Takeaways: Texas Tech’s field goal unit clicks, Wells talks o-line and more
Texas Tech head coach Matt Wells addressed the media on Monday to discuss new injuries and anything related to his football program. The team was let loose and piled into two busses outside of the Football Training facility to head over to the campus rec center for an afternoon in the pool.
Here’s what Wells had to say.
Injuries and training camp dings
Freshman WR Cameron Cantrell is out for the year following surgery on his collarbone. Wells added that defensive lineman Gilbert Ibeneme is also done for the year with a shoulder injury that also required surgery.
Wells said there are some day-to-day, training camp injuries while they are doing their best at avoiding any major injuries.
Terence Steele is limited but is practicing. His status is still to be determined for game one of the year against Montana State on August 31.
With players out or taking breathers from practice, this week and later into game week will be crucial in getting those returners conditioned for game time.
Field goals galore
Last week, Wells avoided getting into deep talks about his field goal team. Now, he seems more confident in their abilities. Jonathan Garibay, Trey Wolff and Gabriel Lozano are the three kickers in that battle.
The kicking unit combined for a 17-of-18 day in the scrimmage on Saturday with a 9-for-9 mark during the live game portion of the practice.
Jackson Tyner's growth on the field and progress
For transfer QB Jackson Tyner, it’s all about competing for the secondary job behind Alan Bowman, the Red Raider starter at the position.
Tyner brings experience with him to Lubbock after spending his years at Rice. Wells said Tyner’s one of the newcomers who has stepped in and provided needed depth and a veteran presence to this team.
“Jackson is starting to earn trust with the staff,” Wells said. “He’s a very smart young man. He’s picked up what we’ve done very quickly. Still not where he needs to be and he’ll be the first to tell you in terms of his knowledge. But what you’ve got is a guy that’s been able to take the entire installation and actually operate the offense with the twos and with the threes. But decently efficient for a guy who’s just got here days before training camp started.
Now when you get into a game week, the installation or game plan (slims down) then you start fine tuning for the week,” Wells said mimicking the size of the game plan with his hands. “He’s a smart young man and I’m glad he’s on our team.”
O-Line not completely solidified
Dawson Deaton stepped in to the center position and has since seemed to grab that spot with a solid fall so far. However, many forgot about the left guard position where Madison Akamnonu and Weston Wright are still in a battle for that top spot.
Wells said overall the biggest thing with those interior offensive lineman is that Jack Anderson at right guard and Deaton are only a little over two weeks into the system after missing the spring and summer.
Wells said they have both increased in production but overall it takes time to work out that communication amongst everyone.
Most improved position group?
Wells said it was hard to pinpoint just one group that has progressed the most during fall camp but he started with two guys who seem to have honed in on their craft, that being Damarcus Fields and Zech McPhearson at corner.
Wells added that the inside receiver spot, the H, has been improving with McLane Mannix, Dalton Rigdon and Xavier White. Those three will likely see their fair share of snaps once game time rolls around.
Possible special teams returners?
Wells named Douglas Coleman, Ta'Zhawn Henry, KeSean Carter and Dadrion Taylor as possible guys to see returning kickoffs for the Red Raiders this season. McPhearson, Chux Nwabuko, a true freshman walk-on, and Adrian Frye are in the mix to return punts as well.
Here’s what Carter brings to the table in that aspect...