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FIRST WORD WHATTHE PROGRAM HAS ACCOMPLISHED OVER THE LASTDECADE U NDER THE LEADERSHIP OF JERRYCOLANGELO AND MIKE KRZYZEWSKI IS TRULY I MPRESSIVE. I WILL DO MY UTMOSTTO MAINTAIN THE HIGH STANDARDS OF S UCCESS, CLASS AND CHARACTER.” Gregg Popovich, who has led the Spur s to five NBA titles, on the announcement that he will replace Krzyzewski as the U.S. men’s basketball coach after the 2016 Olympics. Page10D Saturday,October24,2015 DemocratandChronicle. com HE’S LYING WHEN HE SAYS HE DIDN’T DO ITON PURPOSE. ... HE’S TOO GOOD A RACE-CAR DRIVER TO DO THATBYACCIDENT. Chase for the Sprint Cup driver M att Kenseth , talking about being spun by Joey Logano in the final laps of Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway. QUOTE OF THE D AY KENSETH BY USA TODAY SPORTS USA SNAPSHOTS © September favorites 19.7% Tickets sold to the top five NFL games 1 in September, compared to all other NFL games that month 1 – Giants at Cowboys, Bears at Seahawks, 49ers at Steelers, Falcons at Cowboys, Patriots at Bills Source Ticketmaster ELLEN J. HORROW AND PAUL TRAP, USA TODAY SPORTSLINE MARK J. REBILAS, USA TODAY SPORTS POPOVICH BY SOOBUM IM, USA TODAY SPORTS NUMBER TO KNOW I 0 Years of managing experienc e f or newly named Mariner s skipper Scott Servais, who was a big-league c atcher . The 48-year- old was assistant general manager for the Angels the last five year s. NUMBER TO KNOW II 40 Age of Uzbekistan gymnast Oksana Chusovitina, who is competing in her 14th world championships in Glasgow, Sc otland. ALMOST LAST WORD “I DON’TTHINK I’VE EVER S EEN ITRAIN LIKE THIS.” Formula One points leader Lewis Hamilton, after he was able to c omplete only four practice laps in Austin for the U.S. Grand Prix. Storms could affect the entir e week end, from qualifying Saturday to the race Sunday. LAST WORD “I’M HAPPY, BECAUSE ONE THING THAT’S EXTRAORDI- NARILYIMPORTANTGIVEN HIS LIFE PLANS IS HE REALLY WANTS TO BE PRESIDENTOF PHILIPPINES. ... HE’S GOTTA BE ABLE TO DO ITWITHOUTANY KIND OF IMPAIRMENTTO HIS BRAIN FUNCTION. AND THE MORE YOU STAYIN BOXING, T HE MORE YOU RISK THAT.” Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, in announcing that Manny Pac- quiao plans to r etir e after one mor e boxing match in the spring bec ause the fighter told him, “I can ’t fight any longer as a senator because I c an ’t be absent (from office).” Edited by Joe Rayos LUBBOCK , TEXAS The Texas Tech quarterbacks who strolled through West Texas for more than a decade were always skinny, cerebral and conﬁdent, or at least the latter. Kli Kingsbury was the total package, as well as the arc hetype of a position that would c ome to de ﬁ ne the program’s o verall identity. I t could be Kingsbury, or it could be Symons, Cumbie, Harrell, Potts, Doege or another. The f riendliest quarterback system in college football featured a conveyor belt of productive passers, all under-recruited, all fromTex- as and many now found in the pages of the NCAA record book. Like his predecessors, Patrick Mahomes is a Texan — from Whitehouse, an East Texas city roughly equidistant between Dallas and the Louisiana line. Yet outside of the shared o ensive system now run by Kingsbury, the Red Raiders’ third-year coach, geography might be all that ties Mahomes to the program’s quarterback lineage. “He’s far from a traditional quarterback,” running back DeAndre Washington said. “He’s his own guy.” Football wasn’t his ﬁrst love and certainly isn’t in his blood. Mahomes’ father, Pat, played Major League Baseball for more than a decade, passing along athletic g enes and an a nity for line drives and fastballs. Rest assured: M ahomes is the ﬁ rst Texas Tech q uarterback to have been taught t he art of hitting by Alex Rodriguez or to have shagged ﬂ y b alls from Robin Ventura during b atting practice. “I’m glad he picked football,” o ensive tackle Le’Raven Clark said. In an era when personalized quarterback development has become commonplace, Mahomes never had a private coach and never attended the quarterback- only camps that have become a ubiquitous part of a recruit’s o - season schedule. He didn’t play f ootball until middle school, then a s a safety, and didn’t take over at quarterback until the third game o f his junior year. “ There’s no guru to it; there’s n o camps,” Kingsbury said. “He’s just a natural thrower.” M ahomes has the numbers a nd success through the midway point of his sophomore season to paint an absurdly bright future. He’s also the evolution of a type: Texas Tech quarterbacks have long been this productive but never this athletic, never this instinctual and never this full of potential. “He’s pretty special,” o ensive coordinator Eric Morris said. “It’s f un to watch him create these p lays and ﬁnd people downﬁeld. How accurate he throws the ball o n the run is what’s really re- m arkable to me.” T here are throws and moments that stand out, from an a cross-his-body toss in last seas on’s game against Oklahoma — Morris references it nearly a year later — toa block thrown in September’s win against Arkansas. Washington was already down- ﬁeld when he caught “a red blur” out of the corner of his eye: Mahomes, a 220-pound missile, sprinting toward an Arkansas safety to spring his running back for additional yardage. At least Mahomes led with his left, non-throwing shoulder and not his right. The coaches weren’t displeased, necessarily, just wary: Please don’t do that again, Kingsbury said. His teammates, on the other hand, viewed Mahomes’ willingness to sacriﬁce his body as the latest example of a sophomore embracing his new role, as the leader of a program quietly ascending the pecking order in a t op-heavy Big 12 Conference. I t also supports another idea: M aybe