As spring turns to summer and we see the temperatures start to rise around the country, there is one thing on college football fans’ minds: there are “X” days left until college football returns.
With Big 12 Media Days just right around the corner on July 13-14, preview season is in full swing and every fanbase across the nation has hope that their team will live up to the hype, or prove the talking heads wrong.
With that spirit in mind, here are three questions about Neal Brown and the West Virginia Mountaineers ahead of Big 12 Media Days.
Joey McGuire takes over as the head coach at Texas Tech this season. The former Baylor assistant coach made his bones before that as a head coach at Cedar Hill High School in Texas, where he turned that program in to a state champion. Baylor head coaches Matt Rhule and Dave Arana, both out-of-staters, used his connections with Texas high school coaches to improve their recruiting profile. It worked on both counts. Now, Texas Tech is staking its future on McGuire’s ability to do the same for the Red Raiders. Expect a lot of questions and answers about culture, philosophy and process as McGuire prepares for his first season.
WILL TECH JUICE THE OFFENSE?
One of McGuire’s key hires is grabbing Zack Kittley as his offensive coordinator. With Western Kentucky last season, he guided Bailey Zappe to a record-breaking season statistically. The task at Texas Tech will be more difficult. That quarterback room is crowded with two passers that started last season in Tyler Shough and Donovan Smith. There’s also Behren Morton, and they’re all competing for the starting spot. None of them are as talented as Zappe, and with the departure of wide receiver Erik Ezukanma for the NFL, the Red Raiders are breaking in new receivers, too. McGuire is also going to get a lot of starting quarterback competition questions. It’s possible that McGuire won’t even bring one of his quarterbacks with him as a result of the competition.
CAN TECH FIX THE DEFENSE?
The Red Raiders’ defense has been a perpetual problem over the years. Now, Tim DeRuyter — the former Fresno State head coach and long-time defensive mind — has to figure out how to make this unit better. He was at Oregon last season and, frankly, he had more talent to work with. The Red Raiders have a solid group of returning starters to begin with, and DeRuyter looks to be installing a 3-3-5 look as a base. One of the biggest improvements the Red Raiders must make right away is the pass defense, which was No. 119 in FBS last season. Texas Tech was also No. 95 in scoring defense. There’s a lot to correct in Lubbock and expect McGuire to field a lot of questions about what they’re doing to fix it.
Matthew Postins can be found on Twitter @PostinsPostcard