Mid-Season Awards

With the Texas Tech Red Raiders set to begin the second half of the season it is time to hand out the awards for the first half of the 2002 season.

MVP – Kliff Kingsbury
Kingsbury is on a pace to have his most productive season yet. His stats are pretty staggering so far. He has completed 237 of 349 passes (67.9%) for 2406 yards (343.7 yards/game) and 23 touchdowns, while only giving up 6 interceptions. Kingsbury appears to be having a great final season to cap off an already great career.

Biggest Surprise – Taurean Henderson
Henderson has played a key role in the improvement of this offense this season. He has rushed for 404 yards on 78 carries (5.2 yards/carry). While these numbers won't win any awards, his rushing ability has been one of the most important additions to this offense. Henderson had to earn the starting spot over three other backs. While he was the second back early on, when Munlin went down early in the season Henderson grabbed the opportunity. His 141 yards in the N.C. State game earned him the starting position.

Best Story – Wes Welker
Everyone has heard Wes Welker's story by now. He's too short, too slow, got the last scholarship, and he also happens to be leading the Big 12 in all purpose yards with 1224 all purpose yards. Welker is finally starting to get the respect he deserves following the Texas A&M game in which he had 327 all purpose yards. As he continues to gain yards every game the biggest mystery is how he does it. I'm not sure how he gets it done, but he might be the best football player on this team.

Most Improved Unit – Offensive Line
The offensive line has played great so far. This group has not only done a great job protecting Kingsbury, they've also been opening up big holes for our running backs. Any time an offense is productive as the Red Raiders' has been, there has to be some great offensive line play.

Biggest Victory – 48-47 win over Texas A&M
Any win over the Aggies is a good one, but this was a game for the ages. After trailing for most of the game Texas Tech used a 24-point 4th quarter to send the game into overtime. In overtime, a missed extra point by A&M allowed the Red Raiders to take the victory. This game may not have been televised, but it will be talked about for years to come.

Most Disappointing Loss – 51-48 to North Carolina State
This game played out in a fashion similar to the Texas A&M game. After falling behind by 28 points midway through the 3rd quarter, the Red Raiders went on the attack. They managed to tie the game late in the 4th quarter. A mishandled snap caused Robert Treece to miss the field goal that would have won the game for Texas Tech. In overtime the Red Raiders could only manage a field goal, while the Wolfpack scored a touchdown.

Best Play – Wes Welker's Punt Return against A&M
Trailing by 5 points late in the 4th quarter Wes Welker was back to receive the punt. The Red Raider fans in attendance were chanting his name as the Aggies got set to punt the ball away. Welker caught the ball at the 12-yard line and returned it 88 yards for the touchdown and the lead. This was a big play in a big game. Not only did it give the Red Raiders the lead, it also took the College Station crowd out of the game. This is going to be a tough play to top this season.

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