Report Card: Texas Tech 30, Kansas 20 senior writer Joe Yeager grades every Texas Tech position group on its performance in the 30-20 victory over Kansas on Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence (Kan.).


Patrick Mahomes played perhaps the worst game of his career since getting the starting assignment at Tech, but still put up numbers that would make many a quarterback envious--he completed 30 of 51 passes for 359 yards and a touchdown with one interception. He also rushed for 29 yards. But Mahomes was not his usual accurate self, overshooting Devin Lauderdale for what would have been a touchdown and missing several other open receivers to boot. His customary elusiveness and pocket presence also failed him as he was sacked five times, three more than he had suffered in the previous six games. Kliff Kingsbury was also displeased with Mahomes’ reads. Grade: C

Running Backs

In his postgame remarks coach Kingsbury said that Deandre Washington  was the only offensive player who “had a good look in his eye,” but as well as Washington played—22 carries for 152 yards—even he was far from perfect. Washington dropped one pass, fumbled in the red zone but recovered the ball, and ran rather tentatively in the first half. But without Washington’s strong running in the second stanza, the Red Raiders would have lost. Backup running back Justin Stockton  didn’t make a mark. Grade: B-


No receiver had a particularly good day. Reginald Davis caught a touchdown pass but dropped a previous pass. Zach Austin led Tech receivers with 80 yards on eight receptions, but he also had a drop. Jakeem Grant started the game strongly, but vanished completely in the second half. But worst of all, Tech’s receivers could not consistently defeat Kansas’ man coverage. On the contrary, their inability to uncover contributed mightily to the five sacks Kansas recorded. Grade: D

Offensive Line

By way of excuse, the line played without starter Justin Murphy and most of the game without Le'Raven Clark. The losses obviously took their toll. But against a rather anemic KU defensive front seven, Tech’s line still should have been in command. It was not. The Jayhawks got consistent pressure off the edge while rarely rushing more than four. An unacceptable five sacks resulted. Penalties were again a problem, with Jared Kaster, Baylen Brown and Clark the primary offenders. The ground game got traction in the second half, but according to Kingsbury, “Washington did most of that on his own.” Grade: D-

Defensive Line

Freshman Breiden Fehoko exited the waiting room and occupied center stage in this one. Although he picked up a pair of penalties, he was also thoroughly disruptive to the middle of Kansas’ offense. If he continues building off of this performance, he will be a load for the rest of the season. Branden Jackson and Pete Robertson were both active, and both recorded sacks. They each forced a fumble too. Grade: B+


D'Vonta Hinton was a bit shaky to start the game, but played better as the game progressed. Micah Awe led the team with 10 tackles and also had a tackle for loss. The linebackers were key in holding the Jayhawks to 145 rushing yards, and contrary to the incessant pro-Kansas cheerleading of television commentators Tim Brando and Spencer Tillman, actually had something to do with stopping the Jayhawk offense on several occasions. Grade: B


Kansas’ freshman quarterback Ryan Willis actually had a slightly better day statistically than Pat Mahomes, and some shaky coverage by Tech’s defensive backs certainly helped Willis’ cause. However, J.J. Gaines forced a fumble and recovered it, and Jah'Shawn Johnson made the play of the game with his interception and return for a touchdown as Kansas was attempting to drive for the winning score in the waning moments. On the whole, this unit is showing improvement. Tevin MadisonPaul Banks, Theirry Nguema, and Nigel Bethel are becoming a competent group of cornerbacks, while Johnson and Gaines are doing critical work at safety, although Gaines was burned badly for a TD against Kansas. Grade: B-

Special Teams

Clayton Hatfield hit three short field goals, and was denied a fourth from 48 yards out by the crossbar. Hatfield’s kickoffs were on the short side, Taylor Symmank and Michael Barden’s punts averaged only 36.5 yards, and KU beat Tech in the kickoff return game averaging 23 yards to Tech’s 19.5. The special teams highlight was the very surprising two-point conversion by Le’Raven Clark. It was a gutsy decision and the play was well executed. Grade: C+   

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