Potts Early Favorite?

Texas Tech quarterbacks Steven Sheffield and Taylor Potts got their first tests on Saturday during their first team scrimmage.

Tuberville Talks About Scrimmage:

LUBBOCK, Texas — Steven Sheffield did not appear to be his usual confident and joking self following Texas Tech's first scrimmage on Saturday.

The senior quarterback looked frustrated and disappointed about his first "test" and that he did not set himself apart from Taylor Potts as the early leader for the Red Raiders quarterback battle.

"It could have been better on my end," Sheffield said. "Just everything. Every play. I didn't do a lot of good things and more than anything I just didn't do what I had practiced all week."

Tech offensive coordinator Neal Brown and head coach Tommy Tuberville did not go into detail too much about Potts or Sticks but said that the "effort" was there during practice.

"The thing I told them before the scrimmage was, ‘I don't care how many passes they complete. I want them to make the right decisions,'" Tuberville said. "I wanted to see a field general and I thought both of them did well. … Both of them threw some good passes, both of them made some good decisions, but both of them made some questionable ones too."

Brown also mentioned the fact that this was just a small part of the equation in deciding who will be the Red Raiders' starting QB.

"It's been a pretty intense competition," Brown said. "They've kind of gone back and forth as the week's gone by but they were pretty even going into today. They really were. This is the first test but it's not the only test. There's going to be another one a week from today. So there's time."

Potts was not as quick to asses his performance and that it was coach Tuberville's job to decide how well he played — all part of the new demeanor Potts has of being a more relaxed player this year.

"I just went out and had fun," Potts said. "That's really what I'm trying to do this year is have fun and I think this team wants to have a lot of fun. We'll watch film later on and coach will tell me how I did from his standpoint and that's all that really matters."

On Tuesday, Tuberville said he would like to name the starter after the second scrimmage so that player would have about two weeks of practice with the first-team offense to prepare for Tech first game against SMU on Sept. 5.

Tech linebacker Brian Duncan was in a good mood after describing the day as "dominant" for the defense and even needed to brag a little bit about being able to catch Sheffield in the backfield for a sack.

"I'm so happy because he's fast," Duncan said with a smile.

Tuberville had a smile on his face about the effort but said little overall about performance and that he would know more after watching film "three or four times" on Sunday.

One thing that bothered Tuberville throughout the first week was the team's lack of endurance and ability to finish more plays and play tougher through the end of practices — especially when dealing with the West Texas heat.

"It was good," Tuberville said. "We didn't do a lot of running the first week because we wanted to get a lot of reps done in practice. Now we'll pick our running up because we're at the point now where they're tired, they're weary, and I want to see how they react in the tougher, hotter environment. … We're not in playing shape yet but we've got a couple of weeks before we have to pull them back and get that done."

Running Backs

Senior running back Baron Batch did not participate in Saturday's scrimmage due to a sore shoulder but will just require some "rest" according to Tuberville, and should not miss any practice time next week. Sophomore back Eric Stephens and senior Aaron Crawford took the majority of snaps with Batch out and sophomore Harrison Jeffers still in a non-contact jersey.

Stephens is high on a lot of coaches' lists right now and is even drawing some attention from Tuberville, who also utilizes Stephens' talents on special teams.

"He did good," Tuberville said of Stephens' performance Saturday. "We ran the ball probably about 30 times out of 120 snaps and that's not including kicking, which make it about 140. … I thought all the running backs played well but Eric Stephens is a guy who comes to play every day. Makes very few mental mistakes, that's what I like about him. He'll be a big part of the offense."

Other Injuries

Redshirt freshman wide receiver Eric Ward left the scrimmage about 30 minutes before the practice ended, limping up the ramp on his own to go be evaluated by the team's trainers. Brown and Tuberville said there is no word on what he did during the scrimmage and would know more on Sunday.

Sophomore offensive lineman LaAdrian Waddle was bothered by a hamstring for most of practice on Saturday and will be evaluated over the next two days. Coaches said they don't expect Waddle to miss any considerable practice time.

Travis Cram is the managing editor for RaiderPower.com. Follow his daily updates and news on Twitter. Join the Official RaiderPower.com fan page on Facebook.


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