3 Biggest Questions Facing Texas Tech Head Coach Joey McGuire Ahead of Big 12 Media Days

    After guiding Texas Tech to successive winning campaigns and bowl game victories, what questions will Joey McGuire face at Big 12 Media Days?

    If having a winning record and winning a bowl game were questions at Texas Tech when Joey McGuire moved across the state from Waco to Lubbock in 2022, then he has answered yes to both.

    The Red Raiders were 8-5 during his first season, which ended with a Texas Bowl win over Ole Miss. He followed that up with a 7-6 record during his second season, which concluded with an Independence Bowl victory over Cal.

    So, as McGuire enters his third Big 12 Media Days, what are the three biggest questions he now faces?

    Three Most Significant Questions for Joey McGuire at Big 12 Media Days

    1) Is Health at Quarterback Key To Unlocking the Offense?

    Texas Tech has started multiple quarterbacks in each of McGuire’s first two seasons at the helm of the Red Raiders. Behren Morton accounted for 19 touchdowns in 10 games in 2023, including three scores through the air against Cal to cap off the season in the Independence Bowl.

    Morton was shut down for the final three weeks of spring football as he continues to rehab a grade-3 sprain of the AC joint in his throwing shoulder.

    Offenses crave continuity under center, and McGuire seemed optimistic that Morton will be the player poised to provide it at quarterback for the 2024 season.

    “He would tell you that he could go play today,” McGuire said after the spring game in April. “We have got a great plan with our doctors and different people that are throwing experts as far as how our rehab and everything like that is going.”

    The Red Raiders have not had a Big 12 First-Team QB selection since Kliff Kingsbury in 2002. Not even a certain three-time Super Bowl MVP did it. While Morton might not be Mahomes, despite the similarities in their names, a healthy season for him can be the key to success for Texas Tech football in 2024.

    2) Can Tahj Brooks Duplicate His 2023 Campaign Behind a Revamped Offensive Line?

    Tahj Brooks finished fourth amongst FBS rushing leaders last season with 1,538 — which is the best single-season total by a Red Raider since Ricky Williams (not that one, but the one that came after that one) in 1998. He had not surpassed 700 rushing yards in any of his first three seasons in Lubbock.

    Brooks was named to the 2024 Preseason All-Big 12 team, but if he has any chance of duplicating his 2023 season, it has to start with the offensive line in front of him.

    Texas Tech hired long-time Washington State offensive line coach Clay McGuire (no relation to the head coach) to the same position this offseason.

    It has been his job this spring to construct what will likely be four new starters, a group headlined by a pair of interior linemen in Vinny Sciury from Toledo and Davion Carter from Memphis, two of the highest-rated guards in the transfer portal this offseason.

    3) How Does a Depleted Secondary Hold Up?

    The Red Raiders allowed 229.2 passing yards per game last season to rank sixth in the 14-team Big 12.

    Starters in the secondary included Dadrion Taylor-Demerson, Tyler Owens, Rayshad Williams, and Malik Dunlap — all of whom graduated this spring which left McGuire’s defensive unit with plenty of holes to fill. That quartet amassed 165 total tackles and seven interceptions between them in 2023.

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    Replacing that kind of production won’t be an easy task and we know defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter would like to improve upon the 10.4 yards per completion they allowed last season which ranked at the very bottom of the conference.

    Also remember that this secondary will have to face the likes of pass catchers Travis Hunter (Colorado), Rashod Owens (Oklahoma State) and Jaylin Noel (Iowa State) in conference play. That is a tough task for any secondary, much less an inexperienced one.

    2024 Big 12 Media Days Schedule: Joey McGuire, Texas Tech Head Coach

    • Date: Tuesday, July 9
    • Time: 3:00 p.m. ET
    • How to Watch: ESPN+

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