The Red Raiders dominated the Lumberjacks 69-17. Their high-powered offense definitely came ready to play as Tech racked up 758 total yards of offense. Let's take a look at how each group did this week.
Overall Grade: A+
When your offense scores 69 points and accumulates 758 yards, you have a great chance to win ballgames. From the first series of the game, Patrick Mahomes and the offense looked in sync as they drove right down the field in 10 plays, ending with a cartwheel dive into the endzone by Cameron Batson for a touchdown. The offense kept the place up and scored 45 points by halftime. The first-team offense tacked on one more score to go up 52-3, before Kingsbury gave them the rest of the night off. While the second-team offense was not too impressive, they did add two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter to give Tech a 69-17 win.
Quarterback Grade: A
Patrick Mahomes began the season picking up right where he left off in 2015. He completed 30 of 43 passes for 483 yards and threw four touchdowns. He also had ten carries for 57 yards and ran for two scores. Not a bad day at the office for Mr. Mahomes. Nic Shimonek came into the game in the third quarter and looked shaky at first but settled in. After an early interception, he threw his first touchdown as a Red Raider to Ja'Deion High in the fourth quarter. Shimonek finished with 150 yards passing and one touchdown.
Running Backs Grade: C
Tech never truly established the running game in this one. In fact their leading rusher was Mahomes with 57 yards on ten carries. The rushing leader at running back for this game was Demarcus Felton who had 28 yards on five carries. Justin Stockton and Corey Dauphine both ran for 25 yards. The lone bright spot for the running backs in this game was Corey Dauphine scoring the final touchdown of the game, his first as a Red Raider. It was good seeing him find paydirt after hearing he was struggling to pick up the system in camp. I don't feel the need to criticize the running backs too much because Mahomes was unstoppable, but I would look for Tech to establish the running game better next game.
Wide Receivers Grade: A
Here's a great stat from game 1: overall 17 different receivers caught a pass last night. Mahomes and Shimonek each did a good job of spreading the ball around. Tech's leading receiver was Jonathan Giles who had four catches for 89 yards and one touchdown. Reginald Davis clocked in with 80 yards on only two receptions including Tech's longest pass of the game at 59 yards. Devin Lauderdale, Batson, and High also contributed with scores of their own. Dylan Cantrell made his highly-anticipated return and added a touchdown of his own on a throw from his high school teammate Mahomes.
Offensive Line Grade: A
While Mahomes did have to scramble a little, he had good protection all night while he was in. He was not sacked once as Terence Steele, Justin Murphy, Baylen Brown, Tony Morales, and Madison Akamnonu each held their own in their first game together. There were a few penalties here and there, but they never slowed down Tech's fast-paced offense. The second-team unit does need some work as Shimonek was sacked twice. There are still questions about this line with Tech replacing four of five starters, but seeing this starting unit perform well in their first game definitely gives me confidence.
Overall it was a great performance from Tech's offense in the season opener. While the second-team offense did not play up to Kingsbury's standards, as he pointed out in the postgame, Mahomes and the rest of the starters look like they're poised to do some special things this year. Check back next week as I hand out grades from the Arizona State game.