Texas Tech Football Announces 23 Athletes, Staff Tested Positive for COVID-19

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 26, 2020

LAWRENCE, KS - OCTOBER 7: A Texas Tech Red Raiders helmet rest on the field during a game against the Kansas Jayhawks at Memorial Stadium on October 7, 2017 in Lawrence, Kansas. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Texas Tech University announced Friday that 23 players and staff members from the football team tested positive for COVID-19. 

KAMC's Eric Kelly tweeted Texas Tech's statement on the matter:

Texas Tech conducted a total of 197 COVID-19 tests among members of the football team. Of the 23 people who tested positive, 21 have already recovered.

Several high-profile college football programs have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic thus far, including Clemson, Kansas State, Houston, Alabama, Ole Miss, South Florida, Auburn, Florida State, Iowa State and Oklahoma State.

Last week, the University of Texas announced that 13 players were diagnosed with COVID-19 as well. After a recent spike in cases in the state, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday Texas would be pausing its reopening and signed an executive order Friday closing bars, limiting restaurant capacity to 50 percent and requiring government approval for large outdoor gatherings.

The coronavirus pandemic has prevented college football teams from gathering and working out in preparation for the 2020 season until recently. It is possible that the truncated preparation time could impact the start of the season, although the NCAA is still planning to start on time at the end of August.

If and when the 2020 college football season does begin, Texas Tech will look to bounce back from last season when it finished 4-8, which was its worst record since 2014.

The 2019 campaign was the first season at the helm for head coach Matt Wells, who took over for Kliff Kingsbury after he was hired to be the Arizona Cardinals' head coach. The Red Raiders finished below .500 in each of Kingsbury's final three seasons as well, and they have just one winning season in the past six years.

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Texas Tech is usually known for its explosive offense and high-volume passing game, but the Raiders ranked just 53rd in the nation in scoring last season with 30.5 points per game.

Jett Duffey took over as the starting quarterback for Alan Bowman last season and played fairly well, but Duffey has since transferred. As a result, Bowman is set to start the 2020 season as the starter once again.

Texas Tech has a chance to do some damage if Bowman stays healthy and plays to his potential, but it won't be easy to compete in a talented Big 12 conference that includes the likes of Oklahoma, Texas, Baylor and Iowa State.

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