Texas Tech football: Maddening recent history of QB injuries continues

HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 01: McLane Carter #6 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders is helped off the field by medical staff after sustaining a leg injury in the first quarter Mississippi Rebels at NRG Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 01: McLane Carter #6 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders is helped off the field by medical staff after sustaining a leg injury in the first quarter Mississippi Rebels at NRG Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

2018: Kingsbury can’t survive three different QB injuries

Though for most of his tenure at Tech, the defense proved to be Kingsbury’s bugaboo, in the end, it was the QB position, his area of specialty, that cost him his job.  That’s because in 2018 he couldn’t find a way to get Tech back to a bowl game as he was forced to start three different QBs due to injuries.

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All three of the candidates that battled for the starting job in fall camp, Alan Bowman, McLane Carter, and Jett Duffey, would miss at least one start last season, which took quite a toll on the team.   And in the end, it was Kingsbury who suffered the most for it when he was fired following a 5-7 season.

Carter got the start in the opener but didn’t survive the first quarter of the 47-27 loss to Ole Miss in Houston thanks to a high ankle sprain.  Bowman came in as a true freshman and threw for 273 yards and a touchdown in three quarters of action.

The Grapevine native started the next four games going 3-1 before a collapsed lung took him out of the West Virginia game just prior to halftime.  He would miss only one game, Tech’s 17-14 win over TCU, thanks to a well-timed bye week, which Tech also enjoys the benefit of this week.

Bowman returned to start the next two games after the win in Fort Worth, going 1-1 against Kansas and Iowa State.  But in his third start after his injury, he sustained another collapsed lung just prior to halftime of the Oklahoma game.

When he left, his team was leading the No. 6 Sooners 31-28 but the offense stalled without its leader in the third quarter as the Red Raiders lost 51-46.  Bowman would not play again last fall cutting short what was on track to be the best freshman season of any QB in the country.

With Carter’s ankle still not 100%, Duffey started the next two games, versus Texas and at Kansas State, both losses.  In the Texas game, he tweaked a knee but played through the pain in Manhattan. But he was unable to answer the bell in the season finale against Baylor leaving Carter, who was still gimpy on his ankle, to start.

In all last season, Tech started a different QB than in the prior game five times.  That’s no way to win in the Big 12.

It was a brutal hand for a coach on the hot seat, such as Kingsbury, to be dealt.  But we all had hoped that the cosmic scales of football had been finally balanced by the fact that QB injuries cost a beloved Red Raider alum his dream job.

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However, it appears that our hopes were misguided.  Though we have a new coaching staff in place, QB injuries seem to be the one holdover that has followed the team for more than ten years.