With spring practice underway for the Red Raiders, the program is trying to figure out who is going to take over at quarterback. Alan Bowman transferred from the program this offseason and the position is now up in the air.
One of the names in the running is Oregon transfer Tyler Shough. Shough played and started in all seven games for the Ducks in 2020. This was his first year as the starting quarterback for the as he finished the 2020 season throwing for 1,559 yards and 13 touchdowns, completing 106 of his 167 attempts, and also threw six interceptions. Shough also ran for 66 carries in 2020 and finished the year with 271 yards on the ground and two more touchdowns.
But it’s not just his on-field accolades that should please Texas Tech fans, it’s also the attitude he’s brought to Lubbock thus far.
New offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie said about Shough this week, “I don’t think there’s anyone who’s been in our facility more the last few days than him. You have to run him off the practice field,” according to The Athletic’s Sam Kahn Jr.
Matt Wells was high on his quarterback options prior to landing Shough, as he told us in a podcast last month, including his two freshman options, Behren Morton and Donovan Smith.
Wells told us he was not afraid to start a true freshman, telling Heartland College Sports on our podcast, “In my career, I’ve started a true freshman on three different occasions and won a lot of games with true freshman. The best player is going to play at that position and I’m not afraid to play a freshman.”
And while Wells is convincing when he says that, having Tyler Shough in the quarterback room bring a different element that Tech needs to take that next step in the incredibly deep Big 12 Conference.
Adding a guy who has proven himself at the Power 5 level changes the equation, as it should for Wells and Sonny Cumbie, and if his work ethic matches his experience edge, he should be the guy to beat out for the quarterback job in 20201.
Shough already has a good rapport with the staff, as he made it clear the reason he picked Texas Tech was due to Coach Wells, saying at the time of the news of his transfer, “Texas Tech was probably one of the first ones. Coach Wells called me once my name was in it and we had a great conversation. Then ultimately what it came down to was after narrowing down the schools and places I felt like would be the best fit for me and the program it just came down to the opportunity to come in and compete, the relationship with the coaches and obviously the guys on the team and the culture of the team.”
And now with Sonny Combie bringing elements of his high-flying offense to Lubbock, Shough is looking forward to getting more opportunities through the air, adding, “Texas Tech, even from the outside, and obviously talking with some of the guys on the team it sounded like the place to be… I wanted to be a part of it, so I just wanted to come in and get out to West Texas and start throwing the ball around, start slinging it around a bit more.
And thus far, it sure looks like Shough is putting his money where his mouth is and if he successfully slings it around in West Texas this fall, Matt Wells and the trajectory of the program will dramatically change overnight.
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