Texas Tech Football: Red Raiders wrap up spring ball in style

Texas Tech Football: Red Raiders wrap up spring ball in style

Spring football is ready for Joey McGuire and the Red Raiders. Texas Tech played its annual spring game on Saturday afternoon, giving eager fans a preview of the 2023 team. Due to ongoing construction at Jones AT&T Stadium, the game was played at Lowrey Field in PlainsCapital Park. For this year’s game, the team was split into Team Fearless and Team Red Raiders. Team Fearless took the win and steak dinner 26-15.

As in last year’s game, the defense came to play early. On Tyler Shough’s first drive, CJ Baskerville intercepted the ball on an end. For a newcomer via the transfer portal, you couldn’t ask for a better start. Baskerville spent the last two seasons at San Diego State before transferring to Tech.

For the game, the defense ended the day with three interceptions as Dadrion Taylor-Demerson and Ty Kana hit Behren Morton. For a unit that preaches the takeaway and follows the motto “Take 3”, defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter should feel satisfied with his team’s performance to close out the spring. With Marquis “Muddy” Waters and Adrian Frye dead, new faces in the secondary need to step up in the spotlight next fall, and Saturday’s performance was a good step in that direction.

The defensive line was also behind all the defenders. Myles Cole had two sacks and Syracuse transferred Steve Linton, as well as LB Moore, one each. With 2022 star defensive end Tyree Wilson about to hear his name called in the first round of the NFL Draft, more will be expected from Linton and the young edge rushers this fall.

Fans shouldn’t worry too much about the defenders’ performance in this game. When defenders have 15 practices and have seen everything the offense runs, they know where the ball is going. Thankfully, the attack produced plenty for fans to get excited about.

Behren Morton had the best day of all the flagmen. He finished the game going 12 of 20 with 143 yards and a touchdown. Morton hit Loic Fouonji on a 57-yard pass down the left sideline. Shough threw for just 70 yards and true rookie Jake Strong finished with 69 in his debut as a Red Raider.

During what McGuire considered the red zone portion of the game in the fourth quarter, the running backs took over. Cam’Ron Valdez, Tahj Brooks and Clazarion Campbell each scored a touchdown to help Team Fearless secure the win. Brooks led all running backs with 74 yards on 15 carries. Losing SaRodorick Thompson is a blow to a rushing game that produced over 2,000 yards last season, but Brooks looks to be up to the challenge. 2022 was the best season of his career and next year will be his first start in this attack.

Overall, the game turned out to be defensive dominance, but lately, that’s been the trend for Texas Tech’s spring games. Like last year, the defense seems to be ahead of the offense at this point in the offseason. Still, the offense is returning with plenty of starters, most notably having Shough back for another season and if he finally stays healthy for the full season, Zach Kittley’s offense will be more explosive in 2023. Even if the injury bug bites Sough again, Morton has shown plenty of confidence over the past year and looks eager once again to challenge for the starting job.

While the result of a spring game doesn’t mean much, optimism is high for “The Brand’s” sophomore year. Fans should be very excited for the future of the McGuire era, as this program looks to finally be truly competitive in the new Big 12. The Red Raiders kick off their 2023 season in Wyoming on September 2nd.

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