Iowa St.-Texas Tech Preview
Kliff Kingsbury is one win away from accomplishing something no other Texas Tech coach has done.
The first-year coach just isn't sure who will be under center for his team.
Kingsbury can become the first coach in school history to win his first six games when the 20th-ranked Red Raiders host Iowa State on Saturday.
Texas Tech (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) has a chance to improve to 6-0 for the first time since 2008, when it was ranked as high as No. 2. The Red Raiders claimed a 54-16 win at Kansas last week, tallying 54 straight points after falling into a 10-0 hole in the first quarter.
Quarterback Baker Mayfield recorded 368 yards on 33-of-51 passing with an interception before suffering a right knee injury while being tackled late in the third quarter. Mayfield left the field on crutches, though an MRI later revealed no structural damage.
Still, Kingsbury, who joined Dell Morgan as the only other Texas Tech coach to start 5-0, isn't sure if Mayfield will be able to play Saturday.
"Timetable-wise, I'm not sure yet but that was good news," said Kingsbury, who lost his only game against Iowa State as Texas Tech's quarterback, a 31-17 road defeat in 2002.
The freshman Mayfield ranks second in the Big 12 averaging 297.6 passing yards per game. He was replaced by fellow freshman Davis Webb, who went 3 for 6 for 36 yards and two scores. Webb is completing 51.4 percent of his passes for 550 yards, 6 TDs and two picks.
Junior Michael Brewer was assumed to be the starter in camp, but has been limited by a lower back injury sustained in August. He saw action at end of the Kansas game but didn't attempt a pass.
"If Baker can't go then obviously (Brewer would) get more reps than he's been getting and just see how those other two guys are doing this week in practice," Kingsbury said.
Iowa State (1-3, 0-1) is 1-5 all-time in Lubbock, though the lone victory came in the teams' last meeting there, a 41-7 final on Oct. 29, 2011. The Cyclones are 3-4 in their last seven road games against ranked teams, including that contest over the then-No. 19 Red Raiders, which marks the programs most lopsided victory over a Top 25 opponent.
The Cyclones are coming off a heartbreaking 31-30 loss at Texas on Oct. 3, their 11th consecutive defeat in a conference opener. The Big 12 supervisor of officials confirmed the next day that officials correctly upheld a controversial fourth-quarter call that allowed the Longhorns to retain the ball despite appearing to fumble near the goal line with just over a minute to play. The loose ball was recovered by Iowa State's Jeremiah George, who took off sprinting toward the other end zone.
Texas scored the game-tying touchdown two plays later before converting the go-ahead extra point.
"The view I had of that gigantic screen in the north end zone showed a guy that was not down and our guy with the football," coach Paul Rhoads said.
Iowa State outgained Texas 463-363 in the loss, marking the first time since 2002 the Cyclones have recorded at least 400 yards in three of their first four contests.
Quarterback Sam B. Richardson had a strong performance, throwing for 262 yards and a pair of scores while also recording 83 yards on 17 carries.
Texas Tech leads the all-time series, 8-3.