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Top 5 Offensive Players Red Raiders Will Face in 2022

There's some Heisman-like talent that coach Joey McGuire's defense will have to deal with this season.

The Texas Tech Red Raiders officially begin the coach Joey McGuire era with a matchup at home against the Murray State Racers on Saturday, Sept. 3.

But in the weeks to follow, things will only get tougher against offensive competition that is some of the best the country has to offer. 

Let's look at the five-best offensive players the Red Raiders will face this season, with a few honorable mentions.

Honorable Mentions:

Iowa State WR Xavier Hutchinson

Houston QB Clayton Tune

Oklahoma QB Dillon Gabriel

Now, the top five:

No. 5 - Houston WR Nathaniel Dell

Dell showed some streaky play to begin the season but finished as arguably one of the best receivers in the country, let alone in the AAC. He finished off the year with 100 or more receiving yards in five out of the last seven games. Four of those games saw him have 150 yards or more. 

In terms of national production, Dell was tied for fifth in touchdowns (12) and was 12th in receiving yards (1,329). No other Houston receiver had more than 500 yards. With the connection he has with Tune only set to get stronger this season, the 5-10, 155-pound Daytona Beach native should be in for a monster game against a Tech secondary that surrendered the most total passing yards (3,197) and passing yards per game (266.4) in the Big 12. 

No. 4 - Texas WR Xavier Worthy

Worthy shined as one of college football's best receivers as a true freshman. He had 62 catches for 981 yards and 12 touchdown receptions, with the 12 scores being good for first among freshmen receivers and fifth overall. The 62 catches also led all freshmen and earned him Freshman All-American honors.

All he needed was five catches to find the end zone three times against the Red Raiders last season. The defense should be more aware this time around, though this leaves the door open for more opportunities from our next player. 

No. 3 - Kansas State RB Deuce Vaughn 

Not only is Vaughn only one of the best running backs in the Big 12, but he's arguably one of the best at his position in the country. 

Even at just 5-6, 176 pounds, Vaughn's speed and quick-twitch versatility as a runner and pass-catcher make him extremely dangerous in open space.

He had 235 carries for 1,404 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns last season. As a receiver, he had 49 catches for 468 yards and four scores. 

Vaughn had over 100 total yards of offense in every game last season and had found the end zone in all but one contest. He finished the season with five-straight games of at least 120 rushing yards and is no doubt one of the top offensive weapons Tech will face this season. 

No. 2 - N.C State QB Devin Leary

Leary's statistical production speaks for itself. 

He threw for 3,433 yards last season to go along with 35 touchdowns compared to just five interceptions and a 65.7 completion percentage all while leading the Wolfpack to a 9-3 record. Leary could potentially have a field day against a Tech defense that was poor in Big 12 play last season. 

CBS Sports even called N.C. State a College Football Playoff sleeper team, as the ACC is a conference that is fixing to be wide open this season. If N.C. State is able to run the table, a berth in the CFP isn’t too farfetched. And Leary is a major reason for this kind of hype.  

No. 1 - Texas RB Bijan Robinson

Robinson was on Heisman watch last season and could’ve been in contention for being a finalist had he not dislocated his elbow in the third-to-last game of the season and if Texas’ overall record had been better.

Nonetheless, he remains one of the most talented playmakers with the ball in his hands in the country and will look to repeat his performance against Tech last season. Even with the Horns putting 70 on the board, Robinson surprisingly didn’t get a rushing score, but still had 137 yards on just 18 carries. He had the game’s first touchdown on a 38-yard catch-and-run but certainly has the potential to replicate his performance and then some against the Tech defense. 

You can follow Zach Dimmitt on Twitter at @ZachDimmitt7

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