Season report card: Texas Tech Red Raiders
Texas Tech (8-5, 4-5 Big 12) began the 2013 season by winning its first seven games in its first year under the helm of former quarterback Kingsbury, ranking as high as No. 10 in the BCS Standings.
However, the Red Raiders came back down to earth by losing five in a row during a brutal stretch that featured Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Baylor and Texas. They were outscored by 20.6 points during this time and limped into the postseason.
But to much surprise, Texas Tech jumped on top of Pac-12 South Division winner Arizona State from the very start, beating the Sun Devils by 14 in the Holiday Bowl—a perfect end to Kingsbury’s first year back in Lubbock.
Let’s check out some of the grades Texas Tech received from its up-and-down 2013 campaign:
As you would have probably expected, Texas Tech’s offense was extremely pass-heavy and reliant. Between freshmen quarterbacks Davis Webb and Baker Maysfield, the passing game finished second in the nation at 392.8 yards per game. Both gunslingers showed the capability to throw the ball all over the field and proved to be effective doing so, but also portrayed freshman-like decisions at times and could have benefited from any sort of running game (111th in the nation). Still, the Raiders scored over 35 points per contest and 32.6 in conference play.
You could say that Texas Tech had an average defense, but that’s if you include performances against teams with poor offensive units like TCU and Kansas. Injuries became a factor late in the season, but in the end, the Raiders were just outmatched when it came to some of the Big 12’s best: they allowed 48.6 points per game to conference opponents with a winning record.
Not bad for a first-year head coach. If you can remember, Kingsbury was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Johnny Manziel during his Heisman-winning freshman season at Texas A&M in 2012. Kingsbury came into Texas Tech with question marks at the quarterback position, only to turn two freshmen (one being a walk-on) into one of the best passing threats in the entire NCAA. There were plenty of chinks in his armor—especially during that five-game losing streak—but overall it was an impressive debut.
Texas Tech was 1-5 against bowl opponents in 2013, with its one win coming in a bowl against Arizona State. It’s hard to decipher just how good it really was with the way it played versus quality teams, but the Raiders can at the very least hang their hat on ending the season with a bang and riding momentum into the offseason.
Follow @Tyler_Waddell on Twitter