The offense will be close to balanced
The Zach Kittley hire as offensive coordinator is one of the offseason’s greatest wins for the Texas Tech football program. After all, Kittley is one of the fastest-rising stars in the coaching ranks.
Last year, his Western Kentucky offense put up 43.1 points per game, second-most in the nation. Most of that success came via the forward pass as WKU threw for 433.7 yards per game while running for just 102.8. Additionally, the Hilltoppers averaged 49.8 passes per game while running the ball only 24.8 times per contest.
Yet, this season, expect the Red Raider offense to be close to balanced. That’s because running the ball will be in Tech’s best interest.
We’ve talked all offseason about how green the Red Raider outside receivers are this fall. Thus, Tech likely won’t be able to simply air the ball out to overwhelm opponents the way WKU did a season ago under Kittley.
Also, this year’s Red Raider offensive line is rebuilt and inexperienced with three first-time starters at the collegiate level at the top of the depth chart. Thus, exposing that position group to nearly fifty pass-blocking snaps per game would be rather unwise.
Then there is the fact that Tech’s best offensive position group is running back. With Tahj Brooks and Sarodorick Thompson both in the fold, it would be wise for Kittley to feed each a healthy dose of carries.
That will not only make life easier on the offensive line (as run blocking is generally considered easier than pass blocking) but it will also help the outside receivers get more favorable matchups when Tech does put the ball in the air.
When he was hired by McGuire, Kittley admitted that he wants to run the football. He also shared that, last season, he lost his starting running back and tight end at WKU making it far tougher to move the ball by land.
This year, the strength of his offense might be the ground game so Kittley won’t have to worry about being undermanned when he tries to chew up yards in the rushing game. So expect this offense to be far more balanced than Kittley’s reputation might suggest it will be.