As Texas Tech’s football season gets ready to begin this Saturday, I take a look at every offensive position based on how I believe they will perform this season.
Quarterback Grade: B-
I know this grade may seem a little high considering Coach Kingsbury hasn’t technically named a starter. However, the depth chart was released, and McLane Carter landed atop the quarterback list. Behind Carter was Jett Duffey and Alan Bowman.
Texas Tech football is known for its quarterbacks and Air Raid offense, but I gave the QB’s a B- because of how long it took to figure out who will become the starter. With this being said, Carter has experience at the position after his appearances in four games last year and start against Texas. We may also see all three of these guys play this year, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I would prefer to have one starter throughout the year but if playing all three guys means winning games, then I’m all for it.
Running back Grade: A-
According to the depth chart, the top three running backs for the team are Da’Leon Ward, Demarcus Felton and Tre King. This is a strong trio with quality incoming talent from Ta’Zhawn Henry and SaRodorick Thompson who I believe we will see a lot of this season.
Even though Ward redshirted last year, his freshman year was nothing short of impressive. As a true freshman, he led the team in rushing yards with 428 and totaled three touchdowns in nine games. Felton will use his experience in the backfield to help lead the offense this year. Last season, he appeared in 12 games and totaled 102 yards with 22 catches.
King is looking to continue his success as a Red Raider on Saturday. During his junior season, King rushed for 623 yards and had five touchdowns. He also had 17 catches and 727 all-purpose yards on the year. This is a strong group that has young talent to back them up, which is why I gave them an A.
Wide Receiver Grade: A
With T.J. Vasher, Antoine Wesley, Ja’Deion High and even Zach Austin coming back for the Red Raiders this season, this group has a huge opportunity to do amazing things. Vasher appeared in all 13 games last season, including five starts. He had 545 receiving yards on 29 catches and scored six touchdowns. Wesley also appeared in all 13 games last season and totaled 137 on 10 catches.
High played in all 13 games last season on offense and special teams. He made seven catches for a total of 58 yards. Austin hasn’t played since his sophomore year in 2015; however, he brings depth to the wide receiver chart. In his debut against Baylor, Austin had the memorable 55-yard touchdown catch from Patrick Mahomes II, which marked his first career catch AND first career touchdown. He totaled 238 receiving yards in 2015. This group will continue the legacy of wide receiver greats at Texas Tech.
Offensive Line Grade: A+
The offensive line has five starters coming back this season, therefore making them the highest graded offensive position. Last year, the O-line aided Texas Tech’s offense by improving the number of rushing yards per game to 140.9. This number increased by almost 40 yards from the previous season. With guys like Travis Bruffy, Paul Stawarz, Madison Akamnonu, Jack Anderson and Terence Steele, this O-line will most likely improve their numbers yet again.