Texas Tech football: Surprises from the Red Raiders’ week one loss

Texas Tech football: Surprises from the Red Raiders’ week one loss
Next1 of 6Prev post
Use your ← → (arrows) to browse

Sep 2, 2023; Laramie, Wyoming, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders head football coach Joey McGuire arrives before game against the Wyoming Cowboys at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

After the type of loss that the Texas Tech football team suffered in week one, there are bound to be plenty of surprises.  Of course, the problem is that almost all will be negative.

Honestly, there just were not many positives to take away from the 35-33 loss to Wyoming in Laramie.  In fact, it is hard to pick out one Red Raider who was a true difference-maker or who performed exceptionally.

Perhaps inside linebacker, Jacob Rodriguez was on his way to being one such player until a foot injury forced him out of the game in the first quarter.  Now set to miss 4-6 weeks with a sprained foot, he had two tackles, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery in only four Wyoming possessions.

The only other Red Raider that stood out was the one guy Texas Tech fans don’t want to see on the field, Austin McNamara.  Taking advantage of the thin air in Wyoming, the senior who is one of the best punters in the nation averaged 49.8 yards per punt on four kicks.

It was a nice start to the season for the NFL hopeful after a bit of a down season in 2022.  Last fall he averaged a career-low 44.3 yards per punt on 50 kicks, a surprise given how effective he had been throughout his career.

Other than that, Tech simply didn’t have enough players play up to their offseason hype.  Neither did any particular position groups as a whole, which was shocking given how much depth we all thought this roster possessed.

Maybe, one could argue that the defensive backs were as advertised.  No Wyoming receiver had more than five receptions or 37 yards for the game.  Of course, few people expected the Cowboy passing game to be lethal given the style of play that head coach Craig Bohl prefers to play.

It might sound harsh but it is fair to say that the rest of the roster was a collective disappointment.  So, as painful as it might be, let’s take one last look at the week one flop to see what the biggest (and most painful) surprises were.

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

ttntttttt

nttttt

n t

n t

n n

Sure, Jerand Bradley caught eight passes for 88 yards and a TD.  However, one could hardly characterize his performance as dominating.  In fact, it could be argued that he had a quiet night outside of the TD pass he caught on his team’s second OT drive.

n

Meanwhile, Loic Fojoni might as well have stayed in Lubbock.  With only one catch for 20 yards, he was a complete non-factor on the evening.  That was truly a surprise.

n

His backup, Jordan Brown, made a potentially game-changing play late in the 4th quarter as the Red Raiders were driving the ball while trailing 20-17.  His acrobatic 27-yard reception along the sideline set his team up at the Wyoming 14 and put Tech in field goal range to eventually tie the game.

n

Outside of that, though, he had only one other reception.  After all the talk of how he dominated the offseason and fall camp, more was expected of him as well.

n

Now, was the quiet night from these receivers solely their fault?  Of course not.  Shough’s poor performance and Kittley’s game plan also played a role in this disappointment.

n

Still, Tech looked to have a huge advantage in the matchup between its outside receivers and the Wyoming secondary, at least on paper.  So the fact that Tech couldn’t exploit that perceived edge was a big surprise.

n

"},{"title":"Texas Tech football: Surprises from the Red Raiders' week one loss","permalink":"https://wreckemred.com/2023/09/05/texas-tech-football-surprises-red-raiders-week-one-loss/6/","shortCodeTitle":null,"content":"

ntttthttps%3A%2F%2Fwreckemred.com%2Fwp content%2Fuploads%2Fimagn images%2F2017%2F07%2F20286541 | Biggamefishinttttttttt

Texas Tech’s Jayden York catches the ball during football practice, Tuesday, March 21, 2023, at Sports Performance Center.

nttttttt

nttn

The Texas Tech tight ends were not utilized as much as we thought they would be

n

Speaking of underutilized mismatches, where were the Texas Tech tight ends after Jayden York’s TD grab on the Red Raiders’ second position of the game?  It was a beautiful throw by Shough and a great grab by the junior from Austin but after that, no more jump balls were thrown to any of Tech’s massive tight ends.  In fact, not much of anything else was thrown their way.

n

For the game, York had two receptions for 22 yards while Mason Tharp managed just one grab for 10 yards.  That’s all the productivity the team got from the position.

n

Former 5-star recruit, Baylor Cupp didn’t even lay a finger on the football.  So why didn’t the Red Raiders try to get the tight ends involved as the offense stalled after the first quarter?

n

That would seem like a great strategy to help a QB who is struggling as much as Shough was in Laramie.  After all, throws to big targets over the middle of the field are usually some of the easiest to complete.

n

So it would have seemed to make sense to try to get the ball to Tharp, Cupp, or York to help move the chains.  Why that didn’t happen?  Only the coaches and players know for sure.

n

What we do know is that it is disappointing to see this talented group of players go through another game without being difference-makers, especially on a night when the offense struggled.  Last year, Tharp, Cupp, and Henry Teeter spent an inordinate amount of time as extra pass blockers to help a struggling offensive line leading to disappointing stats and little noticeable impact.

n

That wasn’t supposed to be the case this year thanks to an offseason overhaul of the line.  Therefore, much more is expected of the tight ends this season.

n

Granted, it has only been one game so that group might break out at some point this year.  But on a night when the offense was searching for answers, the tight ends were not even a consideration and that is telling.  It would be a shame for a group of players as physically gifted as Cupp, Tharp, and York to go underutilized again this season and it was disappointing to see them disappear from the offense in Laramie.

n

"}),"useSlideSources":true,"themeType":"classic","prevPost":"https://wreckemred.com/2023/09/04/texas-tech-football-lb-jacob-rodriguez-out-4-6-weeks/","nextPost":null,"prevText":"Prev","nextText":"Next","buttonWidth":0,"buttonWidth_post":0,"postUrl":"https://wreckemred.com/2023/09/05/texas-tech-football-surprises-red-raiders-week-one-loss/","postId":56580,"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));