Texas Tech football: What we learned in week one win over Montana State

LUBBOCK, TX - NOVEMBER 12: Texas Tech cheerleaders perform at Jones AT
LUBBOCK, TX - NOVEMBER 12: Texas Tech cheerleaders perform at Jones AT /
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. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Newcomers will be critical on both sides of the ball

When Wells arrived, he said on more than one occasion that Tech was not rebuilding but reloading.  That was a nod to the talent already on the roster, specifically Alan Bowman, but the new head coach has put his stamp on the team by bringing in a slew of new faces that look primed to play key roles this season.

On offense, Tech’s leading rusher (Shyne) and leading receiver (JUCO transfer Xavier White) were both players not on the roster last season.  Shyne was the backup RB at Utah last season while White, a Lubbock native, walked-on this summer after playing at Dodge City C.C. in Kansas.

What’s more, transfer McLane Mannix, who spent the last two years at Nevada, caught four passes for 41 yards and a touchdown.  In all, newcomers accounted for three of the Red Raiders’ six touchdowns on Saturday.   What’s more, the offseason additions were responsible for 316 of Tech’s 691 total yards.

Not to be overlooked are the contributions of the new faces on defense.  Four transfers were credited with at least one tackle against Montana State, in addition to two true freshmen.

Of the first-year transfers, LB Kosi Eldridge had the most tackles with three.  The Denton native was at Kilgore C.C. last fall.

Utah State grad transfer Ja’Marcus Ingram recorded two tackles in his Red Raider debut.  A starter at corner for the Aggies last year, he has been with the Red Raiders for less than a month after arriving in Lubbock in mid-August.

Of course, one of the stars of fall camp was Zech McPhearson, who got the start at corner.  The Penn State transfer had only one tackle and was beat on a deep ball in the second quarter but on that play, he was in the right position, the receiver simply made a tremendous catch.   Despite being beaten on that play, there’s no reason to believe that he isn’t the team’s most skilled cover man as many have suggested since he arrived.

Relying too heavily on graduate transfers is often a dicey way to build a roster.  But the early results would indicate that the transfers Wells has brought in are not only more than capable of helping this team, but they will also be essential components of what the Red Raiders accomplish in 2019.