Solid Play Needed on Both Sides of the Ball for Texas Tech

Texas Tech

Solid Play Needed on Both Sides of the Ball for Texas Tech

The departure of Mike Leach prior to last season was a blessing and a curse. It was a blessing for obvious reasons, but a curse in what he left behind. Leach left Texas Tech with a great pattern of potent offenses, and also a legacy of weak defenses. Entering his second year as head coach, Tommy Tuberville is saddled with the task of raising the defensive tradition in Lubbock, especially if they plan to contend with the forces of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas. 

The Red Raiders passing offense, in regards to yards per game, was ranked #7 (318 yds.) in the FBS last season. Couple that with a scoring average of just over 33 points per game, and you have an offensive unit that will be feared and respected by conference foes.  Texas Tech makes names of quarterbacks you might not ever hear of otherwise. Graham Harrell and Taylor Potts put up amazing numbers before graduating in 2009 and 2011 respectively. Now we can fully anticipate the same type of performances from the new expected starter, junior Seth Doege. In the spring game this year he threw for 317 yards and four touchdowns with only one interception.

On the downside, 2010 was a defensive nightmare for Texas Tech. They ranked 114th (of 120) in yards allowed per game and even gave up 52 points to a lowly Iowa State team in October. They ranked 61st (tied with UCLA, Army and Tulane) in total number of sacks, and only slightly more competitive (tied for 34th) in interceptions. Throw that in with mediocre special teams performances (10-15 FG attempted and zero kickoffs/punts returned for touchdowns). These ranking will need to improve if we can expect to see a surge in Texas Tech’s conference standings. Last season they finished 3-5 in the Big-12 and earned a bid to the Cotton Bowl where they beat Northwestern 45-38.

The promise shown by the young defenders D.J. Johnson (Jr. DB) and Cqulin Hubert (So. LB) in this year’s spring game could be a good sign for an improved defensive unit. As far as the future is concerned, Tech signed three defenders for 2011 that are ranked by ESPN as top 40 in their respective positions. DT Delvon Simmons, DE Desimon Green, and LB Branden Jackson. Tech fans can hope these high school standouts can help bring the Red Raiders into the Big-12 championship conversation.

The out-of-conference schedule is light this year, giving the Red Raiders a chance for a decent record. They play Texas State, New Mexico, and Nevada (without Colin Kaepernick) before opening conference play at Kansas on Oct. 1st


 Read the in-depth preview for Texas Tech football