Texas will welcome Texas Tech to Austin on Friday as the Longhorns search for their 7th win of the season. The Red Raiders are coming off of a loss to TCU and are still in search of their 6th win of the season, which would make them bowl eligible. Let’s take a look at what to expect from the Texas Tech offense.
Former Iowa Hawkeye Nic Shimonek took over the Red Raider offense after years of Patrick Mahomes at the helm. Shimonek has had a good season numbers wise, completing 68.5% of his passes for 3451 yards and 28 touchdowns. While he does not have the improvisation ability of Mahomes and the ability to move around the pocket, Shimonek has an excellent arm and can make pretty much any throw on the field. He has years of experience in the Air Raid offense after serving as the backup QB for the previous 2 seasons.
This game will present a unique challenge for the Longhorns defense. Texas Tech leans on the pass more than any Air Raid team the Longhorns have faced this year. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury is one of the brightest offense minds in the country, and has helped the Red Raiders put up huge numbers the last 2 times they have played Texas.
The Red Raiders have 3 running backs who handle the rushing duties. Senior Justin Stockton leads the team in yards with 649, but is followed closely behind by junior Tre King, who has 575 yards on the ground. Stockton and King both have 4 touchdowns a piece. Tech will also feature a 3rd running back, junior Desmond Nisby. Nisby is the primary short yardage back, collecting 7 touchdowns on the year and using his 235 pound frame well near the goal line.
A week after facing 3 potential 1,000 yard wide receivers against West Virginia, the Longhorn secondary will have another tough test. Texas Tech boast several receivers who could give the Longhorns problems. The unit is lead by slot receiver Keke Coutee, who was an honorable mention All-Big selection in 2016. Coutee has already surpassed the 1,000 yard mark in 2017 and has added 9 touchdowns. Senior Dylan Cantrell will serve as one of the outside receivers. Cantrell is having a good season, hauling in 65 passes for 778 yards and 6 touchdowns. The unit will be rounded by seniors Cameron Batson and Derrick Willies. Batson has 448 yards and 4 touchdowns, while Willies has 304 yards and 3 touchdowns.
The offensive line for the Red Raiders will be led by right tackle Terrence Steele, who was named to the second team All-Big 12 Freshman Team in 2016. Steele is accompanied on the right side by freshman guard Jack Anderson. Anderson was ranked as the 44th best high school player in the country in the 2017 signing class, and has started every game his freshman season. Sophomore Travis Bruffy mans the left tackle position after spending 2016 in a backup role. Junior college transfer Jacob Hines starts at left guard. The unit is rounded out by junior Paul Stawarz, who has 19 career starts at center.
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