Big 12 News

Texas Tech Head Coach Joey McGuire: ‘We Have Three-Horse Race at Quarterback’

joey mcguire press conference

Texas Tech is coming off a 2021 in which it went 7-6 overall and 3-6 in Big 12 action. The Red Raiders reached the Liberty Bowl, where they defeated Mississippi State, 34-7, marking the first time the Red Raiders faced former head coach Mike Leach.

The Red Raiders underwent transition last season. Texas Tech fired Matt Wells less than three years into his tenure. Former Red Raiders quarterback Sonny Cumbie took over as interim head coach, but they turned to Baylor assistant Joey McGuire for the permanent job.  


McGuire is considered one of the Big 12’s leading recruiters due to his time as a high school coach at Cedar Hill near Dallas, Texas. The Red Raiders are counting on him to help the program own the state, in both high school players and potential transfers at out-of-state schools hoping to return home.

The Red Raiders have 11 starters returning, most of them on defense. Texas Tech was No. 119 in passing defense last season and has a new defensive coordinator in Tim DeRuyter.

But, it’s Texas Tech, so all eyes will be on the quarterback battle between holdovers Tyler Shough and Donovan Smith. Both started last season, and both showed flashes of being able to lead the offense full-time. However, it’s not just a two-quarterback race.


“I don’t want to leave out Behren Morton.” McGuire said. “We have a three-horse race in this quarterback competition. I wasn’t worried about anyone leaving. I wanted someone to truly win it.”.”

 It’s up to McGuire and his offensive coordinator, Zach Kittley, to sort through that in the fall. But head coach Joey McGuire feels good about the quarterback room saying “I told coach Kittley he will never in his career have a quarterback room like he has. We have three guys who can go win football games. We have three guys who can all extend plays with their feet and three guys who have exception arm talent.”

Perhaps the biggest question is can Joey McGuire turn Texas Tech around? This is where the Big 12 championship. McGuire said when talking about AT&T Stadium. “Our plan is to play here. People ask, how long is going to take? I want it to happen this year no doubt and I know the team does too.”


The Red Raiders open the season on Sept. 3 at home against Murray State, followed by a home game with Houston on Sept. 10 and a road trip to NC State on Sept. 17. Texas Tech opens the Big 12 slate on Sept. 24 at home against Texas.  

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