5 Texas Tech Players To Watch

With the opener days away, you should keep an eye on these Red Raiders

Three days. That is all that remains before SMU's season-opening game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders this Friday. All summer we have been reporting on SMU's progress and how the team is shaping up but now is the time to take a look at their first opponent of the year. Here are five Texas Tech players that you can expect to have a major impact on the game.

1. DE Kerry Hyder- With an unreliable quarterback and unproven running backs, SMU will need its offensive line to perform at a high level. Texas Tech defensive end Kerry Hyder will be a handful for the Mustang offensive line to handle. Hyder is the Red Raiders' top returning tackler and expert bull rusher. Last season, he had 56 tackles, including six sacks. If he can consistently get into the SMU backfield, he can cause havoc for the SMU offense. So keep an eye on how the Mustangs block number 91 on Friday because if he has his way, it could be a long night for Garrett Gilbert.

2. RB Kenny Williams/Deandre Washington- With true freshmen Davis Webb and Baker Mayfield still competing for the starting quarterback job this week following a setback suffered by Michael Brewer, Texas Tech may be forced to rely heavily on their run game against the Mustangs. Fortunately for the Red Raiders, Williams and Washington have the potential to be a dynamic duo. Williams is projected by some to have a 1,000-yard season and Washington was the more highly-touted recruit heading into their freshman season before suffering an ACL tear. If Texas Tech can get their running game moving early, this will take pressure off the quarterback and open up the SMU defense for the passing game.

3. WR Jakeem Grant- SMU fans watching wide receiver Jakeem Grant will be reminded of former Mustang and current Cowboy Cole Beasley. Grant plays on the inside with a lot of speed and takes defenses' attention away from other weapons on the Texas Tech offense such as Eric Ward and Jace Amaro(serving a suspension during the first half Friday for being ejected in the Red Raiders' bowl game last season). Grant also is an excellent kick returner who will cause a lot of trouble for the SMU special teams.

4. S Tre' Porter- The Texas Tech secondary is a weak link on the team so it will be up to safety Tre' Porter to lead them against the Mustangs passing attack. If Texas Tech can shut down the SMU pass game, SMU has little chance of winning the game. Porter gets a lot of tackles in the secondary, but it is up to him to keep the ball out of the SMU receivers' hands on Friday.

5. LB Sam Eguavoen- Last year at linebacker Eguavoen lead all Red Raider underclassmen in tackles with 52 and now as a full time starter and junior, he will lead the charge against the SMU run game. If Eguavoen makes his mark on the game the Mustangs will have a lot of trouble.

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