Texas Tech football: Freshman QB Maverick McIvor may miss 2019 season

LUBBOCK, TX - NOVEMBER 12: A general view of play between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Jones AT
LUBBOCK, TX - NOVEMBER 12: A general view of play between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Jones AT /

Wednesday, Texas Tech football head coach Matt Wells confirmed that freshman QB Maverick McIvor will be out for the majority of the season after suffering a broken foot.

One year after unprecedented bad luck befell the Texas Tech football program at the quarterback position, 2019 is not off to the greatest of starts in that regard.  Wednesday, Matt Wells revealed that true freshman QB Maverick Mcivor sustained a broken foot in Saturday’s second intrasquad scrimmage, an injury that required surgery and will keep him out for the majority of the season.

"“He’ll be out an extended time,” Wells said.  “Not sure if it’s season-ending or not but it’ll be an extended amount out time, [he] could potentially be back in November.”"

The San Angelo product who missed virtually all of his senior season after tearing a knee ligament last September had worked his way into the conversation for the backup QB job behind incumbent sophomore Alan Bowman.

"“Maverick’s got a bright future,” Wells said two weeks ago in a piece by Don Williams of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. “There’s a lot of things getting thrown at him right now. He’s gone with the twos and the threes. There’s a lot we ask the quarterback to do in this offense in terms of getting the signal, tell the receivers what to do, tell the O-line what to do, half the time tell the running back what to do and then, oh my goodness, ‘I have to know what to do.’“Maverick’s handled most of it fairly well. There’s a lot coming at him. He’s mature. He’s got a really good arm. He’s got good arm talent, and his better days are ahead of him.”More from Wreck'Em RedTexas Tech football: Red Raider fans need to know about these MountaineersTexas Tech football: Red Raiders land first commit for class of 2025Texas Tech football: Why have the Red Raiders struggled on the road under McGuire?Texas Tech football: Why the Red Raiders can compete for a Big 12 titleTexas Tech football: Plenty of questions remain as conference play arrives"

A 3-star signee in Tech’s most recent recruiting class, McIvor committed to the Red Raiders last summer after a standout junior year in which he threw for 3,415 yards, ran for 870 and accounted for a total of 52 touchdowns.  He held offers from USC, Boise State, Arizona State, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ole Miss, and Washington State and was rated the No. 19 dual-threat QB in the nation.

For a brief period of time, he decommitted from the Red Raiders following the transition from Kliff Kingsbury to Matt Wells.  But after meeting with Wells and offensive coordinator David Yost, he reaffirmed his pledge.

Now, with McIvor potentially missing his second-straight season, the Red Raiders have a much more precarious situation at the QB spot behind Bowman.  And as we saw last fall, that can derail an entire team.

The backup QB job is now down to junior Jett Duffey and grad transfer senior Jackson Tyner who arrives after three years at Rice.  Wells did not indicate that either one of those players has distinguished himself in this competition.

"“Can’t tell you today,” Wells said when asked who was the most likely to win the No. 2 job.  “Jackson has good days.  Jett has good days.  They both need to, I think…to me, you gotta win the backup job in terms of who can be most consistent on a daily basis; in the red zone, decision-making, the ability to move the offense, who gives us the best chance to win if we went to a No. 2 quarterback.”"

Were the program not under a new coaching staff, Duffey would be the obvious choice.  Last season, he appeared in seven games and made three starts (gong 1-2) while throwing for 1,221 yards, eight touchdowns, and six interceptions.  He also ran for a team-leading 369 yards while scoring four more times on the ground.

But his play was erratic.  In his first start against TCU, he threw for just 190 yards while tossing a touchdown and an interception in Tech’s 17-14 win.  Fortunately, in that game, he also rushed for 83 yards including a 38-yard score on a designed run that proved to be the difference in the game.

In his second start, five games later at home versus Texas, he was terrific with his arm as he passed for a career-high 444 yards and 4 touchdowns to go along with another interception as the Red Raiders fell 41-34 at home in the final minute of the game.

His final start came one week later against Kansas State.  Hobbled by a knee injury that took away his best asset, his legs, he was abysmal.  Throwing for only 150 yards and rushing for only 10, he failed to guide his team to the endzone as Tech lost 21-6.

In all, Duffey’s stats were not horrendous but his penchant for throwing the most untimely of interceptions repeatedly cost his team.  For example, his inexcusable 4th-quarter pick-six in the loss to West Virginia cut short an impressive rally the Red Raiders had put together after losing Bowman at the end of the first half.

Those are the types of mistakes backup QBs must avoid in order to earn their head coach’s trust and it sounds as if Duffey has not been able to do that yet with Wells.

"“He just hasn’t won [the backup job],” Wells said.  “You can’t put your thumb on it.  Hasn’t won it outright.”"

That leaves the door open for Tyner, a 6-foot-5 senior from Edgewood, Texas.  In three seasons at Rice, he threw for 1,038 total yards, three touchdowns, and seven picks but he appears to be pushing Duffey for the No. 2 spot.  Though Wells doesn’t seem too upbeat about either candidate.

"“Jackson’s done enough good things to keep him in the mix,” he said.  “Mistakes by both, good things by both.  You can’t really put your thumb on one thing.”"

Next. The all-time West Texas Red Raider football team. dark

An old football saying suggests that the most popular player on a team in the minds of fans is always the backup QB.  But that couldn’t be farther from the truth when it comes to Red Raider fans this fall.  The last sight any of us want to see in 2019 is a backup QB playing meaningful snaps in a game that is in the balance, especially since the potential QB of the future is now on the shelf for several months.