Talk about making the most of an opportunity.
Baker Mayfield, believed to be the first true freshman walk-on to start at quarterback in a season opener for a BCS team, was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week on Monday.
Mayfield dazzled in his Red Raider debut, completing 43-of-60 pass attempts for 413 yards and four touchdowns along with an 11-yard rushing score to account for five total touchdowns in Friday night's 41-23 victory over SMU. Just as impressive, the freshman had zero turnovers.
The Lake Travis native set the Texas Tech record for most completions by a quarterback in a career debut while also becoming just the fifth Red Raider to pass for 400-plus yards and throw at least four touchdowns in their first game.
"You turn the tape on and there's lots of room for improvement," coach Kingsbury said in Monday's press conference. "But the way he just held steady, he never blinked. He just kept pushing forward and kept getting better as the game went on which is what you want to see."
"He's not your average walk-on," senior wide receiver Eric Ward said. "To us he's a scholarship guy. He goes out there and tears the defense up. He's just a phenomenal player and I'm very excited to see how he handled the game and how he handled the pressure."
"He's got a charisma about him," co-offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie said. "He's kind of like a gunslinger out there and he did a really good job. There wasn't a time you looked out there and he looked like a freshman. He wasn't wide-eyed at all. The moment wasn't too big for him, and once he settled in, it didn't seem like the game was too fast for him."
"I think he's always been an underdog," Kingsbury added. "He's going to go prove people wrong every time he steps on the field, whether it's practice or the games and that's fun to coach. It's fun to see that look in his eye."
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