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Freshman walk-on Baker Mayfield has 5 TDs for Texas Tech

  • By Andy Fenelon NFL.com
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Despite winning a state championship as a Texas high school senior, Baker Mayfield never received a scholarship. After Friday night, there probably are a few schools that wish they had offered one.

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Mayfield, thought to be the first true walk-on freshman quarterback to start a season opener for a BCS school, completed 43 of 60 passes for 413 yards and four touchdowns in the Red Raiders' 41-23 victory Friday night over SMU. And for good measure, he ran in another score.

The fact that Texas Tech was starting a true walk-on freshman had some observers calling for an upset. Not on this night. Not even close.

Mayfield wasn't the only one making history Friay night. Kliff Kingsbury, the former Texas A&M offensive coordinator who helped turn Johnny Manziel into a Heisman Trophy winner, was making his debut with Texas Tech at age 34, which makes him the youngest head coach at a BCS school.

Like Manziel did much of last season, Mayfield played with what Kingsbury called a "chip on his shoulder." Unlike Johnny Football, who was a three-star recruit with options, Mayfield's chip was caused by being overlooked.

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Despite that difference, Kingsbury believes there are more similarities.

"Very similar in their mentality. Johnny's a phenom athletically, so it's tough to compare," Kingsbury told the Associated Press after Friday's game. "But as far as their fearlessness, attacking and not getting flustered, I saw the same look in Baker's eyes."

Can another freshman win the Heisman for the second consecutive season? Let's not get ahead of ourselves. But after Friday night, Mayfield's autograph price might have just gone up.

Follow Andy Fenelon on Twitter @Andy_Fenelon.

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