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A Year In Review

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Looking back at the good, the bad, and the ugly from this football season

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It's been a long year of Texas Tech football. For the most part, it's been good. We've had our struggles, but we ended up right where many predicted us to be. If we had a couple balls bounce our way, it might have been a little better.

The Good:

1. Patrick Mahomes, full stop. For the vast majority of the year, this kid was nothing short of amazing. His escapability proved useful time and time again, and with the right start to 2016, he should be on some Heisman watch lists.

2. DeAndre Washington and Jakeem Grant brought it this year. We had one of the most explosive backfields in college football this year, and it showed. Jakeem Grant was a human highlight reel, turning the most mundane of plays into gamebreaking opportunities with his speed and agility. DeAndre Washington was consistent, which was a welcome change of pace from our runaway beer truck style of offense. He was a guy we could lean on in clutch situations.

3. Our best defensive players were very young. This list is completely subjective, but the standouts at each position group were Breiden Fehoko (DL), Jah'Shawn Johnson (DB) and Dakota Allen (LB). Allen and Johnson are only redshirt freshmen, and Fehoko is a true freshmen. We have these kids for 3 more years. They will be the men we rebuild this defense around. It won't happen overnight, but the framework is there.

The Bad:

1. I'm not going to go into too much depth here, but saying our defense struggled this season is the understatement of the century.

2. I don't want to say that this team was mentally weak, but mistakes seemed to affect us more than other teams. It almost was like we expected to completely break people with an early onslaught, and when that didn't happen, we kinda just ran out of steam. I don't feel comfortable saying that this was a coaching issue, and I don't feel comfortable saying that this was a player's personal mindset issue. It simply existed, and I don't think there's a one size fits all fix for this.

3. God we had some bad luck this year. It seemed like nothing ever clicked all together. We saw glimpses of it with the first half against Oklahoma State and the full Iowa State game but it never was consistent. We also had that ridiculous Aaron Green catch in September that prevented us from an 8-4 regular season. It's only a one game swing, but 8-5 feels a lot better than 8-4.

The Verdict:

Like most things in life, we can take what we want to out of this season. If we want to be pessimistic we can point to the inconsistencies and the defensive play. If we want to pump some sunshine we can talk about the ridiculousness of Patrick Mahomes, recruiting, and the young stars in waiting that are coming up on defense. I'm talking about a whole lot of nonsense with the intent of saying one thing:

This season is what you make it.

If you want to be optimistic, you have plenty of reasons to be. If you want to be pessimistic, there are plenty of reasons to be. There isn't one ironclad "this season was a loss/success" moment. It simply was. Our team can choose to build on this for 2016, or throw the bad stuff in the garbage and light it on fire, because it's last year and doesn't matter.

It's been good, it's been bad, and best of all, it's been a heck of a ride.