Throughout spring practice, hot days of summer and the turning of the calendar to the 2015 college football season, Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury kept it to himself on who would start at quarterback for the Red Raiders.
This is nothing new for the third-year head coach. In the past it has been one of those you will find out when he runs out there on Saturday kind of deals in Lubbock.
On Saturday, taking on FCS powerhouse Sam Houston State, entering the weekend as the No. 4 team in the country in FCS (DI-AA) football, Kingsbury kept it quiet.
When the Red Raiders received the opening kickoff, Kingsbury revealed his decision to fans, media and the rest of the Big 12 Conference; It was Patrick Mahomes II winning the job over Davis Webb.
After a 33-for-53 for 425 yards, four touchdowns and one interception performance by Mahomes in a 59-45 season opening victory, Kingsbury looks like a genius. Kingsbury chose wisely, at least for the opener.
What is even crazier about the 425-yard performance for Mahomes is that it could have, and really should have, been an even loftier number, because Red Raider wide receivers had eight drops.
Now don’t get me wrong, Kingsbury even admitted on Monday it was a tough decision because of the fairly equal talent level of both Mahomes and Webb.
Really at the end of the day Kingsbury couldn’t have gone wrong with choosing Webb either, considering the experience he carries with him. But, it was Mahomes’ chance to shine… and he did. If Mahomes ended up being a dud, Kingsbury had another quality quarterback waiting in the wings, something a lot of programs, unless you’re No. 1 Ohio State, have.
But good thing for Kingsbury and company in Lubbock, Mahomes put his name among the best in the country with Saturday’s performance. Sure, the numbers were gaudy against an FCS opponent, but we saw him put up similar stat lines towards the end of last season, most notably in a tight loss to Baylor. No doubt about it, Mahomes is the real deal.
Entering the second week of the season, getting ready to face UTEP on Saturday, there was no mystery to who would start. Quickly Kingsbury said Mahomes would get the start during the Big 12 Conference Weekly Teleconference.
Granted it would have made more headlines if the reigning Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week would not have been named the starter on Monday by Kingsbury.
Finally it seems as though the Red Raiders have their man. If Mahomes can go out there and do work on Saturday, carve up the Miners’ defense, just like he did the Bearkats, it will be a fun season to watch him sling it around.
This is what the Red Raiders coaching staff and more so the fans have been waiting for: having a QB to rally behind and cheer on as their guy under center.
Will Mahomes join the great quarterback names like Kingsbury, Cumbie and Harrell? Will there be eventual Pat for Heisman t-shirts littered through Jones AT&T Stadium?
Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, a lot can happen in a college football season, remember Geno Smith at West Virginia in 2012?
But what we do know is that for now Mahomes is the man in West Texas to lead the Red Raiders to what many hope is a bowl eligible season.
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