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Big 12 Spring Outlook: Multiple Questions Face Wells As Texas Tech Looks To Improve

Previewing where Texas Tech stands as the Red Raiders head into spring practices.



Getty Images - John E. Moore III

The 2020 football offseason continues to roll along, as Big 12 football teams commence their spring practices. Texas Tech started their practices this week, and they’ll take most of March to go through drills and scrimmages before their spring game in early April.

Matt Wells’ first season as the head coach at Texas Tech was less than impressive, but not unexpected for a coach looking to rebuild a team that has consistently hovered around .500 the last decade. Nonetheless, Wells didn’t do much to assure fans in Lubbock of his long term viability there after a 4-8 finish.

The head coach enters his second season hoping to be playing in the postseason a few months from now, and improvement across the board would help make that a reality. Moving forward will involve more consistency for the Red Raiders, who had an undeniably up-and-down year in 2019. There are definitely some issues to work through on both sides of the ball, but Wells is hoping that one more year on the South Plains will mark one more positive step in remaking the Texas Tech football program.

SPRING GAME: SAT, April 10 at 6 p.m.
LOCATION: AT&T Jones Stadium (Lubbock, TX)

Offensive Questions For The Red Raiders

For a team that put up over 474 yards per game last season, you wouldn’t think that the Red Raiders would have many questions on offense. Yet, after the transfer of junior quarterback Jett Duffey – whose history of off-the-field problems has followed him outside of Lubbock – Texas Tech finds itself with some instability at that position. The favorite to take over has to be Alan Bowman, who’ll be a junior this season. Bowman’s had issues with injury, but the same can be said for Maverick McIvor, the other signal caller he’ll be competing alongside.

With running back T’Zhawn Henry’s recent announcement that he’s entering the transfer portal, there will be room for ball carriers to add some depth behind sophomore SaRodorick Thompson, who wracked up 765 yards on the ground last season. They’ll be running behind a line that will need to find answers at both tackles and at guard after departures there. Junior Casey Verhulst is a likely candidate at right tackle and sophomore Weston Wright, who started six games last season, will in all probability take over at a guard position.

There will be depth at pass catcher for the Red Raiders, so that will likely be a strength in 2020. Finding a new starting tight end will be one more project that coordinator David Yost will be taking on throughout the next few weeks.

Defensive Questions For The Red Raiders

Perhaps the biggest question for Texas Tech heading into next season is a defense that ranked at or near the bottom of the Big 12 in many categories. To help remedy some of those ills, Wells brought in new defensive assistants in Kevin Cosgrove and Derek Jones.

Those additions to the defensive staff will have some experience to work with. Out of the front six, three starters are gone from last year’s two deep, but there are veteran players returning. Finding a couple of replacements at linebacker and defensive line will be among their top priorities in the offseason. Likewise, two new starters in the secondary will need to emerge to replacing departing seniors. DaMarcus Fields and Thomas Leggett will both be juniors in 2020, and are certainly candidates to fill the vacancies.

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