Texas Tech finished 2014 with just two conference wins, and those wins came against perpetual cellar-dweller’s, Kansas and Iowa State. The good news is they return more starters than any other school in the Big 12. With nine returning on offense, and eight returning on defense the Red Raiders should be much improved.
The fans got their first look at this year’s squad last Saturday when Tech put on the annual spring game. Seth Jungman from Staking The Plains was kind enough to share his thoughts on the scrimmage. If you haven’t checked out their new site, you definitely should!
This was a bit of an odd time for Texas Tech’s spring game due to the fact that Texas Tech will have a handful of additional practices moving forward. This was practice #9 or so and it was more of a practice than the typical spring game. The game was held in Midland, just a short drive from Lubbock, as there is some construction on the seats at Jones AT&T Stadium that prohibited the game being in Lubbock. With Midland having such a huge Texas Tech alumni base, it was an easy decision.
Texas Tech held out Davis Webb, who is still recovering from off-season shoulder surgery, and the first team quarterback was Patrick Mahomes, who performed very well. The stats weren’t necessarily eye-popping, but he only threw four incompletions while throwing for a couple of touchdowns. He looked as poised as ever and considering this is his first spring, where he is also splitting time with the baseball team, his performance was terrific. The veteran offensive line opened up plenty of running lanes and although starter DeAndre Washington didn’t have a ton of carries, it was good for fans to see back-ups DeMarcus Felton, Justin Stockton and Quinton White, who all had flashed break-away speed and the ability to make plays. The receiver group was okay and this may be the biggest area of concern for Texas Tech as the group may be four or six players deep. A talented freshman class should come in and help in the summer.
This has been Texas Tech’s biggest problem for what has seemed like an eternity for Red Raider fans. New defensive coordinator David Gibbs has been a defensive coordinator for a handful of years and he has 22 years of coaching experience, including some stints in the NFL, but was most recently at the University of Houston. Gibbs emphasized turnovers at UH and he intends on doing the same at Texas Tech. As far as the scrimmage is concerned, and this always sounds like a back-handed compliment, the defense appeared to at the very least be orderly and they made just as many big plays as the offense. The defensive line looked to be much improved and forced Mahomes to scramble and make plays a handful of times. The linebackers, in particular Micah Awe, really impressed on Saturday, in coverage and laying some decent hits on the running backs. The best defensive back appears to be Nigel Bethel, II, who returns for his sophomore campaign. The secondary appeared to keep almost every play in front of them, which was a huge problem for Texas Tech last year.
– Cover Photo Credit: Texas Tech Spring Game – YouTube – TechAthletics