Photo By Steven Chapman

Report Card: Texas Tech 59, K-State 44

RaiderPower.com senior writer Joe Yeager grades every Texas Tech position group on its performance in the 59-44 win over Kansas State on Saturday at Jones AT&T Stadium in (Tex.).

Quarterback

Without question one of Pat Mahomes’ very best games. And he did almost all of his good work with his arm rather than his legs as is often his wont. His accuracy was exceptional (no interceptions either), and so was his command of the offense. Generally speaking, Tech ran and passed when they should have. Mahomes’ only real blemishes were two sacks late in the first quarter that resulted from a mistaken belief he could break each and every tackle. He also overshot Devin Lauderdale for what could have been a touchdown. Grade: A-

Running backs

With the exception of one costly fumble, Deandre Washington was perfect. He put on one of the greatest rushing displays in Tech football history, and seemed to run with a heightened anger and sense of purpose after the fumble. Justin Stockton also played well, scoring three touchdowns, two on the ground and one via a pass. Stockton’s effectiveness between the tackles is not equal to Washington’s, but his speed makes him a serious threat outside the tackle and on wheel routes. Grade: A

Receivers

Jakeem Grant (pictured below) dropped one pass—two if you want to be a hard-case—but on the whole this group rebounded well from a terrible outing at West Virginia. Devin Lauderdale, who also dropped a pass, led the way with 10 catches for 94 yards and a touchdown. Blocking by the receivers was perhaps the best that we’ve seen in 2015. Grade: A-

Photo By Steven Chapman

Offensive Line

Were it not for penalties, this game would have been something like an offensive line clinic. As it is, personal fouls by Emeka Okafor and Baylen Brown, along with a clipping penalty on Le'Raven Clark mar the masterpiece. Clark, in particular, was simply destroying people. This was one of the most dominant performances you’ll see from an offensive lineman. Okafor at right tackle and Brown at right guard looks to be a good alignment in lieu of Justin Murphy. The two sacks KSU got were not the line’s fault. DeAndre Washington would be the first person to credit the line for his career best rushing day. Grade: A-

Defensive Line

A unit that was routed in the run game last week redeemed itself this week. Wildcat ball-carriers found little running room thanks to the red wall. Amazingly, no interior lineman recorded a tackle, but Breiden Fehoko (pictured below) and Demetrius Alston occupied offensive linemen, allowing linebackers and safeties to clean up. For most of the game the Red Raiders got no pressure whatsoever on Joe Hubener, but Gary Moore did break through for a sack after Tech’s lead forced KSU to pass on most downs. Grade: B

Photo By Steven Chapman

Linebackers

David Gibbs started three linebackers in an effort to slow K-State’s ground game and the result was gratifying. The Red Raiders held the Wildcats to 123 rushing yards, which was Tech’s best effort against the run in many a moon. Micah Awe led Tech with 12 tackles, while D'Vonta Hinton got a sack and another tackle for loss. Malik Jenkins  played a solid game as well. Dakota Allen’s absence didn’t hurt this group too much. Grade: A-

Secondary

Early in the game Texas Tech’s corners were hapless. Neither Tevin Madison nor Justis Nelson was effective. But as the game wore on the corners improved noticeably. Indeed, with the exception of one blown coverage which led to a touchdown late in the fourth quarter, the corners were almost flawless in quarters two, three and four. Madison, Nelson and Nigel Bethel combined for five pass breakups. Safeties J.J. Gaines and Jah'Shawn Johnson both had huge games. Gaines led the team with 13 tackles, to go along with a forced fumble and a pass breakup, while Johnson had six tackles, a fumble recovery, an interception and a pass breakup. (He was also flagged for a personal foul, however.) Keenon Ward was also a good contributor. Grade: B+

Special Teams

Michael Barden may actually be an improvement over Taylor Symmank as a punter, but too many of Clayton Hatfield’s kickoffs are short. One of those contributed to Morgan Burns’ 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Hatfield redeemed himself with a 48-yard field goal, although he came up just short on a 51-yarder. Cameron Batson had a nice 13-yard punt return, and Jakeem Grant averaged only 12 yards on three kickoff returns. Punt coverage was rather poor. Grade: D


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