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James Washington Has Been Electric against Texas Tech during His Career



After the Cowboys dispatched Kliff Kingsbury’s Red Raiders in an early conference matchup, the young head coach was frustrated.

“In the second half, we just gave up too many big plays,” said Kingsbury. “They took a bunch of deep shots and our guys were in position, just not making plays. Their guys just went up and got the ball.”

One of those guys was an unproven wideout who had just completed his breakout game. The year was 2014, and the receiver was true freshman James Washington who had lit up Kingsbury’s defense for 87 yards and two touchdowns on just three catches. Heading into that Big 12 opener, the rookie had just two catches for 38 yards and a score in three games.

Months earlier, the standout freshman was playing for Class 1A Stamford High School, 146 miles southeast of Lubbock. Texas Tech is the closest Division I school to the small town with a population of just over 3,000. But the multi-sport stud and Class 1A Texas Player of the Year in football, Washington received just two in-state scholarship offers — TCU and Texas State.

Three years later — after having to game plan for the All-American receiver now four times — Kingsbury knew what he was getting into. While scheming for his final meeting with Washington and his Heisman hopeful QB, Kingsbury was asked about what it would take to slow the dynamic duo down.

“I don’t think anyone’s figured that out yet,” Kingsbury said. “That’s one of the best quarterbacks in the country. Washington is as good as anybody in the country.”

He’s right. James Washington is a Biletnikoff front-runner and is as talented and as accomplished as any wide receiver in the country.

He entered his senior season as the active leader in career touchdown catches (26) and ahead of all returning Power 5 receivers with 2,923 career receiving yards and an average of 19.2 yards per reception.

And Washington hasn’t slowed down through the first five weeks, either. He currently ranks second — leading all Power 5 wideouts — averaging 129.4 receiving yards per game. His 23.1 yards per catch is the highest of any receiver with at least 20 catches on the year.

But Washington has been especially electric when lining up across from those awkward Under Armour jerseys.

Here’s a look at The Prez‘s numbers during his four-year term over the Red Raiders.

Washington’s Career Numbers Against Texas Tech
Year Targets Catches Yards Long TDs
2017 12 9 127 30 1
2016 9 6 158 82 1
2015 11 6 200 73 2
2014 5 3 87 39 2

Against his hometown’s neighbor to the northwest, Washington has been a better version of himself. His career average of 83 yards per game is nearly doubled with an average of 143 against Tech. He’s also grabbed six touchdown passes against the Raiders. Coming into 2017, his five against Tech as was the most Washington had scored against any single team.

Whether or not it’s the hometown snub, or just the proximity to where he grew up fishing and hunting whatever varmint was in his sight. Whatever it is, Washington has been impressive against Texas Tech. And he was again on Saturday night.

But don’t expect him to take it easy on the rest of the Big 12, either.

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