By Chois Woodman
It was a slow start to what many people thought would be a shootout. The game was tied 6-6 with less than two minutes in the first half before true freshman walk-on quarterback Baker Mayfield connected with Jordan Davis for a 33-yard touchdown pass with about one minute left in the half. Mayfield found his groove and looked much more comfortable for the rest of the game.
Mayfield went 43 for 60 for 413 yards with 4 touchdowns and no interceptions in his collegiate debut as Texas Tech defeated Southern Methodist 41-23 on Friday night in Dallas. Mayfield also rushed for a touchdown.
The rookie out of Lake Travis had plenty of help around him, too. Jordan Davis, Reginald Davis, Jakeem Grant and Bradley Marquez were all on the receiving end of touchdown passes from Mayfield, but it was senior Eric Ward who did the majority of the work for the receiving corps. Ward had 13 catches for 150 yards, including one that went for 30 yards.
Tech standout Jace Amaro had to serve a suspension in the first half of the game for throwing a punch at a Minnesota player during last season's Meineke Car Care Bowl. Amaro came in during the second half and caught three passes for a total of 42 yards.
In a matchup with offensive masterminds such as Kliff Kingsbury, June Jones and Hal Mumme, the game was not all about the offense.
The defensive front for Texas Tech brought pressure all night, sacking SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert seven times in the game and delivering several more blows to the fifth year senior. The Red Raiders only had 19 sacks all of last season.
Will Smith led the defensive attack with seven tackles and two sacks. Austin Stewart and Pete Robertson both led the team with eight tackles in the game, and Robertson also added a sack.
Neither team turned the ball over in the game.
The Red Raiders head back to Lubbock to prepare for their home-opener against Stephen F. Austin on Sept. 7.