Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Injury forces Red Raiders OL to shuffle
By David Ubben
Texas Tech starting center Justin Keown will miss four to five weeks after injuring his right knee during practice early this week.
“He’s got some damage, but they think they might be able to rehab it and get him back in another month or so,” Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville told reporters. “No surgery right now.”
As a result, the Red Raiders offensive line, which returned five starters from last season's team, will have to get used to a few new positions.
From the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal:
Starting guard Deveric Gallington will be moved to center to take Keown’s place, and versatile backup Terry McDaniel will replace Gallington at right guard.
"Gallington does a good job at center,” Tuberville said. "The problem is you just hate to lose a guy that’s been out here for so long and played in so many games, senior leadership and those type of things. It’s an obvious disadvantage."
Gallington started every game last year at right guard, when the Red Raiders went 8-5, and Keown started every game at center. The senior from Anderson, S.C., has 15 career starts.
That's a big blow for the Red Raiders, who lose Keown a day after Missouri lost starting tackle Elvis Fisher for the season. Texas Tech will be breaking in a new quarterback, new running back and lost its top two receivers from last season's team. The offensive line needs to be great.
The good news?
Even if it's not, Texas Tech could still run up a 4-0 record if Keown isn't back by the Oct. 1 date the Red Raiders hope.
Texas Tech opens with Texas State and has dates with New Mexico, a depleted Nevada team and opens conference play in October against Kansas, who won just one game in Big 12 play last season.
It gets real the following week with a home date against Texas A&M, so Keown better be ready to go by then.