LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Coach Kliff Kingsbury and his quarterback are in similar territory entering their second seasons at Texas Tech.
Both say they've have put last year behind them, especially after the Red Raiders (8-5) had five straight losses to close the regular season and finished near the bottom in penalties and turnovers.
Progress is needed in several areas and mistakes lessened, Kingsbury said.
"That's going to happen with young quarterbacks," he said. "If we improve upon that, then things will be looking up."
For the first time in years Texas Tech's starting quarterback is already set. Davis Webb will be the one taking snaps for the Red Raiders after competing with Baker Mayfield, last season's Big 12 freshman offensive player of the year. Mayfield transferred to Oklahoma.
Kingsbury said Webb, the MVP in the Holiday Bowl with a record setting four touchdown passes in the Red Raiders' 37-23 win over then-No. 16 Arizona State, is looking sharp.
"He's got a chance to be really, really good this year," Kingsbury said. "He's not going to try to take off all of the time out of the pocket. That's not really his game. He plays to his strengths, which is smart."
Webb believes this team is far better already.
"It's not even close," the sophomore said. "Our team last year was good, but this team has a chance to be great."
The Red Raiders open their season at home Aug. 30 against Central Arkansas. Here are five things to watch this season at Texas Tech:
Webb (2,718 yards and 20 TDs) is the starter but there's not much experience after that. Backup Patrick Mahomes threw for 4,619 yards with 50 touchdowns his senior year at Whitehouse in East Texas. He also ran for 15 TDs. He was last year's Texas Associated Press Sports Editors football player of the year. "If we can seal some games, which is our hope, we'll play him a bunch to get him ready," Kingsbury said. Mahomes also plays baseball. There are also three freshman walk-ons at QB.