The Texas Tech Red Raiders were one of those streaky teams last season much like Mississippi State and Northwestern. Tech won their first 7 games and then they lost 5 in a row. What started off as a great season for first year head coach, Kliff Kingsbury came crashing down pretty quickly.
Texas Tech used 2 walk-on freshmen QBs in Davis Webb and Baker Mayfield and they did very well for the first part of the season.
Kingsbury named Webb his starting QB for the bowl game and Baker Mayfield and injured scholarship QB Michael Brewer both transferred out. Mayfield has to sit out a year, but is expected to compete for a starting job at Oklahoma in 2015 which says a lot about how good he is. Brewer transferred to Virginia Tech and could start.
Sophomore Davis Webb (6-4, 200) looks to have a very bright future in Lubbock. Webb threw for 2,718 yards and 20 TDs in 2013 in spite of missing 3 games and playing very little in several others. The back up at QB should be incoming 3 star Patrick Mahomes (6-3, 200).
Kenny Williams (5-9, 225) is the leading returning rusher with 497 yards and 8 TDs, but he was moved to defense during the Spring. DeAndre Washington (5-9, 180) ran for 450 yards. Quinton White (5-7, 200) is also back after rushing for 130 yards as a freshman. Rodney Hall (5-10, 245) and redshirt freshman Armond Weh-weh (5-11, 205) are other options.
Justin Stockton (5-9, 175) is an incoming 4 star freshman from San Antonio from the same school that produced Texas Longhorn RB Malcolm Brown and Stockton is really good.
Tech’s leading receiver last season was Tight End Jace Amaro and he has gone on to the NFL. Texas Tech will not be using a Tight End in the future.
After Amaro, the leading receiver was Eric Ward who also left for the NFL.
Jakeem Grant (5-6, 160) is the top returning receiver with 65 catches and 7 TDs. Bradley Marquez (5-11, 200) had 49 receptions for 633 yards and 6 TDs. Jordan Davis (5-9, 170) had 28 catches.
Reginald Davis (6-0, 190) added another 15 catches.
Even though they lost their 2 biggest contributors at receiver, Texas Tech has plenty of talent returning. Plus, incoming recruits Ian Sadler (5-10, 195), Byron Daniels (6-0, 190) who are both 4 stars and then 3 star Jakari Dillard (6-4, 185), Cameron Batson (5-9, 165) JC transfers Devin Lauderdale (5-11, 170) and Tevin Madison (5-10, 165).
Le’Raven Clark (6-5, 320) returns at Left Tackle and Poet Thomas (6-5, 335) should back him up.
Alfredo Morales (6-3, 320) or James Polk (6-6, 335) should start at Left Guard.
Jared Kaster (6-3, 275) is at Center and he’s backed by Tony Morales (6-3, 315).
Trey Keenan (6-6, 270) backed up by Baylen Brown (6-4, 305) at Right Guard.
Reshod Fortenberry (6-5, 285) Josh Outlaw (6-3, 290). The offensive line should be solid with Le”Raven Clark coming back as their best player.
Texas Tech has never exactly been known for great defense. But, they looked really good in their last showing in the Holiday Bowl where they beat a pretty good Arizona State team pretty easily.
MLB Sam Eguavoen (6-1, 220) was the 3rd leading tackler last season and returns for his senior season.
One Outside LB spot is called the Bandit and they return one of their top tacklers in Pete Robertson (6-3, 225).
V.J. Fehoko (5-11, 225) a senior from Honolulu, Hawaii will man the Will LB position. At the Raider position the Red Raiders have moved top RB from 2013, Kenny Williams (5-9, 225) who is in the very least a talented athlete.
Brandon Jackson (6-4, 240) returns at Defensive End. The Nose Guard will be Jackson Richards (6-4, 275) and the Defensive Tackle is Demetrius Alston (6-3, 260).
The Texas Tech secondary will be really young with 4 sophomores starting.
The corners should be Justis Nelson (6-2, 170) and La’Darius Newbold (5-11, 195). Both back ups, Thierry Nguema (5-10, 160) and Dee Paul (6-0, 160) are also sophomores.
Free Safety should be J.J. Gaines (5-10, 180) and the Strong Safety is Keenan Ward (5-9, 195). Ward is the only one with much experience.
The Texas Tech Red Raiders need a defense and they are recruiting some solid defensive players. They should always have a great offensive team as long as Kliff Kingsbury is the head coach.
Tech takes on Central Arkansas and UTEP before Arkansas comes to town. Arkansas has struggled of late, but should be improved in 2014 and will be Tech’s first big test.
Then, they have Oklahoma State and Kansas State on the road.
Texas Tech has often been known to pull off a major upset from time to time and this year could have some of that as well. I would not be surprised at all if Texas Tech were to pull off a few upsets and enter the top 25 some time during the season.