Donovan Smith with start at least one game
The last time that Texas Tech went through a season with the same starting QB for every game was 2016 with Pah Mahomes, who played through an injured shoulder for half of that season. That streak won’t end this year as backup QB Donovan Smith will make at least one start.
Now, the question that begs to be answered is why Smith will be pressed into action. Will it be due to injury or ineffectiveness?
Shough enters this year with durability questions after he missed the last eight games of 2021 due to a collarbone injury. That might not be fair given the freakish nature of his injury last season but one can’t help Tech fans from having a bit of PTSD when it comes to injuries at the QB spot.
In 2018, 2019, and 2021, the Red Raiders’ starter in week one managed to play no more than three-plus games in a season. Will that be the case again in 2022? We certainly hope not.
So if Shough can stay healthy, another question arises; Is he good enough to hold down the job for an entire season? After all, that’s something he’s yet to do at the collegiate level.
Even when Shough started all seven games of the 2020 season for Oregon, he was not a full-time quarterback. Instead, he split time with Anthony Brown, who would play the majority of the Ducks’ biggest win, the PAC 12 Championship Game.
Last season, Shough was fine during his three full games as Tech’s starter. But he was far from dynamic. He completed 69.6% of his passes and had six TDs to three picks.
We just didn’t see enough of him to be able to know for certain that he’s the answer at QB. And with viable options behind him, will he be given a long leash this year or will some struggles lead Kittley and McGuire to turn to Smith?
It would be in the best interest of the program to have Shough start every game and play well enough to solidify his hold on the job. However, I just can’t help but feel that Tech’s QB position will see more flux this year as well. Thankfully, the Red Raiders are better equipped to handle it this time around.