The Red Raiders lifted the curtain on their workout to the fans and media Saturday in Midland. Some questions were answered by what was seen, other questions remain for the 2013 Texas Tech Red Raiders, and other questions have derived even more questions we will attempt to answer with two remaining open practices this spring.
The biggest story to emerge from the scrimmage is the quarterback battle. It's a 2 man race between redshirt sophomore Michael Brewer and true freshman Davis Webb. The fact that Webb has passed up a recruit the caliber of Clayton Nicholas, a redshirt freshman from Abilene Cooper on the depth chart speaks of the talent that Webb possesses. Brewer was more polished and made his reads a little bit better than Webb in the scrimmage, but there wasn't much of a drop off between the two. Kingsbury has mentioned several times this week that Davis should be heading to his high school prom soon instead of locking into a battle for the starting quarterback at a Big XII university. It's now very apparent why Kingsbury fought so hard to keep Webb when the coaching change occurred.
Maybe even more important than the QB battle (because I think this is Brewer's job to lose) was Saturday's performance of Deandre Washington. After redshirting in 2012 to recover from a knee injury, Washington showed that he was back to 100 percent with a run on a draw play that went for over 40 yards. Washington and redshirt freshman Quentin White took advantage of Kenny Williams being held out of the scrimmage combined to do most of the rushing for Texas Tech.
Also held out of the scrimmage were WRs Bradley Marquez and Eric Ward, LB Terrence Bullitt and OL Alfredo Morales & Rashad Fortenberry. With the absence of some of the front line outside receivers, Reginald Davis and Dominique Wheeler each got an opportunity to work with the top units. Shawn Corker also got a lot of work at Z receiver (flanker) and caught a touchdown pass. The switching of Corker back to offense further convinces me that Texas Tech is moving on without the services of Javon Bell.
The biggest concern on offense remains at the offensive line. Only seven linemen participated in the Midland scrimmage. Beau Carpenter filled in for Fortenberry at RT, but also got some snaps on the interior. Tony Morales alternated with Jared Kaster at center, but also rotated in at right guard. Clark is the left tackle and Carpenter will start somewhere on the line depending on whom else can nail down a position, but after that everything else will be an educated guess. This will be the biggest question mark heading into the fall.
As for the defense, they lived up to their word. The defense attacked and they hit. It wasn't always pretty, as the offense appeared to have won the day, but there were bright spots on defense as well.
Trey Porter got the lone interception and looked very comfortable at safety. He is one player who was held out of many practices last year while recovering from concussions, so it was good to see him participating in a full contact scrimmage.
There was a lot of movement in the front seven, including some stunts and blitzes from the edges. A handful of defenders got to the QBs, but right now, it's not a sure bet for that to translate to Saturdays in the fall.
Cornerback is the biggest unknown on the defense right now. Bruce Jones and Ola Falemi worked with most of what is considered the first string defense along with Brandon Bagley and Theirry Nguema. There aren't a lot of options at corner right now, and with the Big XII teams throwing the football the way they do, it's a position that needs to be deep and talented, and I don't know that there is enough of both.
The next scrimmage is Friday at Jones AT&T Stadium. We'll take a deeper look this week at both the OL and CB positions.