have an effect on that.”

Mayfield’s early success has not only been a good boost to his confidence, but also for his teammates, Kingsbury said.

“I think he’s always been confident, but for his teammates to watch him go out and execute at a high level for two weeks in a row really has been good and I think everyone is starting to feel more comfortable in our system,” Kingsbury said.

Thursday’s nationally televised league opener on ESPN gives Tech (2-0) a chance to gauge how it compares to TCU, a team many expect to contend for the Big 12 title.

“It’s great opportunity for our program to see where we’re at,” Kingsbury said. “Obviously, it’s a great opponent in TCU. They’re atop the conference right now so we expect it to be a great game.”

Knight out two weeks

Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight will miss this week’s game against Tulsa with a bruised knee suffered late in the first half against West Virginia, coach Bob Stoops said.

Blake Bell will start in his place.

Knight could be ready in two weeks, in time for OU’s Sept. 28 game at Notre Dame, Stoops said.

Bell replaced Knight in the third quarter in the Sooners’ 16-7 win against WVU. Stoops said the injury probably did affect Knight and contributed to Bell replacing him.

“The bottom line was we needed to do something different,” Stoops said.

Quarterback Kendal Thompson returned to practice Monday, Stoops said, after breaking his foot the first day of August camp.

AD apologizes

With the imminent disclosure by Sports Illustrated of alleged transgressions by Oklahoma State’s football program, athletic director Mike Holder apologized to his fellow Big 12 schools and vowed to deal with whatever allegations are exposed.

Briefly

• Kansas plays at Rice looking for its first road win since Sept. 12, 2009 at UTEP.

• Baylor tight end Jordan Najvar likely won’t play against Louisiana-Monroe on Sept. 21, coach Art Briles said.

Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760 Twitter:@FollowtheFrogs

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