What we want to see in this weekend's Texas Tech football Spring Game

With the Texas Tech Spring Game set to take place on Saturday, here is what we will be looking for as the Red Raiders take the field for the final time until fall camp.
Texas Tech's head coach Joey McGuire walks along the sidelines during the Independence Bowl game
Texas Tech's head coach Joey McGuire walks along the sidelines during the Independence Bowl game / Annie Rice/Avalanche-Journal / USA TODAY
1 of 5

This weekend, the Texas Tech football program is set to hold its annual spring game. This year, the event will be held in Midland, Texas due to the ongoing construction at Jones AT&T Stadium.

It will be a bit of an opportunity for some new faces to emerge for the Red Raiders given how many key pieces of the roster are being held out of action. Of course, the two most well-known hold-outs are starting quarterback Behren Morton and starting running back Tahj Brooks.

Morton has been shut down for the second half of the spring to allow the throwing shoulder he sprained last season to fully heal before fall camp begins. Meanwhile, Brooks has nothing to prove and given how many miles were put on his tires last year, the super-senior is having his workload managed.

Also, two intriguing new players, transfer tight end Jalin Conyers and former 5-star recruit Micah Hudson, won't be participating either. Both are recovering from offseason injuries but both are expected to be full participants in fall camp.

Therefore, this spring game is all about opportunities for new players. Those who have joined the program since last fall, either via the portal or as high school and JUCO recruits, will get their chance to make a solid first impression with the fans. The same can be said for returners who have chances to play increased roles for the first time in their careers. Therefore, let's take a look at what we hope to see this weekend in Midland.

Texas Tech needs a backup QB to emerge

As is the case with any position group, what the quarterbacks do on Saturday alone likely will not trump what they have done over the collective course of the spring practices. However, it sure would be reassuring for the fans if that position group looked solid in the spring game.

Morton's absence means that transfer Cam Brown, redshirt freshman Jake Strong, and true freshman Will Hammond will all see plenty of reps on Saturday. It is an opportunity for one to stake a final claim on the QB2 job heading into the summer.

Tech fans know all too well the importance of depth at the QB spot. No Red Raider QB has started 10 or more games in a season since Nic Shimonek started 12 games in 2017. What's more, in each of the past three seasons, the Red Raiders have had three different QBs make at least one start.

This year, the QB situation behind Morton is an unknown commodity with only Strong having taken snaps in a Big 12 game. What's more, he is the only backup QB option on the roster who has been in an FBS program prior to this offseason.

Still, Strong isn't the favorite to win the No. 2 job. That would be Brown, the transfer from West Georgia (a Division II program that is transitioning to the FCS ranks in 2024). Recently, head coach Joey McGuire shared that Brown has completed over 70% of his charted passes during competitive portions of spring football practices this year.

Though Brown played two levels below the FBS level last year, he does have considerable experience after playing in nine games (eight starts) a season ago for West Georgia. That game action has to pay some type of dividends for him and is likely why he's been the most talked about backup in camp.

But regardless of who steps forward, Tech fans want to see at least one backup QB look competent on Saturday because there is always the likelihood that the program will have to rely on someone other than Morton to make a start or two in 2024. So all eyes will be on the QBs on Saturday as this new group of passers tries to assert their place in the pecking order behind Morton.