Texas Tech Football Notebook: Kittley Named Offensive Coordinator; Ewers Visits

OC is done.

Good Monday morning.

Yesterday evening news broke that Western Kentucky offensive coordinator Zach Kittley had agreed to a three-year contract with Texas Tech and head coach Joey McGuire to be the offensive coordinator for your Red Raiders. Don Williams gave credit to Aaron Dickens and I have no reason not to presume to give credit where credit is due (Remember, I don’t ever break news, that’s the job of actual reporters.).

Kittley’s Western Kentucky offense was 24th in Beta Rank overall offense, 59th in drive efficiency, 8th in explosive drives, 41st in play efficiency, 26th in negative drives, 123rd in effective rush, and 4th in effective pass. According to Football Outsiders’ FEI, Kittley’s offense was ranked 19th overall. According to CFB Graphs, Western Kentucky was 14th in EPA offense, 117th in EPA rush, and 8th in EPA pass.

If you like more traditional metrics, Western Kentucky was 2nd in the nation in scoring at 43.1 points per game, 125th in rushing offense at 93.85 yards per game, 1st in passing offense at 434.6 yards per game, and 3rd in the nation in yards per play at 7.08. In third-down situations, WKU was 21st, converting 45% of third downs. Another nugget is that Kittley’s offense was 36th in the nation in touchdown percentage in the red zone, which is worse that Cumbie’s, however, Kittley’s offense had 47 red zone touchdowns compared to 31 for Cumbie. That seems like a pretty important statistic.

Kittley’s offense is much more like Kingsbury’s in nature, not as run heavy as Sonny Cumbie’s offense was at Texas Tech. An offense that maybe doesn’t hold onto the ball as much and not much like the Baylor offense that McGuire has been accustomed to seeing the past few years. That’s not a bad thing, but could make it a bit tougher on the defense. Regardless, this is pretty much a home run hire for McGuire if you ask me and not that my opinion is important. McGuire will probably turn to the defense, where I think it is becoming increasingly clear that he has Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles as the guy he wants, but my guess is that Oklahoma State will do everything in their power to keep him. There are other options of course, but I think that McGuire is shooting for the stars with his coordinator hires.

If you are curious if Patrick Mahomes, who played last night and helped beat the Denver Broncos 22-9, is still invested in Texas Tech’s football football program, the answer is yes, yes he is.

As most of you are aware, Ohio State transfer quarterback Quinn Ewers was in Lubbock yesterday. The human with the mullet is likely Ewers and McGuire is likely the guy in the red pullover in the forefront of of the photo.

Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel has said that Ewers will visit with TCU and has already visited with Texas coach Steve Sarkisian.

Because of all of the baggage with Mike Leach and Texas Tech, bowl-game head coach Sonny Cumbie made it clear that this is about the players, which is correct. Avalanche Journal’s Carlos Silva, Jr. also got this quote from athletic director Kirby Hocutt:

First thought, as coach Sonny Cumbie said earlier, is that this game is going to be about the players that are playing for both teams and the opportunity that’s in front of them. With that being said, obviously coach (Mike) Leach is the all-time winningest football coach at Texas Tech. And that’s special. He is a great coach who I have a tremendous amount of respect for. Things happened at Texas Tech a long time ago – I’ve been at Texas Tech for over a decade now and coach Leach’s time predated me. Still have a lot of respect and admiration for the success that this football program under Coach Leach’s direction during his time as a head coach.

Oklahoma has hired Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables and supposedly will have Ole Miss offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby on that side of the ball. That’s a pretty decent haul.


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