Seth Doege arrived on the Texas Tech campus as a somewhat mysterious recruit. He was an extremely highly regarded prospect as far back as his sophomore year in high school, but knee injuries totally destroyed the remainder of his prep career. Expectations, therefore, were suitably mixed.
Doege had largely fallen off the radar of those outside the Red Raider camp, while the insiders tended to view Doege as a player with unlimited potential. Indeed, some observers predicted that he would reach the highest heights while at Tech.
Predictably, one supposes, Doege fell between being an afterthought and winning the Heisman. And his senior year, which was not dramatically better than his junior campaign, was emblematic of his college career.
Doege's stats in 2012 were very good to excellent. He threw for 324 yards per game, fifth most in the nation. He completed 70 percent of his passes, third best in the nation. His 39 touchdown passes was bettered only by Geno Smith. And his pass efficiency rating of 153 was good for number 19 in the country.
On the downside, Doege's 16 interceptions was among the most thrown by FBS passers, and his 2.44 touchdown-to-interception ratio was pedestrian. Doege rushed for only 59 yards on the season, and was sacked 19 times. A good many of those sacks resulted from Doege holding onto the ball entirely too long.
Doege certainly feasted on the non-conference competition. Against the underwhelming triumvirate of Northwestern State, Texas State and New Mexico, Doege tossed for close to 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns with only one interception. His conference and bowl season would be somewhat rockier.
Then Doege settled in and had a solid run through most of the remaining schedule. Highlights were a seven-touchdown zero-interception outing in a road win over TCU, and a six-touchdown one-interception performance in Tech's colossal upset of West Virginia. Not coincidentally, those were the high spots of Tech's season.
Doege bracketed his senior campaign with a few mediocre outings. Against Oklahoma State and Minnesota, Doege threw for only 284 yards, and in the final three games of the season (Oklahoma State, Baylor and Minnesota) threw as many picks as touchdowns.
Prior to the season, offensive coordinator Neal Brown stated his belief that maturity and increased confidence would smooth away the inconsistency that was Doege's chief hobgoblin in the 2011 season. It must be said, however, that inconsistency remained a Doege hallmark to the end.
We were also led to believe that backup quarterback Michael Brewer would get many meaningful reps during the season. Brown and head coach Tommy Tuberville went so far as to say that special packages tailored to Brewer's strengths would be installed throughout the season. Never happened.
Brewer threw the ball only 48 times and was never deployed as a dual-threat quarterback. Consequently, any assessment of Brewer is extremely provisional. All one can say with any certainty is that he seemed confident and in command, and was extremely accurate with the balls that he did throw.
Quarterback play was certainly not a weakness for the Red Raiders in 2012, but neither was it an indubitable strength. And for the Texas Tech offense, be it under Tommy Tuberville or Kliff Kingsbury, to reach its potential, an undeniable strength the quarterback position must be.