Returning Starter: Seth Doege
Other Quarterbacks: Michael Brewer, Brant Costilla
Players Lost: Jacob Karam, Scotty Young
By the Numbers: Doege completed 398 of 581 passes with 10 interceptions and 28 touchdowns last season.
2011 Highlight: Seth Doege was in the proverbial zone in Texas Tech's upset of Oklahoma. He threw for 441 yards on 33 of 52 passing with four touchdowns and, despite being sacked three times, zero interceptions. Doege was in total command of the offense under hostile conditions, and looked like the quarterback some observers predicted he'd be when he first signed with the Red Raiders.
2011 Lowlight: The week following the glorious victory in Norman the Red Raiders experienced an ignominious loss in Lubbock to Iowa State, and Doege played as poorly as the team. He completed only half of his passes for 171 yards and no touchdowns with two interceptions, as the Red Raiders mustered only seven points against the Cyclones. It was the beginning of the end for Tech in 2011.
The Spring Mix: Texas Tech's logjam at quarterback thinned out in a big hurry. Jacob Karam, one of the team's primary leaders, and Scotty Young, a quarterback who didn't find his stride in a very short Tech career, have transferred out of the program. Their departure leaves the Red Raiders with only two scholarship quarterbacks and one walk-on as spring football commences.
But barring freakish injuries to the blue-jerseyed signal callers, the paucity of quarterbacks should prove a blessing in disguise.
Doege will, of course, go into spring workouts as the starter, but Brewer will get all the meaningful reps he can handle, and will have every opportunity to convince Tommy Tuberville and Neal Brown that he's the best man for the job even though he's only a redshirt freshman. And even if Brewer doesn't pull off the upset, the heavy load of snaps will do a power of good for his development.
It will certainly be interesting to see whether Brewer is given a real shot at unseating Doege. Tuberville has stated that there will be "real competition" at the position, but coaches routinely make such remarks about the quarterbacks and 99 times out of 100 the veteran gets the starting nod.
Still, it's not like Doege can rest on his laurels and just assume the job is his. He quarterbacked Tech's first losing football team since 1992, and the pressure on Doege to make sure the Red Raiders don't suffer their first back-to-back losing seasons since 1984-1985 is intense. With Tuberville's job potentially on the line, the head man might not be as patient with his quarterback as usual. That means Doege needs to clearly reaffirm his starting status.
And Brewer, despite his youth, will be a worthy competitor. At only six feet tall and 180 pounds, Brewer is not the statuesque prototype quarterback, but he seems to possess a bit of magic. Brewer won back-to-back state championships at Lake Travis High School and is truly the intangible man. He is also quicker afoot than Doege and may have better pocket presence.
As a passer, Brewer is streaky. There are times he cannot miss and at others he looks like a poor man's Joe Pisarcik. If Brewer is to make a serious run at Doege's starting post he will have to become more consistently accurate. He'll certainly have ample opportunity to do so.