Fourth in a series previewing Texas Tech spring football practice, which is scheduled to begin Feb. 17.
Texas Tech gained a lot of clarity at quarterback over the winter without even playing a football game. Senior Seth Doege represents the present, redshirt freshman Michael Brewer the future.
When top backup Jacob Karam and former blue-chip recruit Scotty Young decided after the season to transfer, the Red Raiders were left with Doege and Brewer as the only scholarship quarterbacks for spring practice, along with junior squadman Brant Costilla. Newly signed Clayton Nicholas will join them in the summer.
Asked to what extent the experience gap behind Doege was a concern, Tech offensive coordinator Neal Brown said, “To be honest, none.
“I think Michael Brewer after a spring, if something was to happen with Doege, Brewer would be able to step in and lead our offense. I’ve got a lot of confidence in him. Clayton will be here in the summer, and he needs to redshirt. That’ll give us a third, and that’s really all you need.”
Doege passed for 4,004 yards and finished seventh in the nation in total offense, but stumbled down the stretch in his first year as a starter. His TD pass-to-interceptions ratio deteriorated from 22-4 after seven games to 6-6 in the last five.
“I thought he played very well,” Brown said. “What happened to Seth down the stretch ... our inability to run the ball and we weren’t playing very well on defense, so a lot of the pressure went to Seth.”
Brown said he was pleased with how Doege played in the last two games of the season, a 31-27 loss at Missouri and a 62-42 loss against Baylor in Dallas. He had 300-yard passing performances in both, and Brown said one of the two interceptions Doege threw against the Bears was not his fault.
“I think he’s as good as any quarterback returning in the Big 12,” Brown said.
Doege figures to keep the job, but the Red Raiders are excited about his potential successor. The battle for No. 2 turned into no battle at all when Young recently decided to leave the program.
“They really were going to go (compete) in the spring,” Brown said. “Brewer played a little better than (Young) in some of our Sunday night scrimmages toward the end of the year, but it was going to be a competition.”
Brewer played on three of what’s now five straight state title winners at Austin Lake Travis, quarterbacking the Cavaliers to the 2009 and 2010 crowns. After coming to Lubbock at mid-term last year, he picked up where he left off.
Coaches view him as a dual threat — a capable runner, but with a quick release.
“He’s a winner,” Brown said. “He’s got a little bit of the ‘it’ factor. He’s been the leader within that freshman class. That leadership role is starting to grow with the upperclassmen as well, and our guys have a lot of confidence in him.
“I think it’s big that he comes from a football family, comes from a successful high school program. He understands what it takes to win. Every week last year, even redshirting, he prepared like he was going to play that game, and I thought that showed a lot of maturity.”
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