The Texas Tech Red Raiders 2019 game against the Baylor Bears was a microcosm of Matt Wells' first season at Texas Tech. They played well but didn’t get the bounce to win the game. Texas Tech lost four Big 12 games by a combined 11 points. A few plays rolling differently against Kansas, TCU and Kansas State were the difference between a 5-4 Big 12 record and the 2-7 record the Red Raiders ended with.

Alan Bowman returns as the starter after missing the final 9 games in 2019 with an injury.  The Red Raiders have a solid interior offensive line that should allow SaRodorick Thompson to run wild between the tackles, but the tackle position is up in the air after losing longtime starters Travis Bruffy and Terence Steele. 

Defensively, Jordyn Brooks is gone but Eli Howard and Riko Jeffers are back to man the front seven. Adrian Frye returns to his natural position at cornerback after spending a season at safety. The Red Raiders weren’t bad on defense last year, but they weren’t good either. There was an improvement though as the Red Raiders gave up 40 points or more five times in 2018 and last season the defense only gave up more than 40 points twice. It's not ideal that 40 point games are the barometer for improvement but here we are.

The offense moved the ball well last season, racking up the second-most yards per game in the Big 12, but couldn’t put the ball into the endzone only scoring 30 points per game. The Red Raiders need to be more successful in the red zone and need to score in big moments. The Red Raiders were outscored 96-69 last season in the fourth quarter, that won’t cut it in 2020.

If all of the close calls in 2019 that went negatively go positively in 2020, the Red Raiders will have a winning record no problem and could even have a Baylor type fluke season. The more realistic scenario is that the Red Raiders get a few of the bounces in 2020 and are close to .500 give or take a game.

Big 12 Media Preseason Ranking

9th

Projected Win Total 

4.5

Best Offensive Returners

G Jack Anderson, C Dawson Deaton, WR TJ Vasher, RB SaRodorick Thompson, WR Erik Ezukanma

Best Defensive Returners

CB Adrian Frye, LB Riko Jeffers, DE Eli Howard, DL Tony Badford JR

Newcomers

LB Brandon Bouyer-Randle MSU, DB Eric Monroe LSU, RB Chadarious Townsend BAMA, DL Tyree Wilson A&M, QB Henry Colombi USU, LB Krishon Merriweather JUCO, DL Drew Davis JUCO

Breakout Candidates

DL Tony Bradford JR, WR Trey Cleveland, WR Dalton Rigdon, RB Xavier White

Top 5 Defensive Position Battles at Texas Tech in 2020

 

Top 5 Texas Tech Offensive Position Battles