Texas Tech embraces a new brand in spring game

Texas Tech’s head coach Joey McGuire attends Spring Game, Saturday, April 22, 2023, at Lowrey Field at PlainsCapital Park.

Texas Tech embraces a new brand in spring game

Saturday’s spring game marked the end of spring practice for the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Tech is entering year two of the Joey McGuire era, and his fingerprints are all over the Red Raiders program. The team appeared more physical, and up and down the roster, the players are bigger and more powerful than a year ago. The physicality between the offensive and defensive lines was noticeable and should make McGuire very happy.

The primary area of focus for most around Lubbock is the situation at quarterback. The Red Raiders return both Tyler Shough and Behren Morton at the position, and both players started multiple games last season. Because of their wealth of experience, both quarterbacks showcased a mastery of the offense and looked very comfortable operating the system.  

Morton hit Loic Fouonji for a long touchdown early in the game after executing a double move that fooled the secondary. Just before halftime, the combination hit again with another big play to set up a short field goal after a Shough interception.

Shough also displayed his mastery of the offense as he checked into an option play against a man blitz that led to a big gain.

One area of concern at the quarterback position could be turnovers. Each passer threw at least one interception, maybe it was the spring game, and they were willing to risk it, but the Red Raider faithful can’t like that.

The offense ran the ball effectively for most of the scrimmage. Cam’Ron Valdez scored from about 5 yards out to start the second-half drills of the scrimmage. Tahj Brooks also had several solid runs.

While the competition for the starting job will likely linger into the fall, the fact of the matter is that the Red Raiders will likely need both players to complete the season. In order to utilize the entire playbook, Tech will need to feature runs from the quarterback position. Last year the position accounted for thirteen rushing touchdowns, and that trend is likely to continue. This means an increase in wear and tear on whoever is pulling the trigger. Red Raider fans should draw comfort from the fact that there are two very solid options at the spot to choose from.

Defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter runs a very interesting scheme that should cause lots of problems in the Big 12. Today the Tech defense lined up with press coverage across the field, trying to take away the easy throws that many spread offenses thrive on. Every receiver had a defender aligned on him, meaning there was nothing on offer as an easy throw. This scheme can result in big plays if the defense loses a matchup, as they did on the initial score of the day, but it also has the potential to make life difficult for an offense that does not feature an elite passer.  

One player that stood out on the defensive side of the ball was defensive back Joseph Plunk. He made several good reads and solid tackles coming up from his safety position.

Linebacker Ty Kana also made a big interception in the red zone that continued the Red Raider trend of getting stops that prevent touchdowns.

Myles Cole also flashed some excellent plays. The defensive lineman looks like he might continue the recent tradition along the defensive line of quality players like Tyree Wilson, who is expected to be taken in the first round next week.

The Red Raiders were much improved last year, and because of the work of McGuire and his staff, they appear to be poised to take another step forward in 2023.

Related Posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *