Texas Tech Football: What Red Raiders must do to beat Cal in Independence Bowl

UCF v Texas Tech
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Texas Tech needs young players to step up

In the transfer portal era of college football, the depth of programs is going to be tested like never before. That's certainly true for Texas Tech today with 15 players having put their names in the portal thus far.

If Morton is going to be successful today, some new pass catchers will have to rise to the occasion. That's because starting receivers Myles Price and Jerand Bradley will not play due to their portal entries. They are the team's second and third-leading receivers on the year.

Will young Coy Eakin and the lesser-used Jordan Brown (who is questionable to play due to injury) be able to provide the team with receiving threats on the outside? Might Tech even turn to Brady Boyd, a junior who played in only two games this year in order to redshirt? The former Minnesota transfer is highly-regarded by his coaches and he will likely get some run tonight.

Along the offensive line, Ty Buchanan will get his first career start at left tackle (just his second-ever start as a collegiate). That's because starting left tackle, Monroe Mills is now in the portal forcing the sophomore Buchanan into spot duty.

On the other side of the ball, senior DT Jaylon Hutchings is not going to play because of a knee injury. Neither will senior DE Myles Cole, who is opting out to prepare for the NFL Draft.

Therefore, Tech will have to ask young linemen such as Dooda Banks, Charles Esters III, and Joseph Adedire to play more snaps than they have typically been required to.

In the modern age of college football, bowl games have become as much about young players getting opportunities to play meaningful roles as it is about older players showcasing themselves one last time. Today, Tech will have a healthy number of underclassmen and inexperienced players taking important snaps and whether or not they can come through will tell a large part of tonight's story.