September 5, 2011

Who didn't play on Saturday?

Many Texas Tech players made their debut in Saturday's 50-10 win against Texas State.

True freshman Bradley Marquez scored a touchdown on his first catch ever as a Red Raider and linebacker Blake Dees recovered a fumble.

In addition to them, defensive tackles Delvon Simmons, Dennell Wesley, defensive end Kindred Evans, linebacker Sam Eguavoen, safety Pete Robertson, former walk-on cornerback Sawyer Vest and offensive lineman Tony Morales all made their first on-field appearances.

At their expense, however, were a few well-known players on the outside looking in. It looks like they'll have something to prove this bye week if they want to get in the New Mexico came Sept. 17.

While senior linebacker Sam Fehoko played, he might have been the most surprising player kept out of most of the action. During the offseason it would not have been difficult to see Fehoko start at one of the linebacker positions.

Fehoko also is one of the more vocal guys on this year's football squad.

In addition to Fehoko, experienced linebackers in Senior Tyrone Sonier and sophomore Daniel Cobb did not see action outside of special teams.

Cobb was expected to be a starter when fall camp started and he saw a lot of action last season in former defensive coordinator James Willis' 3-4 defense. Sonier has been a good linebacker from a depth standpoint throughout his career.

Instead of those guys, the coaching staff turned in favor of its younger players -- Dees, Cqulin Hubert and Eguavoen.

On the offensive side of the ball, it's important to mention freshman running back Ronnie Daniels was kept out of the Texas State game due to a violation of team rules. He'll have the opportunity to get back into good graces with the coaching staff during the bye week and the New Mexico week.

The biggest surprises were on the offensive line during the mop-up part of the game.

Former four-star recruit Kyle Clark did not play at all despite a lack of depth among the offensive line. Additionally, James Polk missed out on the action.

Offensive coordinator Neal Brown said with starting center Justin Keown out, there are only about six players he would trust in a starting role. It's obvious Clark has not developed into the player he was expected to be yet.

Again, there is a lot of time between now and Sept. 17 and a lot of time to improve during the course of the season but Saturday's game was a clear indication of who the coaches trust on the field and who is on the outside looking in.

With the goal to play less players in future games, especially on defense, some guys have their work cut out for them if they want to set their feet on the field in 2011.

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