Tech needs to remain injury-free
It is rather obvious to say that one goal of this, and every game Tech plays this year, is to remain injury-free. But let’s think about how an injury at some key positions could be devastating on Saturday night.
Of course, all eyes will be on QB1 Tyler Shough as he returns from last season’s broken collar bone, an injury that cost him the final eight games of last year. While another injury to Shough would be almost an act of poor fate, we’ve seen week-one injuries completely alter the QB position before.
In 2018, Tech actually started McLane Carter in the opener against Ole Miss. But he wouldn’t survive the first quarter before an ankle injury forced true freshman Alan Bowman to take over. Carter would not play again that season until the last game of the year and Bowman would be lost twice to a collapsed lung. In other words, a QB injury in the opener completely sent the QB situation into chaos.
Fortunately, Tech is better equipped to handle QB injuries this year. McGuire has said that this year’s QB room is the best he’s ever seen and certainly, Donovan Smith and Behren Morton are better than any backup QBs that Tech had on the roster in 2018. Still, one rolled ankle or pulled muscle could alter the look of this season and the trajectory of this program.
Perhaps the position at which the Red Raiders can least afford an injury is middle linebacker where Krishon Merriweather will start. The only middle LB on the team who was a key member of last year’s defense, he is going to be one of the most indispensable players on the roster this year because backing him up is sophomore Jacob Rodriguez, a converted high school QB who is playing defense for the first time in his college career this season.
Injuries are going to happen. That’s just the nature of football. But getting through this week without a key injury is going to be important given how daunting Tech’s upcoming schedule is.