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Kingsbury Has Texas Tech Fans Excited
May 16, 2013
By Wendell Barnhouse | Correspondent

2012: 8-5, 4-5 in the Big 12, won Meineke Car Care Bowl.

Returning starters: Offense: 5; defense: 8; kicker/punter: 2

Top players returning: WR Eric Ward, RB Kenny Williams, TE Jace Amaro, DE Kerry Hyder, DE Branden Jackson, LB Will Smith, CB Tre Porter, DE Dartwan Bush.

Need replacing: QB Seth Doege, S Cody Davis, S D.J. Johnson, WR Darrin Moore, OL La'Adrian Waddle, RB Eric Stephens.

In Review
In his last official appearance on the field at Jones AT&T Stadium, Kliff Kingsbury celebrated Senior Day by passing for 473 yards and six touchdowns in a 42-38 upset of No. 3 Texas on Nov. 16, 2002. Just over a decade later, Kingsbury has returned to Lubbock as the second-youngest coach in FBS football.

When Tommy Tuberville left to take the Cincinnati job, athletic director Kirby Hocutt decided to get younger at the coaching position. He hired the 33-year-old Kingsbury, who last season was the offensive coordinator at Texas A&M and helped quarterback Johnny Manziel become the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy.

Red Raiders fans are excited to have a young, new coach. During spring practice, observers noticed the frenetic pace and infectious enthusiasm displayed by the coaching staff and the players. Kingsbury is known for orchestrating high-scoring, fast-paced attacks but he has cautioned expectations by explaining that in the first year the offense will have to adjust to the personnel.

Seth Doege, another in a long-line of record-setting quarterbacks that started with Kingsbury, must be replaced. After spring practice, a decision had not been made between sophomore Michael Brewer and freshman Davis Webb. Both have impressive running/passing skills.

Leading rusher Kenny Williams and leading receiver Eric Ward return. Tight end Jace Amaro, whose injury in mid-October slowed an offense that had started to roll, could be a major play-making factor. Freshmen Reginald Davis and Dominique Wheeler, two of the top signees in 2012 who red shirted last season, figure to help plug holes in the receiving corps.

All four starters in the secondary must be replaced. New defensive coordinator Mike Wallerstedt might return to using the "Raider" – a hybrid linebacker/safety position – to help give the defense different looks.

Short Yardage
The post-spring depth chart shows 13 seniors on the first and second teams. Nine of those are on defense. The only senior starter on offense is wide receiver Eric Ward.

Eight of the nine coaches on the staff have less than five years of experience at the FBS level. The most-experienced coach is defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt, who is a 19-year veteran. Five of the coaches on Kingsbury's staff are former teammates/Red Raider alums.

Wallerstedt is Texas Tech's fifth defensive coordinator in five years. Kingsbury and Wallerstedt worked together at Texas A&M last season. When Wallerstedt was at Air Force, his defensive schemes were adept at limiting Kingsbury's offenses at Houston. Also, expect the Red Raiders to try and confuse opposing offenses with both 3-4 and 4-3 alignments.

Coach Kliff Kingsbury on ...
The starting quarterback battle between Michael Brewer and Davis Webb:
"It's good competition and I think that's good for everybody. We'll go through the summer, go into fall camp and get a starter named."

The support he and the team are receiving:
"I think it's exciting to get everybody on the same page and pulling the same direction. We all want the same thing, and we want this program to be great. So as long as we're pushing in that direction, anything can happen."

The type of players he wants:
"We have to increase our speed profile. We want to play fast and run fast. The way our offense and defense will be set up and the aggressive nature we'll play at, speed will be a top priority."

2013 Schedule
Aug. 30 at SMU
Sept. 7 Stephen F. Austin
Sept. 12 TCU*
Sept. 21 Texas State
Oct. 5 at Kansas*
Oct. 12 Iowa State*
Oct. 19 at West Virginia*
Oct. 26 at Oklahoma*
Nov. 2 Oklahoma State*
Nov. 9 Kansas State*
Nov. 16 vs. Baylor* (Arlington, Texas)
Nov. 28 at Texas*
* - Conference game.
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