Texas Tech led this game at the halftime break 45-7 and cruised to a 61-13 victory that was even more lopsided than that score would suggest. Nevertheless, and as crazy as it may sound, this was hardly a Sparkle-Brite performance by the Red Raiders, and the report card reflects just that.
Quarterbacks: Hard to find much fault in Baker Mayfield's outing. He was ruthlessly efficient yet again, completing a high percentage, rushing for solid yardage, and most impressive of all, avoiding the interception. Mayfield is yet to taste the bitter savor of a pick at the collegiate level, and that is an impressive thing. Some of his passes were a bit hot, when a lighter touch would have been better, but other than that, lights out. Davis Webb was not quite so impressive. Too often he neglected open scrambles in favor of heaving the ball downfield, and as a consequence, threw two interceptions. Webb is too much in love with his arm right now.
Running Backs: Kenny Williams and Deandre Washington looked a little better than they did against SMU, but given the caliber of the competition, they should have. Still, neither player stood out in the least. The back who did stand out was third-stringer Quinton White. Running behind the second line (and against some SFA backups), White was easily the most impressive Tech back we've seen this season. He led the Red Raiders with 71 rushing yards and averaged an eye-popping 14.2 yards per tote. White, who also looked outstanding in summer scrimmages, is a player to think about.
Receivers: The Red Raiders did without key inside receiver Jordan Davis, but did not miss a beat. Jace Amaro might have eclipsed the 300-yard receiving mark had he played the entire game. He was simply too much for the Lumberjacks. Bradley Marquez continues to inflict terrible damage on the go route, and Jakeem Grant continues to emerge as a player who can hurt defenses in all sorts of ways. Eric Ward had a very quiet game, while Reg Davis scored his second touchdown in as many games. Dropped passes were a rarity.
Offensive Line: Sad to say, the offensive line improved only minimally over its performance against SMU. Both the first and second lines yielded far too much pressure from the Lumberjacks, penalties were rampant, and run blocking was merely adequate. Penetration on running plays was less than against the Mustangs, but then it should have been. No lineman had a particularly good outing, although James Polk, who subbed for an injured Beau Carpenter, may have been the best of the bunch.
Defensive Line: Despite the fact that Tech frequently brought five and six rushers, the Red Raiders put very little heat on SFA's quarterbacks. This unit did, however, do a very solid job against the run. For the second game in a row, the Tech defensive line established the line of scrimmage and held that line throughout the contest.
Linebackers: The linebackers, much like the line in front of them, were not spectacular, but they were steady. And the backups may actually have been more impressive than the starters. Among the starters, the only linebacker who really stood out was Pete Robertson. He got into the backfield a few times and made some jarring hits. Micah Awe showed up large when he got his opportunities, and Zach Winbush recorded Tech's first interception of the season.
Secondary: This group had very much a mixed outing. Tre Porter had a solid game, as did corners Bruce Jones and Ola Falemi, although the latter was tagged with a pass interference penalty. And there were interesting revelations among the backups. Jeremy Reynolds looked marvelous in the second half, while true freshman Dee Paul struggled severely in coverage. Thierry Nguema made a play or two. The best thing we can say about this secondary is that they have tackled tremendously in both games. And that is a sight for sore eyes.
Special Teams: Ryan Bustin remains perfect with his field goal attempts, Ryan Erxleben had a very good night punting, and Kramer Fyfe's kickoffs were quite strong. Coverage of both punts and kickoffs was fine, and Carlos Thompson provided a massive spark on punt returns. Outside of a few penalties on special teams, this group was special indeed.