Unfortunately, it was the same song just another verse for the Texas Tech football program in its series against Kansas State on Saturday night. Suffering their eighth straight loss to the Wildcats, Tech might have lost more than just the game, though, in the 38-21 defeat at Jones Stadium.
Starting quarterback Behren Morton was unable to complete the game after aggravating a right shoulder injury that he has been playing through since the West Virginia game. With Morton not available after halftime, true freshman Jake Strong was forced into action for the first time as a collegiate, and a cavalcade of mistakes from the youngster ultimately spelled doom for the Red Raiders.
Let’s break down what happened in this frustrating loss with some rapid reactions. And we have to start by asking the question that every Red Raider is probably asking tonight.
Is the Texas Tech football program cursed?
Each year, we keep thinking that the Red Raiders will finally have a season with good fortune at the QB position. But time and again, devastating injuries at the game’s most critical position seem to befall this program.
This has been a problem since the start of the Kingsbury era in 2013 when he had to juggle between Baker Mayfield and Davis Webb all season as both dealt with nagging injuries all season. Don’t forget though, that those two freshmen only played because Michael Brewer, the anticipated starter that year, hurt his back in a wakeboarding incident prior to the season and missed the entire year.
Outside of Pat Mahomes (who only got to start as a freshman because of an injury to Webb in 2014) no Red Raider QB has started every game of a season since Seth Doege in 2012. Tech has lost its week-one starter to injury in 2014, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022, and 2023.
What’s more, in 2018, 2019, 2021, and 2022, Tech has had three different players start a game at QB. Unless Morton makes a remarkable recovery this week, it seems like 2023 will be added to that list next Saturday in Provo, Utah.
There really is no explanation for this run of awful luck at QB. At some point, one would have to think that the law of averages would send an injury-free season at QB to the Red Raiders.
It won’t be in 2023 though and that’s simply maddening. Maybe Texas Tech is cursed. Maybe Holden Hall was constructed on an ancient sacred religious site that no one knows about and we are being damned by the gods. But whatever the reason, it sure is getting old.
Alan Bowman, Jett Duffey, McLane Carter, Tyler Shough, Donovan Smith, and now Behren Morton. All have missed at least one start due to injury since the start of 2018 (assuming that Morton is unable to play against BYU) and that’s no way for a program to turn things around.