Will the Texas Tech quarterbacks play finally be elite again?
Just about every Texas Tech football fan is confident in the program’s situation at quarterback right now. However, that doesn’t mean that the focal point of the team has nothing to prove this year.
There is no question that with both Tyler Shough and his backup, Behren Morton, there is plenty of talent. In fact, it could be easily argued that both of those players are the most talented to play the position in Lubbock since a guy named Mahomes was setting the scoreboard on fire at Jones Stadium in 2016.
Yet neither is a proven commodity. For Shough, he must find a way to stay healthy. It may go against his mentality to be more risk-averse but when he runs, he has to try to avoid taking unnecessary hits by sliding or getting out of bounds instead of trying to take on linebackers as if he is William Wallace leading his troops into battle on every snap.
If Shough does find a way to play a full season, his talent and intelligence should shine through and help him put together an excellent season. Still, he has never played in more than seven games in a season in his college career and he’s yet to throw for more than 1,559 yards and 13 TDs in a season as well. Thus, there is plenty for him to prove, especially if he hopes to have a football career past the NCAA.
Hopefully, Morton will not be called upon to start multiple games in 2023 as was the case last season when he was a redshirt freshman and had to start four games. It isn’t that he lacks the talent, though. In fact, when he was pressed into action last fall, he drew comparisons to Red Raider legend Graham Harrell.
However, he has yet to prove that he’s ready to play at a consistent level in the Big 12. Completing only three full games that he started in 2022, he was excellent against Oklahoma State (379 yards, two TDs, and an INT in a loss) and West Virginia (325 yards, two TDs, no INTs in a win) but he was dreadful against Baylor (152 yards, one TD, three INTs in a loss).
Granted, that is a small sample size but that’s the point. We just haven’t seen enough of Morton as a starter to know that he’s ready to lead this team.
Of course, if all goes according to plan, he won’t have to do that until 2024. That would be best for all involved, especially Shough.