Texas Tech football: Red Raiders that might surprise in 2023

Texas Tech football: Red Raiders that might surprise in 2023
Next1 of 6Prev post
Use your ← → (arrows) to browse

Texas Tech’s head football coach Joey McGuire, left, watches Myles Price catch a ball during practice, Friday, Aug. 4, 2023, at the Sports Performance Center.

One of the biggest opportunities for players to make an impression in fall camp comes via the scrimmages each team conducts.  For the Texas Tech football program, the first scrimmage took place this past weekend and on Monday, head coach Joey McGuire gave his thoughts on how this important practice went.

“I thought that it was a really physical scrimmage,” he said to the Lubbock media.  “We came out relatively healthy.”

While health is the main outcome a coach wants to see from a scrimmage, there were some on-field highlights that stood out to the second-year head coach.

“First part of the scrimmage, the offense was explosive,” McGuire siad.  “The 1s and 2s, they had some huge plays.”

That is incredibly encouraging given that the offense struggled when it came to making big plays last year.  Sure, offensive coordinator Zach Kittley was able to dial up some timely plays and squeeze the most out of that side of the ball in 2022, especially given the turmoil at the QB spot.  However, when it came to picking up yards in huge chunks, Tech simply wasn’t explosive or athletic enough to do that with much regularity.

That’s one reason why the coaching staff focused on adding speed on that side of the ball, both through the high school recruiting ranks and the transfer portal.  In fact, McGuire has repeatedly claimed that the high school class his program signed this offseason is the fastest in the nation.  How they came to that conclusion is not clear but the point is that the focus of the staff was to increase the all-around speed of the roster.

Additionally, McGuire highlighted a few players that stood out as top performers, and the first player he gushed about might be a name that is not top of mind for most Red Raider fans.  That makes him a perfect starting point for our look at players that might surprise this fall.

Next1 of 6Prev post
Use your ← → (arrows) to browse

ttntttttt

nttttt

n t

n t

n n

However, what he’s recently been showing on the practice field might turn some heads because he’s displaying a huge leg.  In fact, he has been so good that McGuire has been singing his praises.

n

“Gino hit a 52-yarder; plenty of distance,” McGuire said on Monday of Garcia’s scrimmage performance.  “So I love that.  You know, he’s in the lead, which we expected, for field goals.  We expected him to be our field goal kicker.”

n

Garcia got only one field goal attempt last season and he was not able to connect from 46 yards against Houston.  After that, Trey Wolff was the man McGuire turned to for field goals and extra points as he turned in an excellent season.

n

Apparently, though, Garcia has refined his skills over the offseason and has been rock-solid in fall camp.

n

“He’s really stepped up,” McGuire said.  “That was a big kick from that distance because he missed one; he had plenty of leg yesterday but he hit the top of the right upright and probably, it would have been good from 60 (yards) but it hit that pole.  He was trying to play the wind and it just didn’t move.  So for him to come out and nail that 52-yarder, we really feel good about the kicking game.”

n

Speaking of 60-yard field goals, on Tuesday, Sean Dillon, a Lubbock radio personality and podcast host posted a video of Garcia drilling a FG from 60 yards in practice.  That’s the type of leg that could be a huge weapon for McGuire this season.

n

n

n

n

Garcia already has a 50-yarder on his career resume from his time at Houston Baptist.  There, he was also a first-team All-Southland Conference honoree.

n

However, no one thought we’d be talking about Garcia as a long-range bomber.  It appears that he just might surprise us though in that regard and who knows, his big leg might lift this team to a key win at some point this season.

n

"},{"title":"Texas Tech football: Red Raiders that might surprise in 2023","permalink":"https://wreckemred.com/2023/08/17/texas-tech-football-red-raiders-that-might-surprise-in-2023/6/","shortCodeTitle":null,"content":"

ntttthttps%3A%2F%2Fwreckemred.com%2Fwp content%2Fuploads%2Fimagn images%2F2017%2F07%2F21137547 scaled | Biggamefishinttttttttt

Texas Tech’s Tyler Owens attends media day, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023, at the Sports Performance Center.

nttttttt

nttn

Safety Tyler Owens has NFL potential

n

One of the best pieces of college football journalism that is published in the offseason is Bruce Feldman’s annual “Freaks” list detailing the biggest physical freaks in the nation.  This year, you will find three Red Raiders on the list, Jaylon Hutchings, Myles Cole, and safety Tyler Owens.

n

While fans likely know Hutchings because he’s been starting for this program for years and while Cole is rather well-known for his size (he is actually bigger than Tyree Wilson), Owens’ inclusion on this list might have been the most unexpected.  But make no mistake, Owens is going to be a huge factor for the Red Raider defense this year.

n

n

n

n

Feldman points to Owens’ 40-inch vertical and the fact that he was clocked at 23 MPH in a game as proof of his freakiness.  Those assets make him a potential NFL talent and with a big year, the former Texas transfer could make himself a ton of money this fall.

n

There’s a reason that Reggie Pearson, who started 10 games last year for Tech, decided to leave for Oklahoma.  It’s because he saw the writing on the wall at the end of 2022, Owens was poised to take his job.

n

Because his stats last season were modest (19 tackles, one INT, and two pass defenses), Owens isn’t garnering any preseason hype.  Don’t let that fool you, though.

n

This is a player with All-Big 12 potential who could take the Red Raider secondary to another level by way of being a far superior pass defender when compared to Pearson who was a huge hitter but a liability when the ball was in the air.  So don’t be shocked if, by the end of the year, Owens is considered Tech’s best NFL prospect.

n

 

"}),"useSlideSources":true,"themeType":"classic","prevPost":"https://wreckemred.com/2023/08/15/texas-tech-football-ap-poll-snub-reminder-tech-earn-respect/","nextPost":null,"prevText":"Prev","nextText":"Next","buttonWidth":0,"buttonWidth_post":0,"postUrl":"https://wreckemred.com/2023/08/17/texas-tech-football-red-raiders-that-might-surprise-in-2023/","postId":56380,"refreshAds":true,"refreshAdsEveryNSlides":1,"adRefreshingMechanism":"javascript","siteUrl":"https://wreckemred.com","prevText_post":"Prev post","nextText_post":"Next post"}; (function ($) { $(document).ready(function () { try { tpsInstance = new tps.createSlideshow(tpsOptions); } catch(e) { } }); }(jQuery));