Texas Tech Preview: Offense

Texas Tech has shown off a more efficient passing game while also taking advantage of some talented running backs.

During Tommy Tuberville's reign as Texas Tech coach, the Red Raider offense has seemed to struggle to find an identity.

Oh sure, the Red Raiders threw the ball all over the yard. But they didn't do so at the level they did before he arrived. And you always got the feeling that Tuberville wanted to incorporate more of a running game. This year, at least, Tech has been able to do both. The Red Raiders are averaging 40.5 points per game while rushing for nearly 150 per contest and passing for just shy of 360 yards per game.

The triggerman is Seth Doege (6-1 197), an accurate passer who can stretch defenses down the field. He's completing almost 71 percent of his passes for 30 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He's actually throwing for fewer yards per game than a year ago, but has already thrown for more touchdowns and has seen his efficiency rating jump more than 25 points.

Of course, part of that has come from Tech's ability to retain balance. One of the toughest things about defending the spread is when you pair it with a power-back who can gash spread-out defenses, and in F-back Kenny Williams (5-9 219), the Red Raiders have the necessary ball-control back. Williams has rushed for 504 yards at 6.1 yards per carry. He's backed up by Eric Stephens (5-8 201), who was among the Big 12's top backs a year ago before getting hurt. Stephens has rushed for 358 yards and three touchdowns on the year.

In former Oklahoma commitment Eric Ward (6-0 204) at the X, and giant Darrin Moore (6-4 216) at the Z, the Red Raiders have two of the tougher outside receivers in the league to cover. In fact, Moore's name often comes up when asking about the most gifted wideouts in the Big 12. He's hauled in 43 passes for 440 yards and eight touchdowns. But Ward's numbers are even better. He has two fewer catches for 517 yards and 10 scores. Tiny Jakeem Grant (5-6 163) and thicker Tyson Williams (5-11 210) have combined for another 386 yards and two touchdowns, and the Red Raiders rotate through receivers often.

In tight end Jace Amaro (6-5 257), Tech has arguably the top receiving tight end in the Big 12. He has 394 receiving yards at 17.1 yards per catch, and has scored four touchdowns.

The offensive line, as is typical with most Tech lines, is a big one, averaging 312.8 pounds per man. That's boosted by mammoth offensive tackles LaAdrian Waddle (6-6 330) on the left and Terry McDaniel (6-7 328) on the right. Deveric Gallington (6-3 319) is one of the league's bigger centers, and he's flanked by Beau Carpenter (6-6 284) and Le'Raven Clark (6-5 303) at the guards. Together, they help the Tech backs average 4.6 yards per carry, though they have allowed 13 sacks.

Kicker Ryan Bustin (5-11 172) has made 9-of-13 field goals including 7-of-8 from 40 yards or less. He also has a 50-yarder to his credit, though he's just 2-5 from 41-plus. The Red Raider starting returners haven't been able to generate big plays, with Sadale Foster (5-7 187) returning kicks and Austin Zouzalik (6-0 187) bringing back punts.

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