Texas Tech’s 63-10 victory over Murray State on Saturday night marked the beginning of a new era for the school’s football program. However, one unwelcome holdover from the previous several seasons reared its ugly head once again when starting quarterback Tyler Shough left the game with an apparent shoulder injury in the second quarter and did not return. Unsurprisingly, this is potentially catastrophic news for the senior, who missed the final eight games of 2021 due to a broken collar bone.
Shough was 6 for 10 for 154 yards and a touchdown before getting hurt. On a 3rd-and-4 play from the Murray State 31, Shough kept the ball on a zone read and scampered 17 yards for the first down, but he was hit hard and fell awkwardly on his shoulder.
The senior stayed on the field for the final two plays of the first quarter, but he was spotted returning to the Texas Tech locker room after halftime. At halftime, he would change into street clothes and return to the sidelines with his left arm in a sling.
The Texas Tech football team has not commented on Shough’s condition as of the time this article was published, but it seems likely that the Red Raiders will be without their main quarterback for the foreseeable future.
— SportsDayDFW (@SportsDayDFW) September 5, 2022
Every year since 2018, with the exception of the 2020 season, which was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Red Raiders have lost their starting quarterback for several games. The general difficulties of the program at the time can be attributed in part to this.
Still, head coach Joey McGuire and offensive coordinator Zach Kittley appear to have a more than the competent alternative in Donovan Smith this season. The sophomore who recently finished his senior year of high school football at Friendship High in Wolfforth went 14 of 16 throwing for 221 yards and four touchdowns in the second quarter and two drives of the third.
Mixed emotions as Texas Tech routs Murray State, but loses starting QB Tyler Shough to injury in the season opener.https://t.co/VFomNUKgD0
— Carlos Silva Jr. (@cmsilvajr) September 4, 2022
During his 2022 debut, Smith was outstanding as he drove Tech to a touchdown on every drive he led. Now, it’s unclear whether or not he will continue to start in the future.
If Smith has taken over as the starter, the Red Raiders will be in a better position than in recent years when their starting quarterback has been injured or lost. Following McLane Carter’s season-opening high ankle sprain, Tech relied on fellow freshman Alan Bowman. After Bowman had been taken out of action twice by a collapsed lung, it was Jett Duffey’s turn to shine.
After Jackson Tyner, a walk-on broke Bowman’s collar bone in the third game of the next season, Tyner had the first crack at replacing Bowman. Although he started the game against Oklahoma, he only lasted one quarter before being replaced by Duffey, who would go on to start every game for the rest of the season.
In 2020, Bowman would be healthy but would be benched for three games, giving Utah State transfer Henry Colombi an opportunity to play. Colombia would take over for the final three games of the season, but Bowman would return to the helm because he knew he couldn’t win the job.
Even yet, after Shough injured his collarbone in game four against Texas, Colombi was also unable to maintain his starting quarterback position and was eventually replaced by Smith, who led Tech to a 2-2 record and a victory in the Liberty Bowl in the final four games of the season.
The unfortunate loss of Shough. Even if his injury turns out to be serious, it won’t be as devastating for the Red Raiders as it would have been in previous years when their starting quarterback went down. Smith is an effective quarterback with Big 12 game experience.
What’s more, he has leg abilities that surpass those of Shough. At 6 feet 5 and 240 pounds, Smith has the potential to be more durable than his competitor.
McGuire has remarked that this year’s quarterback room is the finest he has ever seen, with Shough, Smith, and redshirt freshman Behren Morton (a former 4-star signee) all vying for the starting role. Given the severity of Shough’s apparent injury, it seems that emotions will be put to the test.
When it comes to Tech’s quarterback situation, it seems as if the more things change, the more they stay the same. Yet, one thing we’re hoping improves this season is this team’s resilience in the face of adversity at the most crucial position.
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