It's Monday, so all you Red Raider fans know what time it is. Yep, it's time to grade Texas Tech's offense from the Kansas game. It was a blowout 55-19, but errors still existed and will not be ignored in this week's grade article. Let's get right into it!
Overall Grade: B-
Tech racked up 621 total yards for the game to cruise to an easy win in the end, but did not fully pull away from the inferior Jayhawks until the fourth quarter. Tech's first two possessions resulted in touchdowns, but those were followed by three punts and a safety. To make matters worse, penalties on the offensive line pilled up, truly slowing down the offense. Tech finally started pulling away midway through the third quarter when backup QB Nic Shimonek took over for an injured Mahomes. The Red Raiders never looked back after that.
Quarterbacks Grade: B
Mahomes started off hot throwing two scores right out of the gate. He was on a good roll before he got injured midway through the third quarter. He did however throw a pretty bad interception at the end of the first quarter. Mahomes finished with 277 yards and threw four touchdowns. Nic Shimonek played very well filling in for Mahomes. He definitely showed improvement from his first game vs. Stephen F. Austin as he threw for 271 yards and also threw four touchdowns. If Mahomes is out for any length of time, I believe Shimonek can keep this high-powered offense going.
Running Backs Grade: C-
This group regressed from the last game. Tech had 73 rushing yards for the game and no rushing touchdowns. Demarcus Felton again started at running back, but didn't have an impressive game. He only had 48 yards on 11 carries. Justin Stockton and Quinton White Jr. didn't do much either and Tech never established the running game in this one yet again. I do want to point out that the Kansas defense appeared to do a good job of containing the run game early and Kingsbury probably decided to just air it out all game, which did work.
Wide Receivers Grade: A
This group played the best this week. Jonathan Giles is emerging as the best receiver on the team this year. He had another impressive game with 219 receiving yards and two touchdown catches. Another emerging young receiver is Keke Coutee, who had 73 receiving yards and two touchdowns. I'm looking for him to get more involved in Tech's passing game for the rest of the season. Dylan Cantrell, Cameron Batson, Devin Lauderdale, and Derrick Willies each added scores of their own to push Tech's total passing touchdowns for the game to eight.
Offensive Line Grade: F
That's right. I'm sorry O-line but a performance like that to me is unacceptable during conference play, even if it's against Kansas. Mahomes was sacked three times and fumbled once due to poor pass protection. Tech had 12 penalties for the game and most of them were on the offensive line. You name the type of penalty, they were called for it. Holdings, false starts, ineligible man downfield, etc. I was really hoping the offensive line would play a relatively clean game to help them gain some confidence as conference play heats up. If this is the best the line can do against Kansas, one of the worst teams in the Big 12, it will be hard for this offense to move the ball successfully when they go up against teams like Oklahoma, Baylor, and Texas. With a few extra days to prepare for Kansas State, hopefully Kingsbury has his sights set on cleaning up those mistakes.
The offense definitely sputtered at times in their first conference game. It was great that they pulled away in the end, but a performance like this I don't think will cut it when they face tougher Big 12 teams. Hopefully the offense corrects the mistakes they made this past week and plays sharper next week. Look for another offense grades post next Monday after Tech takes on the Kansas State Wildcats!