Texas Tech Football Notebook: Previews Galore; Where Should Shough Rank

So many links and things!

College Football News’ Pete Fiutak has his quick preview of the Big 12, concluding that he thinks that Texas Tech will finish 6th in the Big 12 conference. I’m pretty sure that’s the highest I’ve seen Texas Tech predicted. There’s also a more lengthy Texas Tech preview that I enjoyed and pegs Texas Tech pretty well. This is about the defense and even though you have to click 5 pages, it was worth the read on a Wednesday morning:

– The defense wasn’t miserable, but it didn’t generate enough big plays or key stops. It needs to find something it can do well – it needs a calling card. However, under defensive coordinator Keith Patterson, all this group has to do is hold serve and let the offense do the rest. With a TON of experience returning, improving shouldn’t be a problem.

– Good luck finding a defense in America that’s getting more of a break from the super senior season. In a normal year, the Red Raider D would be gutted, but instead, 11 of the top 13 tacklers are expected back and it all starts with a potentially great linebacking corps. Former Arizona transfer Colin Schooler, Krishon Merriweahter, and Riko Jeffers are big, veteran linebackers who’ll make a whole lot of stops.

Fiutak says to set the over/under at 7 wins for Texas Tech, which is pretty aggressive, but I like it.

Dallas Morning News’ Chuck Carlton asks 3 questions of each team heading into the Big 12 Media Days, which start today, but Texas Tech will appear on Thursday. Here’s the first question:

1. Just how much pressure is Matt Wells under to win now? Spoiler alert: a lot. After consecutive four-win seasons, fans are restless in West Texas with some even pushing for a change after last season. If Tech finishes anywhere close to the ninth-place prediction in the conference, it might not be pretty.

CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodds has his hot seat rankings for head coaches and Texas Tech head coach has gone from a 2, which is “all good … for now” to a 3 which is “pressure is mounting” and that’s for sure accurate as far as I think.

ProFootballFocus ranks all 130 Division I expected starting quarterbacks and has Tyler Shough at #69 (nice). Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler is #1, Iowa State’s Brock Purdy is #17, West Virginia’s Jarrett Doege is #27, Kansas State’s Skylar Thompson is #35, Texas’ Casey Thompson is #42, TCU’s Max Dugan is #55, Oklahoma State’s Spencer Sanders is #65, and I’ll let you look up the rest from there. Shough’s category is average, which I’d probably put UT’s quarterback in that category (only shown flashes) and maybe Doege and Skylar as well, but I’m not an expert.

ProFootballNetwork also ranks all 130 quarterbacks and they have Shough at #51 overall, which is a pretty big difference:

Shough has some NFL-caliber throws in his young, brief résumé as a starting quarterback. In just one full season as a starter for Oregon, Shough won the de facto Pac-12 Championship against USC and completed 63.0% of his passes for 1,520 yards and 13 scores across seven games in 2020. He’s got an incredibly gifted arm, and he certainly displayed that on many occasions last year.

Shough is a threat in the vertical passing game, particularly against man coverage, where he can throw his receiver open on several different routes and combinations downfield. He’ll need to work on his mechanics from within the structure of the offense. However, the stage is set for the quarterback-friendly offensive scheme from head coach Matt Wells to give Shough as many easy reads in the passing game as any other quarterback in the country.

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