College Football Preview: The 2015 Texas Tech Red Raiders
Texas Tech Red Raiders Preview
2014 Record: 4-8 (94th of 128)
Odds to Win National Championship: +30000 See the Latest Odds
Overview: We’ve seen two different Texas Tech teams in Kliff Kingsbury’s first two seasons. The Red Raiders were a solid Big 12 team in 2013, reaching a bowl game and winning eight games for the fifth time since 2008. Last year, Texas Tech was a mess and finished with just two Big 12 victories. This season, Red Raiders’ fans just hope for some consistency.
Offense: The good news for Texas Tech is that it finished last season with a top-10 offense and returns both quarterbacks. Patrick Mahomes and Davis Webb will battle it out for the starting position after combining for 40 touchdown passes. Mahomes showed more as a freshman and took far better care of the football. DeAndre Washington returns at running back after topping 1,000 rushing yards and Justin Stockton averaged more than eight yards per carry as a freshman. Jakeem Grant leads the way at receiver after racking up 132 receptions the last two seasons and Devin Lauderdale had seven touchdowns on 31 receptions. Oh, and Texas Tech’s offensive line remains intact, meaning this should once again be one of the better offenses in the country.
USA TODAY Sports
Defense: Texas Tech’s defense ranked 125th in the country last season, allowing 512.7 yards per game. Only UNLV, New Mexico and Iowa State had a worse defense than the Red Raiders. The good news is that playmaker Pete Robertson, who picked up 15.5 tackles for loss last year, returns for his senior season. Micah Awe is a tackling machine at linebacker and Branden Jackson has proven to be consistent along the defensive front. Justis Nelson is a ball hawking defensive back with 20 pass break ups in two seasons while Nigel Bethel II and Tevin Madison shown that they can also play at a high level as freshmen. Texas Tech has a number of young players who can make plays, it just has to do a better job of getting off the field with some sort of consistency.
Special Teams: Taylor Symmank returns at punter after averaging 42.6 yards on 54 attempts. Clayton Hatfield is likely going to replace Ryan Bustin at kicker.
Overall: In order for Texas Tech to be in the mix this season, obviously the defense has to be lightyears improved. However, the Red Raiders have an offense that can put points on anybody, which is always dangerous in the competitive Big 12. Texas Tech should make a bowl appearance for the third time in four years.