Red Raider Football Position Grades: Offense

Sep 21, 2013; Lubbock, TX, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders enter the field for the game against the Texas State Bobcats at Jones AT

We’re handing out grades for every position group after four weeks of football. This first addition encompasses the last four games.

Quarterback

Baker Mayfield: 99-150 (66 percent), 1120 yards, eight touchdowns, four interceptions; 39 carries, 96 yards, 2.5-yard average, one touchdown.

Davis Webb: 33-64 (51.6 percent), 514 yards, four touchdowns, four interceptions.

This offense lives and dies on the play of two true freshmen quarterbacks. The living came against SMU and Stephen F. Austin, when walk-on Baker Mayfield blew expectations out of the water and stunned the world by leading the Big 12 in total offense for two straight weeks. However, once competition stiffened, so did Mayfield’s nerves. His reliever, Davis Webb, is hot and cold as well, but seems to play with a slightly better pocket presense. Both are reckless with the ball and both don’t go very deep into their reads before tucking it to run. Grade: C

Running Back

Quinton White: Nine carries, 105 yards, 11.7-yard average, one touchdown.

DeAndre Washington: 30 carries, 103 yards, 3.4-yard average, one touchdown; 10 receptions, 74 yards.

Kenny Williams: 29 carries, 76 yards, 2.6-yard average, two touchdowns; seven receptions, 71 yards, one touchdown.

The running game couldn’t be more ineffective at this point. Some of the blame falls to the offensive line for not creating running lanes, but when lanes are there they aren’t taken advantage of. That being said, these guys are still very dangerous when they get running room. Both Williams and Washington made big plays catching passes out of the backfield against TCU, and Quinton White proved with limited chances that he’s a home-run hitter with ankle breaking quickness. Kingsbury said several times he’s not worried about running the football as long as they can score points by other means. I don’t disagree, but these backs need the ball in their hands. Grade: B-

Receiver

Jace Amaro: 29 receptions, 367 yards, 12.7-yard average, one touchdown.

Bradley Marquez: 16 receptions, 269 yards, 15.8-yard average, four touchdowns.

Eric Ward: 20 receptions, 221 yards, 11.1-yard average, one touchdown.

Jakeem Grant: 18 receptions, 212 yards, 11.8-yard average, two touchdowns; six rushing attempts, 42 yards, 7.0-yard average.

This group makes the two freshmen quarterbacks look really good from time to time. Jace Amaro in particular can’t touch the ball enough, even though he’s been the favorite target by far. After two seasons as a backup, first-year starter Bradley Marquez proves a reliable and dangerous redzone threat, catching at least one touchdown in every game this season. Jakeem Grant hasn’t had much opportunity to return kicks so far, but the coaches get him the ball in creative ways. Grant leads the team with 154 yards after the catch, Amaro is second with 151, and Ward has 99. The Biletnikoff Award watch list features both Jace Amaro and Eric Ward, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Marquez listed if he continues to produce. Grade: A

Offensive Line

As to which position group is the weakest so far this season, it’s a toss up between the quarterbacks and the offensive line. The line gave up nine sacks in four games, but most of those came once Mayfield stepped outside the pocket. Razon-thin preseason depth took a hit when guard Tony Morales underwent shoulder surgery and was ruled out for the first several weeks of the season. Since then, starters Beau Carpenter and Alfredo Morales both suffered injuries, forcing true freshman Baylen Brown into action at left guard. This rash of injuries, combined with inexperience, makes for a great deal of trouble up front. Grade: C

 

Topics: Big 12, Texas Tech Football, Texas Tech Red Raiders

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