ASU defensive coordinator Keith Patterson offers Patrick Mahomes comparisons

Arizona State defensive coordinator Keith Patterson compared Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes' style to two sports legends Wednesday.

In Texas Tech's season-opening win over Stephen F. Austin, 17 different Red Raiders' receivers caught passes.

Starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes was responsible for distributing the ball to most of those 17 players, as the Red Raiders' signal-caller played into the second half of a dominating 69-17 win over the Lumberjacks. 

The ease at which Mahomes found open teammates impressed ASU defensive coordinator Keith Patterson, who compared Texas Tech's quarterback to another famous passer, albeit from a different sport.

"He (Mahomes) kind of plays football like Magic Johnson played point guard," Patterson said. "You know he's big, he'll run up in there, and all of a sudden you've got guys converging on him and whoever you left in coverage, he'll just dump it right over your head." 

The Magic Johnson comparison wasn't the only praise Patterson offered Mahomes, as he also drew a football-related analogy for Mahomes' style of play. 

"The thing that's different, this guy (Mahomes) is kind of a Brett Favre type of a quarterback," Patterson said. "He has just an uncanny ability to get outside the pocket, will run across and throw back to the middle of the field, which most quarterbacks are, it's a cardinal sin to do that. He does that with regularity." 

Mahomes rushed for nearly 500 yards last season and accounted for 10 rushing touchdowns, and his abilities to escape the pocket and make plays on the run are assets Patterson said most other quarterbacks don't have. Patterson said Mahomes' tendency to roll out of the pocket and throw across his body and toward the middle of the field is unconventional but nevertheless effective in the Red Raiders' offense.

Even though Texas Tech's Air Raid scheme has given the Sun Devils fits in the past, Patterson insisted he's not losing sleep at night over Saturday's matchup.

"Not really," Patterson said when asked about losing sleep this week. "I kind of like playing teams like this to be honest with you. That's why our whole defense is designed to play spread, up-tempo offenses so there's not much that's going to keep me awake."

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