Texas Tech Looks to Build on Momentum

Texas Tech football helmet | Image by Texas Tech Football/Twitter

Expectations were high for the Texas Tech football team entering last season, the second under Texas high school coaching legend Joey McGuire, ranked 24th in the Coaches’ Poll.

However, the season started with three losses in the first four games, and the Red Raiders suddenly faced an uphill battle after stumbling to a 3-5 start. Still, Texas Tech rallied to become bowl-eligible and win a third bowl game in a row for the first time.

“That’s something that’s really important to me,” McGuire told the media during a postgame press conference after the team’s 34-14 Independence Bowl victory over Cal. “Whenever you’re trying to build a program, to do things that hadn’t been done before … You start with that. … It just sets those expectations that that’s who we are, and we have to work for more.”

Last season ended on a high note, prompting plenty of optimism from the players going into McGuire’s third year.

“What we have going right now at this university is really special,” quarterback Behren Morton told the media after the bowl game. “We’ve had a lot of key players come in. The coaching staff’s done a great job. We’re really looking forward to next season and what we can build on.”

Building on the momentum of a bowl win and a 4-1 finish will be crucial to the program’s future, but optimism should remain cautious, especially since the Red Raiders finished similarly during the 2022-23 season.

Still, Year Three is often the year things start to click for new coaches, as they have now brought in a majority of their players rather than inheriting most of the roster from a previous coach. Through his roster-building methods, McGuire believes his team has built excellent depth from which it can benefit, especially on defense.

“The thing that shows up the most is our depth on defense,” he told reporters after a scrimmage over the weekend. “… We feel like we’re two-deep everywhere. It’s almost like it doesn’t really matter who’s out there.”

Nine of Tech’s 11 projected starters on defense have been in the program for multiple seasons, and former Nevada starter James Hansen and former Rice defensive tackle De’Braylon Carroll are expected to fill the other two spots.

In an unusual situation for the team over recent seasons, the offense will be where the progress needs to be made the most quickly. The Red Raiders have veteran players on the unit, but seven projected starters are new.

Unfortunately, Texas Tech has canceled Saturday’s spring game due to inclement weather, so fans will have to wait until the fall to see any progress.

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