With the regular season complete, it’s time to hand out awards for the best on this Red Raider football team. The back end of the season may be forgettable, but our boys in Red and Black gave us some pretty unforgettable performances along the way.
Best Offensive Player: Jace Amaro
No tight end in the entire country can measure up to what Amaro has become during his time at Texas Tech, and 2013 was his breakout year. The junior from San Antonio hauled in 98 receptions for 1,240 yards and seven receptions. He topped the 100 yard mark five times and went an incredible nine games with at least eight receptions per contest.
Best Defensive Player: Will Smith
The JUCO transfer from Riverside, Cali., leads the team with 106 tackles (the most by any Red Raider since 2005), 8.5 tackles for loss and five sacks at linebacker. Smith was also honored this week as an All-Big 12 first-team member by the AP.
Best Special Teams Player: Ryan Bustin
Bustin set a school record this season 22 field goals made and leads the team in scoring with 114 points.
Best Freshman: Davis Webb
Eleven true freshmen saw playing time this season for Tech, so this award is hard to pick. Webb broke a whopping seven Big 12 freshman records in just five starts at quarterback: total offensive in a single game (478), passing yards in a single game (462), total offensive plays in a single game (75), passing attempts in a single game (62), pass completions in a single game (45), five 300+ yard passing games, and three 400+ yard passing games.
Best Offensive Play: One of Ward’s one-handed touchdowns
Best Defensive Play: Pete Robertson’s pick-six
November 2 was one of those nights to forget in Lubbock. Oklahoma State went up 21-0 on the Red Raiders before a couple quick scores, including this one by linebacker Pete Robertson, made it interesting at the half. The Pokes would ultimately dominate, but Robertson definitely made the play of the year on defense.
Best Special Teams Play: Ryan Erxleben calls his own number
Whether it was a bad snap, poor protection, a great read or some combination of all three, Erxleben made the best offensive play of the night in Austin and the longest run of the season for Tech (51 yards). Kingsbury did say after the game that it was Erxleben’s call all the way.
Best Game: Tech vs. TCU
From a great defensive punching match to Tech alumnus Josh Abbot singing his song “Victory Bells” at half time, this game against then-No. 24 TCU had it all, including a record student crowd.
MVP: Jace Amaro
Amaro carried this team on his back all season. How many football programs can say that of their tight end? At 6-5/260, Amaro is deceptively fast and has tremendously soft hands, proving to be a huge safety valve for two true freshmen quarterbacks. A unanimous first-team All-Big 12 selection by the AP, he’s also likely to be named an All-American, and potentially a first round NFL draft pick in April. Amaro is a once in a lifetime player, and his time at Texas Tech will never be forgotten.
Tells us what you think. Who’s the best on this football? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.