The 2020 Texas Tech football season has been a disappointment thus far and that’s due in part to the struggles of players who have not met preseason expectations.
1-3. It’s a record that Texas Tech football fans have not seen from their program. Even during the last decade, when Red Raider football has slipped into national obscurity, Tech has typically managed to get off to decent starts.
Of course, the problem is that the 2020 season didn’t give Matt Wells and his team an opportunity to ease into the schedule. Instead of having three nonconference games to work out the kinks, Tech had just one this year and that’s had a huge impact.
We all suspected that the disjointed offseason and fall camp would manifest itself in some early-season struggles and mistakes, and we were correct. But how nice would it have been to have had the opportunity to work through those challenges against the likes of UTEP and South Alabama in the first three weeks as was originally planned instead of having to do so against Texas and Kansas State?
Still, it’s hard to give this team too much sympathy. After all, every other team in the Big 12 faced the same challenges and some, such as Baylor and Oklahoma State, have had more to deal with than Tech in terms of canceled games and in-season COVID-19 outbreaks.
That’s why, despite the challenges that Tech has faced, 1-3 is simply unacceptable. It’s the first time since 1993 that Tech has begun a year with only one win in the year’s first four contests. That year, Spike Dykes’ team actually started 1-5 thanks to a five-game losing streak that came on the heels of a season-opening victory over Pacific.
While the 2020 Red Raiders have had a rather tough schedule in the season’s first four weeks, it pales in comparison to what the 1993 Red Raiders faced. In weeks 2-6, Tech had to play at No. 9 Nebraska, at Georiga, and at Baylor before hosting No. 14 Texas A&M and N.C. State. Thus, that 1-5 start was a bit easier to come to grips with than this year’s putrid start.
While the schedule has been part of Tech’s struggles, a larger contributing factor is the fact that a number of key players who were expected to be foundational pieces of the program have not played up to a level that matches the hype that surrounded them in the preseason.
So let’s take a look at those Red Raiders that have not met expectations. And as we do, we will gain a greater understanding of why this year’s team has struggled so mightily out of the gates.