TCU kicked things off in the Big 12 after hosting the first spring game in the conference last weekend. Two more Big 12 schools will host their spring games this weekend including the Texas Tech Red Raiders. I will be taking the six-hour drive from San Antonio to Lubbock on Saturday to see the Red Raiders in action at Jones AT&T Stadium. What is unique about this game is that Texas Tech won’t kickoff until 6 PM CT and as always, football at night in Lubbock is always a treat. A few weeks ago, owner Pete Mundo asked me on the weekly radio show/podcast if I can only choose one spring game to go to, which one would it be? Without hesitation, I said Texas Tech. SO while you are watching, here are three things to watch for during the game on Saturday.
(Of course, please note some players could be held out last minute to prevent injuries).
Texas Tech has had the luxury of pretty much knowing who its quarterback was going to be for the past 3 seasons. Well, that’s not the case for 2018. There are 3 guys who are battling it out for the spot in McLane Carter, Jett Duffey and Alan Bowman. McLane has the most experience out of the three, which isn’t saying much since he started just one game before being pulled. Meanwhile Jett Duffey has had off the field issues and has only attempted 4 passes while Alan Bowman is a true freshman early enrollee. Luckily, Kliff Kingsbury is a quarterback guru and all 3 of these guys will be in good hands. This is the most interesting quarterback battle in the Big 12 and I can’t wait to see these guys in person on Saturday.
There were moments where this line really struggled in pass protection last season and in this offense, pass protection is crucial. However, I will say I thought this unit was going to be a lot worse last season and they did make some improvements. I could have went running back here but this unit really should be interesting to watch. All 5 starters return (LT Travis Bruffy, LG Jacob Hines, C Paul Stawarz, RG Jack Anderson, RT Terence Steele) which should help tremendously heading into the season. With a new face at quarterback, protection will be key as well as paving some lanes for those running backs to balance the offense out. While pass protection is number one in this offensive scheme, I want to see if Tech can finally find some space up front for these running backs.
I think there is talent here and the good news is that the entire secondary will be back for the upcoming season. Corners Octavious Morgan and Desmon Smith now have plenty of experience while safeties Jah’Shawn Johnson and Vaughnte Dorsey will be seniors. Don’t forget that nickelbacks Douglas Coleman and Justice Parker are returning as well. This group did have some ups and downs, especially in conference play. Texas Tech was ranked 122nd in pass defense and gave up the second most touchdown passes in the entire country. I am very interested to see how big of a step this secondary can take considering all the experience that’s coming back