99 Things – #79 Joey McGuire’s Texas Tech Debut


79 days and counting until we have college football! Texas Tech fired Matt Wells after an underwhelming tenure as the Red Raiders head coach. Joey McGuire was hired as the new head coach after serving as the assistant head coach for Baylor since 2019. Prior to Baylor, McGuire spent 14 seasons as the head coach of Cedar Hill High School in Texas. McGuire will have his work cut out for him as the Red Raiders have only made two bowl appearances in the last five seasons.

McGuire was a successful high school head coach winning three state championships. His career record was 141-42. McGuire also won seven district titles, nine bi-district championships, and appeared in the playoffs in 12 straight years. His success helped send football players to Ole Miss, Kansas, Louisiana-Monroe, and Buffalo. Leading a college program is different from high school but he is clearly comfortable being the man in charge and key decision maker. Some coordinators and assistant coaches struggle to make the jump to head coach because they are out of their comfort zone overseeing the entire team rather than a position group.

Texas Tech will be led by Tyler Shough who was limited to only four games last season. Shough brings back multiple years of starting experience after also starting a handful of games at Oregon. McGuire will be able to lean on a veteran quarterback to lead the team in his first season while he builds the roster to fit his system. Running back Tahj Brooks will also be used heavily this season. Brooks ran for 568 yards in nine games last season while averaging 6.5 yards per carry. Texas Tech has not had a 1,000 yard rusher since 2015 but Brooks is looking to end that stretch.

Recruiting has been an area McGuire has excelled thus far. 247 Sports currently ranks Texas Tech as the second best class for the 2023 cycle. The Red Raiders do have 20 commitments which is more than anyone else in the top 10. They also have the third lowest average player rating of any school in the top 10. All but one of his commits are from the state of Texas which is important because of how much talent is in the state. McGuire needs to continue his early success with higher ranked recruits in order to to take Texas Tech back to levels of success they found under Mike Leach.

The Red Raiders schedule is not friendly to begin the season. Texas Tech starts with hosting Murray State followed by a game against Houston. Houston has been picked as a group of five team who could potentially make a New Year’s Six bowl game. A trip to NC State follows to take on Devin Leary (who we talked about yesterday) and then the Texas Longhorns come to town. The schedule does not get any easier with a trip to Manhattan Kansas to take on Deuce Vaughn and Kansas State. The first half of the season finished with an away game at Oklahoma State. A success would be starting the season 3-3 with any record better being a masterful execution. Can McGuire take the Red Raiders to a bowl game in year one?


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