football Edit

Midterm Reports for the Red Raiders

There has been a ton to learn about the 2022 Texas Tech football team in the first six games of the season. The 3-3 (1-2) squad feels so close to breaking out due to a ton of reasons but is being held back for a multitude of reasons.

Today, we go position by position, grading each on their first half performance this season.

Quarterbacks (C+):

Chase Seabolt
Chase Seabolt

I really wish I was just writing about one quarterback here. It is so unfortunate to yet again lose your starting quarterback for a lengthy portion of the season.

I believe that you can’t make a judgement on Tyler Shough based off of a quarter against an FCS opponent, but we will see what the offense can look like with a healthy version of the veteran quarterback in the back half of the season.

Donovan Smith has had his highs and lows this season, from two great performances at home to defeat ranked opponents in overtime to two flat-out bad performances on the road in Raleigh and Manhattan. We are likely to see Smith once again this season, and all you can ask is that he develops a stronger pocket presence and to trust his arm with throws over the middle.

Behren Morton got me really excited on Saturday in Stillwater. The offense looked as good as it has in a while. The freshman quarterback appears to have the potential to be something special with some more time developing. I hope we haven’t seen all of Morton in the 2022 season.

Tahj Brooks (C+):

Brooks has been somewhat disappointing to start the year, having lost some of his snap count to SaRodorick Thompson early this season.

Brooks has seen a steady decline in touches and hasn’t found the end zone since week two against Houston.

I personally don’t expect this to completely be the case for the rest of the season, but Brooks will be in search of a bounce back in the second half of the year.

SaRodorick Thompson (B+):

As I mentioned before, Thompson has surpassed Brooks in the snap count which has led to a great start to the season for the senior.

I believe that the number of touches going Thompson’s way is attributable to his running style which melds better with the current state of the offensive line than Brooks does.

Thompson has responded to this expanded role this season and is already over 300 rushing yards for two touchdowns.

Outside Receivers (B-):

Jerand Bradley has rebounded well recently after a dip in production after a hot start in the first two weeks of the season.

During that time, Trey Cleveland has seen a breakout and is developing nicely into a deep ball threat for the Red Raiders.

JJ Sparkman saw some nice production against Texas and Kansas State before missing last week in Stillwater with a thumb issue.

Loic Founoji is the one who has somewhat disappointed early this season, but this is a young group that will need time to develop over the years.

Myles Price & Xavier White (A-):

Price has been all that was expected this season and is likely the most explosive player on offense. You’ve got to hope he is healthy by the West Virginia game after getting rolled up on in Manhattan.

During the time Price has missed, White has emerged as a great option inside. I truly believe that he has entered his name into the playing time conversation when Price has returned with two great games in his absence.

Offensive Line (D-):

This group has taken its lumps this year.

Caleb Rogers has struggled at left tackle while the absence of health for this group has been disastorous. Their play has seemingly hurt Brooks’ production and they have struggled to keep their quarterbacks on their feet to this point.

Something will have to change coming out of the bye for this team to show their true potential.

Tight Ends (B-):

This group has seen sporadic usage throughout the season, but they've been great when they've had the opportunity to produce.

Mason Tharp and Baylor Cupp emerged as solid pass catcher while Henry Teeter has done exactly what was expected of him.

This group will likely need more reps to make a true impact but the potential has flashed at times.

Defensive Line (A+):

This group led by Tyree Wilson has been absolutely stellar. Tim DeRuyter has been able to dial up some great pressure from this experienced group that includes Jaylon Hutchings, Tony Bradford and Philip Blidi.

This has likely been the best part of the Tech defense that has been quite respectable this season.

Linebackers (B+):

This group has been solid so far and has exceeded expectations to this point.

There was a lot of doubt in the group headlined by Krishon Merriweather and Jesiah Pierre from the public and the media, but they have, at least for the moment, calmed those feelings.

Dimitri Moore has made an impact on the outside this season. Joseph Adedire, the true freshman, has been good off the edge and in coverage behind Tyree Wilson while Jacob Rodriguez has filled in quite nicely as well.

Secondary (A):

This group has been led by Malik Dunlap who has seen a breakout in his first season as a Red Raider. Dunlap and Rayshad Williams have been making some key plays down the stretch to get the defense off the field, keeping the Red Raiders in the game, which is all you can ask for.

The safety position has been in decent hands with Dadrion Taylor-Demerson along with Reggie Pearson and Tyler Owens.

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