<
>

Season report card: Texas Tech Red Raiders

A monster year by quarterback Pat Mahomes II was not enough to get Texas Tech to a bowl this season. Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Despite boasting one of the top quarterbacks in the nation, Texas Tech finished with a record of 5-7 and failed to make a bowl.

Patrick Mahomes II led the nation in passing with more than 5,000 yards through the air. But elsewhere, the Red Raiders were anywhere from inconsistent to egregious, leading to the disappointing season.

Below is a closer look at Tech's season with the Red Raiders' season report card:

Offense: A-

In his third -- and what turned out to be final -- season in Lubbock, Mahomes was sensational. He completed 66 percent of his passes and totaled 53 touchdowns passing and rushing, as the Red Raiders narrowly finished second in the Big 12 in scoring with an average of 43.7 points per game. Mahomes, however, didn't get a ton of help. The running game otherwise wasn't much of a threat. The line struggled at times to protect him. And despite the big offensive numbers, only one other player -- wide receiver Jonathan Giles -- earned any All-Big 12 recognition (second team) from the coaches. With Mahomes moving on to the NFL, Tech faces a major challenge in resupplying the offensive load that he carried.

Defense: F-

The Red Raiders finished at the bottom nationally in total defense -- and it wasn't really that close, as Tech surrendered more than 400 yards than the next closest defense, Arizona State. Tech's futility defensively was underscored in a meeting with the Sun Devils, as Arizona State's Kalen Ballage rushed for seven touchdowns in the game; he would run for just six the rest of the season. The Red Raiders also squandered a remarkable individual outing by Mahomes against Oklahoma, as the Tech defense gave up ridiculous numbers to the Sooners, who set several FBS and Big 12 offensive records on the way to a 66-59 win. No matter what it achieves offensively, Tech is never going to be a factor in the Big 12 playing defense the way it has these past few seasons.

Special Teams: D+

Kicker Clayton Hatfield made 13 of 14 field goals. Otherwise, Tech's special teams were rather ineffective. The Red Raiders ranked last in the Big 12 in kickoff returns, last in punting, ninth in kickoff coverage, ninth in punt coverage and sixth in punt returns. Special teams was not a strength for the Red Raiders.

Coaching: D+

Failing to get to a bowl does not constitute a good season by Tech standards, which explains Kliff Kingsbury and his staff's grade here. The 66-10 loss at Iowa State was particularly embarrassing, and ultimately forced athletic director Kirby Hocutt to hold a news conference to give Kingsbury a vote of confidence after the season.

Overall: D+

In 2015, the Red Raiders seemed to have turned a corner in Kingsbury's third season, as they were competitive and exciting on the way to a seven-win finish. But this season proved to be a step back. Tech did have some nice moments in 2016, with the away-from-home wins against TCU and Baylor. The Red Raiders were also very competitive in losses to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, the top two teams in the conference. But all of that was overshadowed by another year of dismal defense combined with the failure to reach bowl eligibility. Considering the Red Raiders boasted one of the best quarterbacks in the country, this season felt like a waste in a lot of ways. As a result, 2017 figures to be a crucial year for Kingsbury and the program.