Lot of balls in air for Texas Tech-SMU opener

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 30, 2013 at 3:29 am •  Published: August 30, 2013
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DALLAS (AP) — Like his coach, SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert laughed when presented with the question of whether he'd take the over or under on the Mustangs and Texas Tech combining to throw at least 80 passes in their season opener.

"It's going to be a lot," said Gilbert, who better make sure he warms up his arm.

When they play Friday night, the Mustangs will debut an offense that is a meshing of coach June Jones' "Run and Shoot" with the "Air Raid" philosophy of new passing game coordinator Hal Mumme.

Kliff Kingsbury, the former Texas Tech quarterback, makes his head coaching debut at his alma mater. He threw for 12,429 yards and 95 touchdowns in 43 games with the Red Raiders, and his big-yardage ode isn't much different as a coach. He was Texas A&M's offensive coordinator last season with Heisman Trophy-winning freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel.

"I think he'll come out throwing and we'll come out throwing," Jones said of Kingsbury. "So it will be a lot (of passes). It will be a long game."

Gilbert played in a BCS national championship game for Texas before transferring to SMU for his final two seasons.

With presumptive first-time starter sophomore Michael Brewer dealing with a back issue, Kingsbury will send one of two true freshmen out with the first-team offense, a first for the Red Raiders in a season opener. They are one of only eight schools nationally without a quarterback on the roster that has some starting experience, so it will be either Davis Webb or walk-on Baker Mayfield at the helm.

"You don't want them to think too much. It's still playing the game," Kingsbury said. "It's still football. It's going to move around a little faster, but we try to get all these guys a bunch of reps, and I think they'll be ready to go."

Here are five things to watch when Texas Tech and SMU play:

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COORDINATING CHANGES: Matt Wallerstedt is the fifth defensive coordinator in five seasons at Texas Tech. He was the linebackers coach at Texas A&M before leaving with Kingsbury for Lubbock. Wallerstedt had been the defensive coordinator at Wyoming, North Alabama and Air Force. Mumme joined old friend Jones as the Mustangs assistant head coach and passing game coordinator. Mumme and Jones have led some of the most prolific passing offenses in college football — and now they're together. Mumme's offense is known for stretching the field horizontally and Jones has generally gotten down the field vertically.

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