Texas Tech will ask more of Behren Morton than it did last week
Against Houston, Morton was simply asked to manage the game and get through it healthy. Given that he did not practice for the entire week leading up to that contest due to a sprained AC joint in his shoulder, he wasn’t put in a position to have to win the game himself.
It also didn’t hurt that Tech was able to run for 239 yards as a team. That was another strategic decision made in an attempt to prevent Morton from taking much punishment given that the only other healthy scholarship QB on the roster is true freshman Jake Strong, who is yet to make an appearance in a game.
Tonight, expect more from Morton. In fact, given that the Bears know that Tech will try to feature Tahj Brooks and Cam’Ron Valdez on the ground, Morton might have to make some early plays to soften up Baylor’s defense and make Aranda and Co. fear the Tech passing attack.
However, there seems to be a sweet spot for Morton when it comes to his usage. In the four games in which he’s been asked to throw the ball 34 times or more, he’s won only once. What’s more, he’s thrown a total of four picks in those games.
Perhaps the comfort zone for him is between 25-30 pass attempts. That number is enough to make him more than just a passenger on the bus but it isn’t so much that it makes him feel as if everything rides on his shoulders.
Remember, Morton is still a very inexperienced QB. Therefore, his decision-making isn’t where one might like it to be. He’s still a risk-taker and sometimes that leads to magnificent plays. However, it also can lead to some maddening moments as well. Can keeping his attempts at a moderate level help him be a more responsible passer?
Last year, Tech had no answer for the Baylor defense and because the Bears were able to jump out to a multiple-score lead, Morton was asked to attempt 34 passes in only three quarters of play. The result was a three-interception performance that got him benched.
Tonight, let’s hope Morton and the offense find a happy medium. He will be asked to do more than throw the ball 22 times as was the case against Houston but still, the hope is that efficiency is the defining characteristic of his night above all else.