Defenses have had difficulty slowing down Texas Tech's Patrick Mahomes all season. Texas linebacker Breckyn Hager has a different idea of how to handle the record-setting quarterback.
The sophomore said the Longhorns plan to "injure that quarterback" when he met the media Monday before this weekend's game between the schools.
Breckyn Hager says multiple times that they want to "injure that quarterback". Trying not to take this out of context...don't think we are.— Bob Ballou (@BobBallouSports) October 31, 2016
The comments by Hager got the attention of Mahomes' dad, former MLB pitcher Pat Mahomes.
Are you kidding meRT @RickyDoyle: Hager on the Texas D's mission this week: "Injure that quarterback."— pat mahomes (@PMahomes) October 31, 2016
Hager, who later tried to clarify his comments, gets points for honesty — most defenses want to knock out the opposing quarterback — but his comments certainly are going to get the attention of the Red Raiders and the officials prior to the game.
Hager later issued a full apology through the university.
The original comments were not a great look for Texas, given his stated desire to injure the star player of a perceived inferior in-state rival.
Mahomes, who set an NCAA record with 819 yards of total offense and tied a record with 734 passing yards against Oklahoma, certainly will be a challenge for the Longhorns defense that is 95th in the country in passing yards allowed.
The fear about Mahomes ability to carve up the Longhorns secondary, though, is probably only part of what is driving Hager's comment.
There also appears to be some residual bad blood after the Red Raiders won in Austin last year. During the game, former Texas defense back Quandre Diggs took exception to Mahomes flexing after a touchdown and reminded Twitter he knocked the quarterback out of their game in 2014.
@qdiggs6 your a fool lmao— Jack (@JackAnderson_53) November 27, 2015
The comments definitely create an interesting subplot with both teams 4-4 and fighting for a win to become bowl-eligible.