Big 12 Media Days is under way this week in Dallas, which is perfect timing for out preseason preview of all of the teams in the conference as they get set to roll back the curtain on a new college football season. Texas Tech is the next stop in our Big 12 football countdown to the 2013 season, which is some 40 days from now.
Texas Tech Red Raiders
(2012 record: 8-5 overall, 4-5 in the Big 12)
Fans of the Red Raiders are overjoyed at having one of their own back at the helm of Texas Tech football. Former Red Raider quarterback Kliff Kingsbury returns as the new head coach, replacing Tommy Tuberville, who compiled a record of 20-17 in his three seasons in Lubbock, but was only 9-17 against Big 12 opponents. Moreover, Tuberville won only two of 14 games against schools in what used to be the Big 12 South.
The soon-to-be-34-year-old Kingsbury played at Texas Tech from 1998-2002. When he left Texas Tech, he held 39 school records, 12 Big 12 records and seven NCAA records. He becomes the youngest coach in what used to be referred to as NCAA Division I.
Kingsbury and Graham Harrell are the only two Texas Tech quarterbacks to have beaten both Texas and Oklahoma. More recently, the Red Raiders’ coach was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Texas A&M, where he coached Heisman Trophy-winner Johnny Manziel.
Texas Tech is one of the seven Big 12 schools who will be introducing a new starting quarterback in 2013. Sophomore Michael Brewer takes over at quarterback this season for the departed Seth Doege. Brewer will have a solid running game behind him. led by junior Kenny Williams, who gained over 800 rushing yards in 2012. The success of the running game, however, will depend in large part on how well three new starters fit in on the offensive line. Wide receiver Eric Ward headlines a relatively inexperienced group of receivers.
“We have a great group,” Kingsbury said at Big 12 Media Days about the Red Raiders ability to move the ball on the ground. “There’s four or five guys that we think can all start at a lot of places in the country. So we’ve got to find ways to get them the ball.”
The defense made steady improvement under Tuberville, a more defensive-minded coach. The Red Raiders actually were the second best team in the Big 12 last year in total defense3, but they gave up way too many points (an average of almost 32 points per game) to win in this league.
Asked about some of the changes he wants to make in the Red Raiders in the coming season, Kingsbury said: “We have to increase our speed profile. We want to play fast and run fast. The way our offense and defense will be set up and the aggressive nature we’ll play at, speed will be a top priority,” he said.
Projected 2013 finish: 9th, 5-7 in all games, 2-7 in the Big 12
Next up: West Virginia Mountaineers