Texas Tech Red Raiders

Three Thoughts on Texas Tech’s 63-10 Win Over Murray State

NCAA Football: Murray State at Texas Tech

The Texas Tech Red Raiders began the Joey McGuire era on Saturday night taking on Murray State. McGuire’s off-season has been filled with chants, hype and excitement, but now it was time to turn all that into success on the field.

The Red Raiders did all of that and more on Saturday night, rolling to a comfortable 63-10 victory over Murray State on Saturday night in Lubbock.

Here are three thoughts on the game.

 

1. Tyler Shough Injured… Again

Texas Tech quarterback Tyler Shough left the game after the first quarter, five plays after he landed hard on his left shoulder. This was the same shoulder in which he suffered a season-ending injury last season.

The play he got injured on came late in the first quarter when he ran for 17 yards on a designed run and was brought down by safety Jaylon Bolden. Shough was rolling as he fell and his left shoulder appeared to take the force of the fall. He stayed in through the end of the quarter, but was clearly feeling it in his left shoulder.

Shough never returned to the game. He only played in four games last season for the Red Raiders prior to his injury. The Oregon transfer came to Lubbock with enormous hype, but it appears like injuries could once again derail a promising season.

The good news is Donovan Smith is more than capable, as he started he last four games last season. He came in and went 14/16 for 221 passing yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions, before he was eventually replaced by Behren Morton.

 

2. The Backfield May Be the Strength

The 1-2 punch of Tahj Brooks and SaRodorick Thompson has a chance to be one of the best running back duos in the conference. And through one game, they certainly seem to be living up to that potential (granted against Murray State). The two combined for 98 rushing yards in the first half alone, where Brooks ended up with three touchdowns in the opening 30 minutes.

Given that the game was out of reach by the second half, the two barely touched the ball the final two quarters, however Tech fans should be excited about what these two can do. The biggest question will be if they have the horses on the offensive line to block for them once Big 12 play comes around. But for Week 1, enjoy this one Tech fans and let’s see how the rushing game handles itself moving forward.

 

3. The Rushing Defense Was Stout

There were some big plays through the air that should concern Texas Tech, but there can be no complaints about the rushing defense. Murray State was held to less than one yard per carry through the third quarter. Eventually, the Racers were able to inch that number up to one yard per carry. And it should be noted this wasn’t simply on a handful of carries. Murray State rushed the ball 41 times for 50 yards on Saturday night.

Tony Bradford Jr., Philip Blidi, Tyree Wilson and Jaylon Hutchings all took care of business up front, with the Red Raiders racking up four sacks and 13 tackles for loss. If this unit can lead the way up front, it will help answer a lot of questions for this defense.

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