Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the Texas Tech season with what you need to know.
Preview 2018: Texas Tech
Okay, Kliff Kingsbury. THIS should finally be your year.
Would Kingsbury have been sacked if the Red Raiders didn’t beat Texas late last year and ended up with a losing regular season and no bowl game? He probably would’ve been given one more shot, but that’s what this season is.
It’s year six under the reign of the former star quarterback and top offensive mind, and in that time he’s 30-33 overall, has just two winning seasons, and has yet to finish higher than fifth in the Big 12.
However, there have been tweaks, adjustments, and real, tangible improvements. But now these have to all come together and lead to wins, wins, and more wins.
The 2015 defense was a total disaster. It got hit for well over 7,000 yards and gave away 40+ point games like M&M’s. Last season? The Red Raider D gave up 5,769 yards and allowed more than 40 points five times. That’s close to par for the course in the Big 12.
There are just 13 takeaways in 2016 and was a -13 in turnover margin in 2014. Last season? +11 overall with 29 takeaways.
So there are things being fixed. It’s not like Kingsbury isn’t trying to take care of the various problems to make Texas Tech a player in the Big 12 chase.
But it’s tough.
There’s been the annual Kansas free space, and Baylor hit the skids, but other than that, it’s hard to get a win in a league deep with average-to-above average teams … and Oklahoma.
This is the year, though, when there are no more excuses – with the possible exception of a tougher-than-it-looks schedule.
What are the two things missing? A settled starting quarterback, and veteran receivers – the two things Texas Tech can find just by turning the lights on.
The defense not only gets back ten starters, it’s loaded with options to play around with in the secondary.
New offensive coordinator Kevin Johns will add a bit more running to the attack, the O line will do some shuffling to make all the experienced parts work, and there are several excellent receivers ready to step up and a few good quarterbacks to test out.
This is as strong as Texas Tech football has been in a long, long time in terms of depth, experience, and options.
It had better all work.