It's finally Game Week as the Red Raiders prepare to take on the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks at Jones AT&T Stadium this Saturday night! Tech's offense is filled with talent and it looks to do big things this season. Let's take a look at each position of this offensive unit.
Obviously Patrick Mahomes is the undisputed starter. He accounted for over 5,000 yards from scrimmage last year and is a Heisman candidate heading into this season. He has also been named to eight preseason award watch lists. But let's not forget about the other guys. With Davis Webb now at Cal, junior Nic Shimonek looks to be the backup. Shimonek transferred from Iowa after the 2014 season. Don't sleep on freshman Jett Duffey from Mansfield, who has been turning a few heads in camp. The other QBs on the roster are Payne Sullins, a sophomore from Gatesville, TX and freshman Colt Garrett, a Lubbock native who played at Roosevelt high school.
2. Running Backs
The starting running back position is a little more up for grabs. While I do believe Justin Stockton will emerge as the best of the bunch, there are two others who could see plenty of the field this season. Senior Quinton White Jr. will see the most playing time ever of his Tech career and DeMarcus Felton has shown signs he can contribute to this offense as well. The others are Corey Dauphine, who is reportedly struggling to pick up the system, Da'Leon Ward, and Caleb Woodward. Tech also has three fullbacks in Tyler Scalzi, a former linebacker, Mason Reed and Stanton Keene.
Despite the loss of Jakeem, this group of receivers is still very deep. Devin Lauderdale is returning joined by Ian Sadler, Reginald Davis, and Dylan Cantrell who's coming off an injury he suffered last year before the season. They will also be aided by the arrival of Iowa transfer Derrick Willies, who has made some nice plays during spring ball and fall camp. Some others who may contribute are Cameron Batson, Jonathan Giles, Tony Brown, Ja'Deion High, Keke Coutee, and Zach Austin.
4. Offensive Line
Tech will look to replace four of five starters on this line. The only returning starter is Baylen Brown, who I believe will need to step up as a leader of this group. Tony Morales' role will also expand as he will be the starting center heading into this season. Morales was also named to the Rimington Award watch list this offseason. Joining them will be Justin Murphy, who is coming off of a major knee injury he suffered last year, along with redshirt freshmen Madison Akamnonu and Terence Steele.
So that's how the Red Raider offense looks heading into the season opener. Check back next Monday when I give offensive grades to each position after the game against Stephen F. Austin.