Mahomes doesn’t know a ny better. “There are some times when I try to do too much and I’ll run a round for no reason, really,” the younger Mahomes said. “It’s fun, but it can hurt you at the same time. Sometimes you just have to learn from it, when to do it and when not to do it.” That’s all part of the learning process. It’s just that Mahomes is already performing at a high level: He ranks third nationally in passing yards and sixth in TDs, numbers that place the sophomore alongside two Heisman Trophy-contending peers inside this conference, TCU’s Trevone Boykin and Baylor’s Seth Russell. No Texas Tech quarterback has ever moved quite like this; Mahomes is on pace for nearly 500 yards rushing and double-digit touchdowns on the ground. The o ense ranks third in the Football Bowl Subdivision in points per game and yards per play. The defense lagsbut has f ound a purpose behind ﬁrst-year c oordinator David Gibbs. Texas Tech wants to force turnovers a nd puntsto create more possess ions for its potent scoring attack. T he program has found a formula; not coincidentally, Kingsb ury and his sta also have found a quarterback. “He’s it,” Kingsbury said. “Without him, it’s not the same. That is a special talent.” MAHOMES BREAKS TEXAS TECH TRADITION QB impresses with natural skill, athleticism Paul Myerberg @PaulMyerberg USA TODAY Sports NELSON CHENAULT, USA TODAY SPORTS Texas Tech sophomore QB Patrick Mahomes ranks third nationally in passing yards (2,618) and sixth in touchdowns (20). NEWYORK Of all the surprising aspects of the New York Mets’ p ostseason run to the National League pennant, nothing is more c ounterintuitive than the team’s e xtra gear when it comes to base- running. So much so that ﬁrst-base (and baserunning) coach Tom Goodw in was caught by surprise when Daniel Murphy changed the feel of Game 5 of the division series against the Los Angeles Dodgers by stealing third base on, of all things, a Lucas Duda walk. “It was crazy,” Goodwin recalled, standing in front of the home dugout Friday at Citi Field at the optional workout day. “I had my head down, because Lucas is coming up the line, I’m gon- na slap him ﬁve, nice job, this and that — and then I just look up, hear the crowd buzzing, and there’s Murphy just going to third. Like I said, that’s a testament to those guys. It’s something we talk about all the time. I t’s taking the extra base without giving up an out.” Murphy’s steal also served as foreshadowing for the way the Mets beat the Chicago Cubs in the NL Championship Series, stealing seven bases in eight attempts. To say this is out of character would be an understatement: The Mets stole 51 bases all season in 76 attempts. Both totals ranked at the bottom of the NL. But Terry Collins and his sta see the stolen bases as an extension of a teamwide e ort, implemented by Goodwin, to take the extra base whenever opportuni- t ies come up, with steals only one component of this aggression. “ You can be aggressive all you w ant,” Collins said Friday. “You’ve got to be able to run the bases. You’ve got to be able to go ﬁrst to third. I don’t care who it is. “ Now, to go out and steal bases with guys that can’t run? You’re gonna get beat. ... And again, we didn’t want to run ourselves out of innings in Chicago. You saw the one game which we did in the ﬁrst inning, ran us out of a run.” But that lone out, Curtis Granderson getting thrown out in the ﬁrst inning of Game 3, was outweighed by his other three steals, along with those from David Wright, Yoenis Cespedes, Juan Lagares and Wilmer Flores. “It’s one of those things where our philosophy is, you have to be prepared to take an extra base without giving up an out,” Goodwin said. “And that’s what we play b y, whether that’s ﬁrst-to-third, dirt-ball lead. But not having the fastest team this year, it was just one of those things where we would try to take advantage of some of the other things — overthrows from an outﬁelder, things like that. We’ve always been ready to do this. We just haven’t had the opportunity to do it.” A ccording to Collins, that changed against Chicago, though it should be noted that the Mets hadn’t stolen more against the Cubs than other teams during the season — just four steals in ﬁve attempts during seven regular- season games. Perhaps not coincidentally, all losses by the Mets. “We go in there knowing that teams stole bases against the Chicago Cubs,” Collins said. “So we have three, four guys we think can steal bases, we said to them, ‘ If you get on base, you have a green light.’” Will the new Mets, Whiteyball- style (coined after the former St. Louis Cardinals’ Whitey Herzog) continue into the World Series? Goodwin will break down ﬁlm on the American League Championship Series winner and make his recommendations. Times to h ome, times to second will be pro ered to those on base. “Well, it’ll be based on who we play,” Collins said. “We got the numbers on the Toronto Blue Jays, and they lead all of baseball in throwing runners out. So that’s probably not a wise situation.” The Mets have spent years preparing for this moment: Baseball Prospectus had them atop the majors in baserunning value (not just steals) in 2013, and Goodwin cites the work dating to the ﬁrst d ay of spring training as vital to the Mets maximizing their base- running opportunities, however they come in the World Series. “This is my fourth year here,” Goodwin said, “and we’ve been preaching it for that long. ... If the ball hits the dirt and they don’t get that good jump, they’re upset.” Mets embrace newfound thievery Howard Megdal @howardmegdal Special for USA TODAY Sports JERRY LAI, USA TODAY SPORTS Curtis Granderson helped the Mets steal seven bases in eight attempts against the Cubs en route to winning the NLCS.