Kingsbury back on hot seat for Texas Tech’s home opener
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury doesn’t expect his players to have a hard time bouncing back from a disappointing opener.
Getting their coach off the hot seat again will take a lot more from the Red Raiders (0-1) than a win over FCS team Lamar (0-1), their opponent in their home opener Saturday.
“They’re embarrassed and frustrated with the effort we put out there, and it wasn’t from effort, but from mental mistakes and errors and getting behind that quickly,” Kingsbury said. “That’s not who we think we are or want to be. … (first game), you get exposed on some things, you can get back to business really quickly and moving forward know what you have to correct, and they’ve done that.”
Tech opened Kingsbury’s sixth season with a 47-27 loss to Mississippi . Their former quarterback’s coaching record is 30-34.
In the loss, the Red Raiders were down 17-7 in the first quarter before starting junior quarterback McLane Carter sustained a high left ankle sprain that has him questionable for the Lamar game. The Red Raiders gave up a kickoff return for a touchdown and two of their defensive backs got ejected for targeting. Ole Miss had a 200-yard rusher.
“We’re not hanging our heads, pointing fingers,” center Paul Stawarz said. “There’s a lot of self-reflection, a lot of people looking in the mirror when they went home, so seeing that is a really positive thing. Just the team that we have, I really think and feel that we’ll correct these mistakes.”
“The No. 1 thing we asked him to do was protect the football, and he did that,” Kingsbury said. “There’s some throws and some decisions he’d like to have back. … Got to get a lot better obviously but I think the way he stepped in and just really handled himself, handled the team, is something you can build off of.”
Red Raiders safety Vaughnte Dorsey will have to sit out for the first half Saturday after getting ejected for a targeting call in the second half of the season opener. Cornerback Desmon Smith was the other defensive back ejected for targeting against the Rebels, but his penalty came in the first quarter and he won’t have to sit out any against Lamar.
The Red Raiders have their last 18 home openers, scoring at least 40 points in each of the last six. They have won 32 of their last 33 non-conference home games since 2002.
FRESHMAN QB STARTERS
If Bowman starts Saturday, he would be the fourth freshman starting quarterback at Tech under Kingsbury. Patrick Mahomes, Baker Mayfield and Davis Webb have been in the past. Kingsbury was also offensive coordinator at Texas A&M when Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy as a freshman.
BIG POINTS VS SMALL SCHOOL
Lamar, 2-9 last season, opened its second year under coach Mike Schultz with a 70-7 home win over Kentucky Christian, an NAIA school with only about 500 students. Schultz was an assistant coach at TCU from 1998-2008, the last eight seasons as offensive coordinator.
Texas Tech sophomore receiver T.J. Vasher made a leaping 31-yard catch while reaching back with his long right arm and with his upper body basically parallel to the ground that helped set up touchdown in the opener against Ole Miss. “I feel like it goes back to those times being a kid playing around in the backyard and in the street,” Vasher said. Last season against West Virginia, Vasher made a 53-yard TD catch while falling back into the end zone with a defender’s arm wedged into him.