Head Coach | Tommy Tuberville
Coaching Changes | Chad Glasgow replaces James Willis who left the program following one season as the defensive coordinator for Tuberville.
2010 Record | 8-5 (3-5) Big 12 Record
Returning Starters | 13 players return to the Red Raiders having filled starter minutes in 2010. 7 of those players are on the offensive side of the ball with the remainder on defense. That's a bit of a rough number however because the Raiders did have several starters early in the year that ended up on the sideline due to injury so the experience level might be a little higher than the number actually indicates.
Key Additions | In year one Tuberville and his staff used their SEC ties and recruiting experience to put together a very solid class in Lubbock. DT Leon Mackey is a junior college prospect that could start from day one for new defensive coordinator Chad Glasgow. Running back Ronnie Daniels was a mid year graduate in the class and turned in a strong Spring and that might be enough to get him some looks in the offense as a true freshman. Tech also brings in several players that should bolster the passing game including 4* tight end Jace Amaro who checks in at 6'5" 240+ with great athleticism. While their was a dropoff in year one on the field, it wasn't a steep one and if Tuberville can continue to land talent like this he will have Tech right back in step with the Mike Leach days in Lubbock.
Impact Offensive Player | Eric Stephens - With the switch from Leach to Tuberville the Red Raiders went with a more balanced attack. It's all relative as the focus was still in the passing game but between senior Baron Batch and Stephens, the Raiders ran for 145 yards per contest and the two combined for just over 1500 yards on the season. With Batch gone and an inexperienced QB in Seth Doege, Stephens is likely going to find himself as a focal point especially early in the season. For his part Doege could very well be the most important player to the Raider team this year as the quarterback position is the biggest question mark for Tuberville.
Impact Defensive Player | Cody Davis - Tech struggled defensively a year ago and with new defensive coordinator Chad Glasgow the Raiders are making the move from the 3-4 to the 4-2-5. Davis was second on the team in tackles as a sophomore and entering his junior season he will be the leader of a defensive backfield that returns a good deal of experience. Sophomore Tre Porter will be another name to watch after seeing starter minutes as a true freshman and ranking 3rd on the team in tackles. The only bad news is that it's never good when you're defensive backfield is leading the team in tackles consistently.
Tech moved ever so slightly toward a more balanced attack a season ago but without question the strength was still in the passing game. Most of that has to do with seniors Taylor Potts, Lyle Leong and Detron Lewis. The question for 2011 is whether or not that shift becomes more dramatic.
At this point it's hard to say. Long term Tuberville might want to move in that direction, but much like Turner Gill at Kansas he might not have all the pieces in place to make that shift. The Red Raiders are very experienced on the offensive line returning all five starters. They have a running back in Stephens with experience and Seth Doege had a few flashes back in the Leach era. With that you might say that Tech has a good running back and experience line and a new QB so why wouldn't they run more? Again, odds are they will but we certainly aren't looking at a shift toward Tuberville's SEC days just yet.
The 3-4 was the name of the game a year ago and Tech was one of the worst in the country. That lead to a change in leadership with a new defensive coordinator and with that a shift toward the 4-2-5 that has gained popularity in the Big 12. Glasgow spent his last nine seasons with the TCU Horned Frogs and if you've watched TCU in recent years you know that they have some speed and they like to attack.
In Glasgow's first year he looks to have a unit that will improve from a speed standpoint but the overall experience in the front seven takes a bit of a hit with the departure of several senior players that have been staples on the defensive side of the ball. The upgrade in speed comes from a shift in the style of player. Tech is following a recent trend of converting DB's into LB's with Daniel Cobb stepping into one of the linebacker roles and providing a significant upgrade from an athleticism standpoint.
Without question the defensive backfield is the strength with Tre Porter and Cody Davis being a big reason why. Six players with starting experience from the crop of defensive backs and if Glasgow can find the right players on the defensive line and at linebacker he'll have a chance to make improvements. It's not always easy in year one so there will surely be some growing pains but when you're working you're way up from the bottom improvements can be more noticeable.