#52 Texas Tech Football 2015 Preview

Texas Tech Red Raiders

Overall Rank: #52
#8 Big 12

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Under Coach Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech has been up and down. In 2013, the Red Raiders went 7-5 and beat Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl. Last year, there was very little consistency and Texas Tech managed just four wins. This team has talent, especially offensively, but turnovers have been a huge problem and that must be solved if this group is going to reach another bowl game.

2014 Record: 4-8, 2-7
2014 Bowl: None
Coach: Kliff Kingsbury (12-13 at Texas Tech, 12-13 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Eric Morris
Defensive Coordinator: David Gibbs, Mike Smith

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: DeAndre Washington, RB, 1,103 yards
Passing: Davis Webb, QB, 2,539 yards
Receiving: Jakeem Grant, WR, 938 yards
Tackles: Pete Robertson, LB, 81
Sacks: Pete Robertson, LB, 12.0
Interceptions: J.J. Gaines, DB, 2

Other Key Returnees: RB Justin Stockton, QB Patrick Mahomes, WR Devin Lauderdale, OL Le’Raven Clark, P/K Taylor Symmank, LB Micah Awe, S Keenon Ward, DB Tevin Madison, DB Justis Nelson

Key Losses: WR Brad Marquez, LB Sam Eguavoen

Coach Kingsbury hopes that eight returning starters to his offense will help reduce the turnovers. There are a couple options at quarterback. Davis Webb threw 13 interceptions in eight games before suffering a shoulder injury that ended his year. Webb did throw for 2,539 yards and 24 touchdowns, so it was not all about interceptions. Patrick Mahomes, now a sophomore, stepped in for Webb and played well down the stretch. In his last three starts, Mahomes threw for 1,319 yards, 14 touchdowns and two interceptions. That culminated in the series finale against Baylor when Mahomes completed 30-of-56 passes for 598 yards and six touchdowns. Mahomes will compete with Webb for the starting job and the Red Raiders at least have a couple solid options under center. They also have DeAndre Washington at running back and a bevy of receiving options. This offense wants to spread the ball around and they certainly do. In 2014, seven different players caught at least 20 passes and 11 players caught at least one touchdown pass.

Texas Tech hopes new defensive coordinator David Gibbs can make a big difference right away. He was at Houston last year and has a knack for forcing turnovers. The Red Raiders will also switch to a 4-3 defense, which will move Pete Robertson to the end spot. He tallied 12.0 sacks as an outside linebacker in 2014. The run defense was one of the worst in the country. An influx of talent in the front seven, including Ohio State transfer Mike Mitchell, may be the answer to at least turn this unit into something closer to the middle of the Big 12 instead of the bottom.

The Bottom Line:
The nine-game Big 12 slate is always going to be tough. Last year Texas Tech only managed to beat Iowa State and Kansas. That is not going to be enough to reach a bowl. This team needs to be able to beat Oklahoma State and Kansas State at home or manage to beat somebody on the road besides Kansas. They have the talent to beat anybody on any given day, but the Red Raiders need to be more disciplined and consistent to be a serious competitor in the Big 12.

Projected Bowl: Cactus Bowl

2014 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 153.0 (80th in nation, 5th in conference)
Passing Offense: 351.1 (5, 2)
Total Offense: 504.1 (10, 3)
Scoring Offense: 30.5 (52, 6)
Rushing Defense: 259.5 (121, 10)
Pass Defense: 253.2 (95, 6)
Total Defense: 512.7 (122, 9)
Scoring Defense: 41.3 (123, 10)
Turnover Margin: -1.08 (116, 9)
Sacks: 2.08 (66, 6)
Sacks Allowed: 1.08 (12, 2)

Madness 2016 NFL Draft Rankings:
#50 Le'Raven Clark

Madness 2015 Recruit Rankings:
#54 Breiden Fehoko


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