Know Your Foe: Texas Tech

Texas Tech expert Jarrett Johnson, publisher of, provides the inside scoop on the Red Raiders prior to this weekend's Big 12 matchup with Texas.

1. 82 points. That's got to be a hard pill to swallow. What's been the reaction this week to giving up that many points to TCU and how do you think Tech's defense will bounce back against a Texas team that was shutout by Kansas State last week?

Johnson: "Yeah, it has been the usual arc after a beat down loss. At first it was full-on meltdown complete with torches and pitchforks, then people just wanted answers and some sign of light at the end of the tunnel. This team has been horrible all season, just one of the worst Tech teams ever, but the number 82 freaked some people out. As far as UT, needless to say nobody expects Tech to shut them out. The Red Raider defense could have 4-5 new starters again this week and is reeling, but it's not just the defense, there are problems all over this squad."

2. If you were the Longhorns where do you think they would be best-served to attack this Tech defense?

Johnson: "Texas should just line up in a power formation, whether it be two-tight, in a pistol or diamond with Tyrone Swoopes, Jonathan Gray and Malcolm Brown and just zone read Tech to death, really use Swoopes as a run threat. If it doesn't work initially due to Texas' inept offensive line just stick with it because Tech is going to give you some gifts as the Red Raiders are among the very worst in the FBS in turnover margin and haven't won a turnover battle in the past 16 games. "If you want to try and hit some play action bombs to loosen up the defense then fine, but just zone read them to death and take car of the ball and you should get out of town with a win."

3. What's the latest on the QB situation given Davis Webb's leg injury suffered against TCU? Will it be him or freshman Patrick Mahomes? How will this offense change if it's Mahomes?

Johnson: "Tech is tight-lipped about Webb's injury status as they usually are about the quarterback situation. I think true frosh Patrick Mahomes will go, but I wouldn't be to surprised if Webb tried to go. Mahomes is a much better athlete than Webb, in fact he was the MaxPreps National Male Athlete of the Year in 2013. Tech will use him in the run game some, but he's not a true run-first guy. In fact, he threw for over 4,600 yards and 50 touchdowns last season at Whitehouse en route to being named AP Texas High School Football Player of the Year. His biggest asset is his ability to move around in the pocket, extend plays, ad-lib and find receivers down the field. He is exciting to watch. He's also never started a game at the collegiate level."

4. If Webb is unable to go can we expect to see RB Deandre Washington's roll increase, especially in the red zone? He's been really good this season.

Johnson: " I think it should, but I'm not sure it will. Washington did have a combined 52 carries for 296 yards in back-to-back games against West Virginia and Kansas, but was relegated to 13 rushes against TCU. Not only has Washington excelled this year, so has freshman Justin Stockton behind a veteran offensive line which has been the biggest bright spot for the Red Raiders this season. Quinton White has also played well when given the opportunity. Throw in Kenny Williams, who has moved back to running back after a cup of coffee at linebacker, and Tech is surprisingly loaded in the backfield. Yet, Kliff Kingsbury and the Tech offense runs the Air Raid and will always be pass first."

5. Is Kliff Kingsbury in danger of losing his job if this season doesn't end on some type of positive note?

Johnson: "Not at all. In fact, he just received a big raise and contract extension prior to the season. The Red Raiders 2015 recruiting class is already being touted as the best in program history and that is what everyone is banking on. The staff has shown it has been able to recruit and land some big names so the hope is they'll be able to return the whole group for the 2015 season. I agree with that sentiment. I mean you look at the talent and especially the lack of depth left over from the Tuberville era and it's pretty bleak. That's not to say the staff doesn't share in some of the blame this season. There have been some coaching blunders, but I wouldn't expect Kingsbury's seat to be hot until the 2016 season."


Longhorns 2015 QB commitment Zach Gentry's junior highlights


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