Projecting the Texas Tech Offense: The Receivers

Who’s gonna catch that ball?

Earlier this week, I projected what I thought that the overall offense would look like, a hopeful projection of 5,700 total yards, 2,200 yards rushing and 3,400 passing. I took the top five receivers from Texas Tech, and the two years that offensive coordinator David Yost was at Utah State to get an average of the top receivers and their overall performance.

The Top Two

For Texas Tech, the top two receivers were Erik Ezukanma and RJ Turner, so if you are curious who the two are for Texas Tech, that’s it. For most of Yost’s offenses, the wide receivers are the top two spots, the only non-wide receiver was a tight end in 2017 at Utah State and goodness, what a nice year for a tight end.

The other thing is that the 2017 Utah State offense really drug down the offense overall in both the WR 1 and WR 2. The other interesting thing is that Texas Tech’s #1 wide receiver wasn’t dominant, but the average per catch was significant, there wasn’t just enough of it. And the second receiver spot is pretty well spot-on in that you can almost expect about 3.5 catches a game from that one spot.

The Rest

Both WR 3’s for Utah State guys were inside receivers, while for Texas Tech that WR 3 was T.J. Vasher. WR 4 for Texas Tech was Dalton Rigdon and of course Donta Thompson rounds out the top 5 for Texas Tech.

Some thoughts:

  • The top three receivers for Texas Tech weren’t dominant and the other interesting part is that they were all wide receivers. You sort of want to have a dominant receiver, one that you have to game-plan for and I don’t know that Ezukanma, Turner, or Vasher last year forced teams to make an adjustment. One of them stepping up and being a force would be nice.
  • The tight end in Yost’s offense can range from 2nd to 5th, so it appears to be dependent upon if the quarterback wants to throw the ball. I think sometimes that tight ends maybe get just a certain number of catches. Tight ends can get anywhere between 41 to 26 catches in this offense, which sounds about right.
  • If I had to guess about how things will happen with this offense, I’m expecting Ezukanma and Vasher to be 1 and 2, with inside receivers being 3 and 4, and then the tight end rounding out the top 5. I’m tempted to think that three inside receivers will round out the top 5 and the tight end doesn’t make the cut, but historically they’ve been in the top 5. My issue is that the inside receivers are so danged talented. I think the three best are Rigdon, McLane Mannix, and then KeSean Carter.
  • For reference purposes, Travis Koontz caught 10 passes for 152 yards last year.
  • I think my next project for Texas Tech is to determine what percentage of catches were between wide receivers, inside receivers, tight ends, and then running backs. I think there were maybe a running back that was top 5 in one of the Utah State teams, but I just wanted to include receivers in this exercise.

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