The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2023.09.18

Not a QB controversy.

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal’s Don Williams had a similar takeaway as me and probably a lot of you, which is that head coach Joey McGuire answered the quarterback question before it was asked:

Second-teamer Behren Morton came on to a chorus of cheers and played most of the second half after starter Tyler Shough left with a 24-0 lead in the third quarter. That’s the norm for a power-conference team that’s taken care of business against one from the FCS.

McGuire’s message: Don’t go gettin’ any ideas.

“Tyler Shough’s our starter, and he’ll be starting against West Virginia,” McGuire said, referring to the Big 12 opener next week. “That’s not an issue or a question. You can ask me about it again. I’m going to say the same thing. I just want everybody to know that.”

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal’s Don Williams answers questions after the game:

Q: Why don’t we get Drae McCray the ball at least eight touches a game?
DW: One, this is his first year in the Tech offense, so he’s still picking up the nuances. Two, and not to be flippant here, every play McCray touches the ball is a play that Tahj Brooks, Jerand Bradley, Myles Price, Mason Tharp and Xavier White, among others, don’t.

Inside the Red Raiders’ Joe Yeager on the quarterback situation:

I was not thrilled to hear this. I believed Shough deserved the start against Tarleton, despite his mediocre play against Wyoming and Oregon, but watching him tonight, what remaining faith I had in Shough went out the window. I no longer think he has the arm talent to lead Texas Tech to reach its maximal potential on offense. He is something more of a liability than a weapon.

Now that does not mean I’m convinced Morton is a savior. I’m not. As was the case last year, it sometimes appears he plays the game too fast, almost frantically. I don’t see the patience in Morton to allow plays to develop. That said, he’s got a stronger arm than Shough, and he throws a more accurate ball. It does remain to be seen whether he runs as well as Shough–that will be tough to do–but alas, that is something we may not discover this season. Coach McGuire is a Tyler Shough guy, and that’s all there is to it.

Lubbok Avalanche-Journal’s Nathan Giese with 5 observations after the game and his take on the quarterbacks:

However, Saturday was the first time the sixth-year senior looked off in all phases.

Shough finished the night 10 of 20 passing for 123 yards and a TD and added a rushing score. With the Red Raiders up 24-0 in the third quarter, Shough’s night came to an end and sophomore Behren Morton was inserted. To Morton’s credit, coming in cold to a blowout, he showed why many fans think it’s time to turn to him.

Morton made quick decisions, got the ball out and moved better on his feet than Shough does. It was a solid showing and will probably get fans talking even more about why Morton should start against the Mountaineers.

But make no mistake. Shough will be the starter in Morgantown. It just won’t be quiet.

Rivals’ Cole Patterson with some additional thoughts on Micah Hudson’s commitment to Texas Tech:

Hudson is the No. 6 overall prospect in the Rivals100 and was the top uncommitted recruit in the nation prior to pledging to Texas Tech. He would have been a big get for Texas Tech regardless, but his commitment is even more notable considering that he’s the highest-rated player to commit to the Red Raiders in the era.

“But I feel like I could come in and maybe be a better player than even Michael Crabtree if I just put the work in and everything,” Hudson explained about the possibilities in West Texas.

Rather than going to a traditional power, Hudson has opted to blaze his own path and make his mark in Lubbock. That bodes well for the future of college football during a forever evolving sport that is highlighted by conference realignment, NIL deals and much more.


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