#45 Texas Tech Football 2016 Preview

Texas Tech Red Raiders
Overall Rank: #45
#7 Big 12
After a year off, Texas Tech went back to a bowl game last year. They got crushed by LSU in the Texas bowl, but it was a nice rebounding year for Coach Kliff Kingsbury. The Red Raiders lose a lot of talent and have some holes to fill. This may be a young team, but they are pretty good and reaching six wins and getting back to another bowl game is a good goal.
2015 Record: 7-6, 4-5
2015 Bowl: Texas Bowl vs. LSU (L 27-56)
Coach: Kliff Kingsbury (19-19 at Texas Tech, 19-19 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Eric Morris
Defensive Coordinator: David Gibbs
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Patrick Mahomes, QB, 456 yards
Passing: Patrick Mahomes, QB, 4,653 yards
Receiving: Devin Lauderdale, WR, 639 yards
Tackles: Jah’Shawn Johnson, S, 85
Sacks: Gary Moore, DE, 3.0
Interceptions: Jah’Shawn Johnson, S, 2; Tevin Madison, S, 2; Justis Nelson, CB, 2
Other Key Returnees: RB Justin Stockton, WR Ian Sadler, WR Reginald Davis, S Keenon Ward, LB D’Vonta Hinton, LB Malik Jenkins
Key Losses: RB DeAndre Washington, WR Jakeem Grant, OL Le’Raven Clark, OL Jared Kaster, OL Alfredo Morales, LB Micah Awe, LB Dakota Allen, DB JJ Gaines, DE Pete Robertson
Patrick Mahomes has turned into one of the best quarterbacks in the country. Last season as a sophomore he threw for 4,653 yards and 36 touchdowns. Mahomes also rushed for 456 yards and ten more scores. He can carry this team a long way. But Mahomes does need some help. Devin Lauderdale, Ian Sadler and Reginald Davis are all experienced wide receivers, but somebody does need to step up and replace Jakeem Grant, who led the team with 90 receptions for 1,268 yards and ten touchdowns. Dylan Cantrell, who returns from injury, and junior college transfer Derrick Willies should help fill the void. At running back, the Red Raiders need to replace DeAndre Washington, who rushed for nearly 1,500 yards last season. With the way this offense is set up, there will be holes for any back, but Washington was very good at finding them. Justin Stockton is the most experienced option and he is always a threat to break out a big run.
Texas Tech is going to give up points, but this group is very young and could have a very, very tough year. This is a team that gave up 43.6 points per game last year and the hope is second year coordinator David Gibbs’ scheme will start to pay off in year two. The line will build around sophomore tackle Breiden Fehoko, who started every game as a freshman. Players like Gary Moore, Zach Barnes and Notre Dame transfer Kilin Hill will need to get a more consistent pass rush on the opposing quarterback. At linebacker, sophomore D’Vonta Hinton will lead the way. Hinton is the linebacker who can get into the backfield. The secondary has some experience with seniors Paul Banks, Justis Nelson and Thierry Nguema. But the star of the unit is sophomore safety Jah’Shawn Johnson, who tallied 85 tackles and picked off two passes.
The Bottom Line:
This should be another high scoring season for the Red Raiders. And when you can score 60 points against just about anybody, you can beat anybody. But the defense still has a long way to go. They were able to create turnovers last year, but they need to do a better job of containing some of the potent offenses in the Big 12. The conference is pretty top heavy and beating the likes of Oklahoma or TCU might be asking too much from the Red Raiders, but this is a group that should be able to beat the teams they should beat and pull off an upset or two along the way and get back to a bowl game.
Projected Bowl: Armed Forces Bowl
2015 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 191.3 (40th in nation, 6th in conference)
Passing Offense: 388.2 (2, 1)
Total Offense: 579.5 (2, 2)
Scoring Offense: 45.1 (2, 2)
Rushing Defense: 279.9 (126, 10)
Pass Defense: 267.8 (112, 8)
Total Defense: 547.7 (126, 9)
Scoring Defense: 43.6 (124, 9)
Turnover Margin: 0.15 (51, 5)
Sacks: 1.46 (104, 10)
Sacks Allowed: 2.08 (63, 3)
Madness 2017 NFL Draft Rankings:
#79 Patrick Mahomes