The offensive line can’t be a weakness for the Texas Tech football team this year
We can talk all we want about how the revamped Texas Tech offensive line is looking in practice but until that position group shows improvements in a real game, there will be reasons to be skeptical. Right now, McGuire is heaping praise on that unit but is he doing so in order to raise his line’s confidence or is he genuinely impressed?
"“You are talking about a group that is night-and-day [different],” McGuire said on August 12, “and I am just really excited.”"
That sounds great but will it translate to success when there are fans in the stands?
Last season, Tech gave up 3.15 sacks per game to rank just 111th nationally and dead last in the conference. While that number can be inflated partially by the fact that the 569 passes the Red Raiders attempted were the most in the Big 12, it is also an indication that the line, especially the tackles, underperformed.
In fact, with 41 sacks allowed, Tech gave up 14 more than the team in the league that attempted the second-most passes, Oklahoma State. The Cowboys threw the ball 46 fewer times than Tech did, which is an average of just 3.5 fewer times per game, yet they gave up only 2.08 sacks on average, a much more acceptable number.
We’ve already discussed how right tackle Caleb Rogers is going to be a make-or-break player this fall after being his team’s starter at left tackle a year ago. However, there is no player on this year’s starting O-line who is above questioning.
Is Monroe Mills ready to play left tackle for the first time in his career? Are left guard Cole Spencer and center Rusty Staats ready to compete in the Big 12 after playing at Western Kentucky for multiple seasons? Is Dennis Wilburn going to be as good at right guard as he was at center in 2022? All are valid concerns.
Honestly, when a team enters a season with no starter returning in the position that he played the season prior, there should be questions. That is Tech’s situation in 2023 so until the line shows us when it counts that it is ready to be an asset, rather than a weakness, we will have a reason to wonder what that group will really bring to the table.