LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Tech football players strapped on their helmets and pads Saturday for a full-contact scrimmage two weeks ahead of their opener against Houston.
Some established stars made their mark — Erik Ezukanma hauled in a touchdown — and some young guys flashed their skills — freshman tight end Mason Tharp stretched for an impressive one-handed tight end.
Here are three key details from the scrimmage.
Thompson, Storment did not participate
Running back SaRodorick Thompson and left tackle TJ Storment, two key starters on the offense, did not participate in the scrimmage. Thompson is recovering from a shoulder injury he suffered in the spring. Matt Wells did not specify what Storment’s ailment is, but did say it was nothing major.
Ethan Carde, who started seven games last season, filled in for Storment at left tackle. Sophomore Tahj Brooks took Thompson’s spot in the first-team offense. Wells complimented Brooks’ all-around skills in a media session after the scrimmage.
“Tahj is steady. He’s a strong runner,” Wells said. “Usually pretty good ball security, very good pass protector, catches the ball well out of the backfield. He’s a very good all-around back.”
Morton leads impressive touchdown drive
Freshman quarterback Behren Morton does not appear to be in the mix for the starting quarterback position but he saw a good amount of playing time Saturday.
Morton led a 70-yard touchdown drive, finishing it off with a touchdown run that included an impressive juke move and a dive for the pylon. He is still raw, and missed one potential touchdown throw to his running back, but showed plenty of promise at the scrimmage.
“Young Behren, he’s a talent,” Ezukanma said. “He could go play anywhere I feel like… Coach Cumbie coached him hard everyday and he’s going to be really good.”
Freshman QBs eligible to be hit
Quarterbacks typically wear red jerseys in scrimmages, meaning that the defense is not allowed to hit them. The competitors for the starting spot — Tyler Shough and Henry Colombi — donned the red jerseys Saturday, but freshmen Morton and Donovan Smith wore white jerseys like the rest of the offense.
“You can see it’s a different game when a guy has mobility like they both do and the ability to get out of pressure,” Wells said. “It’s a little bit more indicative of what quarterbacks can do.”
Morton used his “live” status to his advantage on his touchdown run, dodging defenders on his way to the end zone. Smith felt the effects of Wells’ decision, absorbing several hard hits.