Texas Tech Football: Why McLane Carter is not the popular choice for QB

AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 24: McLane Carter
AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 24: McLane Carter /
2 of 5
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Carter’s was pulled in his first career start

If the old expression about first impressions has ever been true for a Texas Tech football player, it would be McLane Carter.  Last November, he made his first career start in week 12 at Texas and the results were uninspiring at best.

In fact, the statistics show that this was the worst first start of any Red Raider quarterback in the “Air Raid” era.  After all, no other Texas Tech quarterback of the past two decades has been pulled in this first start.

Carter was just 16-37 for 237 yards and two interceptions and he had two other passes dropped by Texas defenders.  He did run for a touchdown as he did just enough to keep Tech in the game.

But Carter’s first start is not up to par with those of other Texas Tech QB’s. Of the 13 other “Air Raid” quarterbacks, only Carter’s head coach Kliff Kingsbury (44.7% vs. New Mexico in 2000) failed to complete at least half of his passes.

Kingsbury’s performance can be attributed to the fact that he was making the first start in a radically different offense under new head coach Mike Leach.  Carter, by comparison, was at the end of his second year in the Texas Tech system with which he should have been plenty familiar.

Carter and Kingsbury also had the two lowest yardage totals of this group.  Carter threw for 51 yards more than Kingsbury who put up just 186 yards.  But after that, only one other quarterback failed to eclipse the 300-yard mark. (B.J. Symons had 297 against SMU in 2003.  Pat Maomes threw for only 109 yards in his first start but that came in less than two quarters as he was knocked out of the game in the first half.)

Additionally, Carter is the only QB of this group to fail to throw a TD pass in his first start and he and Taylor Potts (2009) are the only two to throw more than one interception (Potts threw three).

It should be noted that Carter’s opponent for his first start was much better than the opponent most of these quarterbacks saw in their first starts.  Only Carter, Davis Webb and Steven Sheffield made their first start in a Big 12 game and plenty of Texas Tech QBs have struggled in Austin through the years.

Still, first impressions matter and the first impression Carter left on the Texas Tech fan base was lacking.  It is difficult to be excited about a quarterback that was last seen being pulled from a game.