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Why Red Raiders Could Struggle in 2022

A closer look at three potential areas of concern for the Red Raiders.

As the Texas Tech Red Raiders enter their first year under new coach Joey McGuire, some growing pains are likely to come with the transition. 

While there will likely be improvements across the board in Lubbock under McGuire, as seen by his ability on the recruiting trail, those improvements won't all happen overnight. Rather, there will still be a few possible spots of concern for the Red Raiders that could cause issues in McGuire's first year. 

Fansided recently revealed three potential reasons the Red Raiders could struggle this season. 

The offensive line

First among the reasons that they believe the Red Raiders could struggle is the offensive line play. According to Don Williams of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, this is the current projected starting offensive line for the Red Raiders: 

RT Monroe Mills

RG Landon Peterson

C Dennis Wilburn

LG Weston Wright

LT Caleb Rogers

The issue that could cause concern for the Red Raiders this season among this group is an overall lack of experience. Mills has no career starts to his name, having only recorded 24 total snaps in two years at Oklahoma State. 

Wilburn, meanwhile, is a walk-on from Hutchinson Community College who has never taken a snap at the Power 5 level. Peterson as well has never made a start, with only 51 appearances in 10 games during his three years at Texas Tech. 

Perhaps most concerning, though, is the fact that Western Kentucky transfer Cole Spencer might miss the 2022 season due to surgery after the 2021 season. According to McGuire, he will have an update on Spencer by Aug. 31. The Red Raiders' offensive line could become a strength as the season goes on, but prior to the season starting there is some level of concern with the overall lack of experience.

The linebackers

While the offensive line has little experience among its projected starters, the linebackers offer even less experience. The lone returning starter linebacker from last season is Krishon Merriweather, who returns as middle linebacker. 

Starting next to Merriweather will be JUCO transfer Kosi Eldridge, beating out Vanderbilt transfer Dimitri Moore. In his three seasons with the Red Raiders, Eldridge has recorded only 31 total tackles. 

If the Red Raider defense is to take the step that is needed in order for them to improve, Merriweather and Eldridge will play a big role in doing so. With the general lack of experience in the linebacker group, if they don't then it could be a long season for the Red Raiders defensively. 


Whoever is ultimately named the Red Raiders starting kicker this season will have big shoes to fill. Last season Red Raiders' kicker Jonathan Garibay was named an All-Big 12 selection, going 15 of 16 on field goal attempts, which included a 62-yard game winner against Iowa State. 

Replacing him will be either Trey Wolff, who served on kickoffs last season, or Gino Garcia. Garcia, a transfer from Houston Baptist, went 32 of 46 on field goal attempts, including a 9 of 10 in 2021. 

Kickers are a position that tends to go relatively unnoticed if they do their job, however, if they struggle then all eyes are on them. If the Red Raiders want to be successful in 2022, a strong year from whoever wins the kicking job is a must-have. 

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