Texas Tech may have lost more than just a game to Texas A&M on Saturday - they may have to go through much of the season without star running back Eric Stephens due to an injury.
Stephens went down late in the third quarter with a left knee injury after the Aggies' Damontre Moore hit the back of Stephens' leg and caused the running back to twist awkwardly.
Postgame brought no news to the injury's severity or what length of time Stephens could be missing, but Red Raiders' head coach Tommy Tuberville said it's not good.
Eric Stephens is huge, Tuberville said. You know, he's a guy that brings a lot of leadership. He comes to practice every day and works hard and all -- you need an older guy like that for the younger guys to follow. We've got a lot of good young guys, and he was a great example for them.
What can you say about Eric? He was on his way to being over 1,000 yards and having a good night.
The Red Raiders were driving to cut into the Aggies' third-quarter lead, set up at first-and-goal from the 5-yard line. Stephens was the intended target on a pass play, but he dropped the ball, stumbled and then was hit by Texas A&M linebacker Damontre Moore. Stephens screamed loudly upon being hit.
Stephens twisted his knee awkwardly as Moore put on the hit. Stephens stayed on the ground for almost 10 minutes and was helped off the field by trainers before being carted to the Texas Tech locker room.
He already had carried the ball 22 times for 102 yards and a touchdown at the time of his injury. He had more than 100 yards rushing in four of the Red Raiders' five games thus far.
He's been a huge part of our offense, Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege said after the game. Obviously, he's been very productive. He's been maybe the best offensive player we have on this team. You know, he's a great guy, great leader, so it's going to hurt.