5 Things That Should Excite You About Zach Kittley’s Offense
Texas Tech and Joey McGuire are deep into Spring football at this point and we're starting to glimpses of what the coordinators will do heading into 2022.
As McGuire took over for Matt Wells and Sonny Cumbie took the head coaching job at Louisiana Tech, the Red Raiders needed to find a new offensive leader.
With McGuire, a defensive-minded head coach, the offensive coordinator needed to be somebody who could be self-sufficient on offense and have a definitive brand. When that brand of offense was talked about by McGuire during the search and in his opening press conference, I pictured Cumbie or similar offenses to Oklahoma State or Baylor. Which is to say, heavy rushing attacks that are complimentary to defensive success.
Instead, McGuire went full "air raid," bringing back Kliff Kingsbury's shadow, Zach Kittley. Kittley left Texas Tech in 2017, where he was the assistant to the quarterback's coach as a student and grad assistant for five seasons. Since his last stint with the Red Raiders, Kittley has led the offenses of Houston Baptist and Western Kentucky.
Kittley transformed the offense at Houston Baptist in two complete seasons and a COVID-19 year. In 2018 the team averaged 27 points per game and went 1-10. In year two? They scored 36 points per game and went 5-7. In year three, they almost beat Texas Tech and the offense was nearly unstoppable.
In 2020, Western Kentucky averaged 19 points per game, good enough to be ranked 115th out of 128 Teams. When Kittley and his Houston Baptist quarterback Bailey Zappe arrived, the Hilltoppers immediately vaulted to 44 points per game, or 2nd in the country last season.
Texas Tech has a fairly rich history when it comes to the high-volume passing offenses, but that just isn't what I envisioned when McGuire sold his future for Texas Tech.
I'm really excited to see what Kittley can create in Lubbock, and how hands-on McGuire is in shaping the overall game plan. We won't be able to see that until the fall, but what has come out of Spring football has me dreaming about what a Big 12 Kittley offense might look like.
And his Mic'd Up episode fired me up.
There are a few easy things to be excited about, like enhanced quarterback play and scoring more points, but digging a little deeper there are five specific things I think will shine through in Kittley's first season as a Power 5 coordinator.