There are just five days left until the Texas Tech football
team kicks off its 2011 season against Texas State. We continue our countdown to
kickoff by looking at five key storylines heading into the
1.Doege takes over. Seth Doege has started one game -- against Kansas in 2009
-- since his sophomore year of high school. That all will change on Saturday, as
he'll open the 2011 season as Texas Tech's starting quarterback against Texas
State. Even though the Red Raider offense still has some questions, Doege is not
expected to be seriously challenged by the Bobcats. The biggest question this
weekend will not be whether or not Doege can lead Tech to a win -- that seems
almost assured given the opponent -- but how he looks in the process.
2.Depth on the offensive line. The Red Raiders' offensive line began fall camp
as the strength of the team and, within two weeks, had developed into a huge
concern. Within the first two weeks of camp, center Justin Keown went
down with a knee injury and is expected to miss at least four to six weeks, and
Tony Morales suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. Yikes. Tech
enters the first game of the season with two true freshmen -- Le'Raven Clark and Alfredo Morales -- in the two deep. If Saturday's game
against Texas State gets out of hand, how will Tech handle rotation on the line?
3.Debut of Glasgow's 4-2-5. Chad Glasgow is the Red Raiders' third
defensive coordinator and third defensive scheme in three years. From a
statistical standpoint, the last two seasons have been, depending on the week,
somewhere between average and terrible. Truth be told, Tech's roster is much
better suited to Glasgow's 4-2-5 than the 3-4 and even 4-3 that they've run over
the past two seasons. Given the team's schedule, and the high-powered nature of
the Big 12, it's probably too much to expect the Red Raiders to post a top 50
defense in 2011, but even a top 75 unit would be a huge improvement.
4.Youth movement. Tech's two-deep on both sides of the ball is dominated by
freshmen and sophomores. A young team can be exciting to watch because fans can
see them develop and improve week after week, but that same youth will also be a
source of frustration at times because of inexperience. Red Raider fans will
need to take the good with the bad this fall, but can expect Tommy Tuberville's team to be vastly improved at the end of the season.
5.Defensive line unleashed. Perhaps the biggest difference between this year's
Tech football team and last year's is depth on the defensive line. Heading into
2011, the Red Raiders are legitimately two-deep at every position up front with
Big 12 caliber defensive linemen.
Leon Mackey, the most heralded junior
college transfer to sign with Tech since Robert Johnson in 2004, will make his
Division I debut, as will former Rivals100 prospect Delvon Simmons and
junior college transfer
Dennell Wesley. Considering what went on up
front last year, just watching those three do work will be worth the price of
admission on Saturday.