This is the first entry in a position-by-position series previewing the 2012 Texas Tech football season. This week: quarterbacks.
Experience is a coveted commodity in college football, especially at the quarterback position. So with Seth Doege, one of only three senior quarterbacks projected to start in the Big 12 this season, the Texas Tech coaching staff is comfortable with its No. 1 signal-caller.
The Red Raiders will also enter the season with a sense of security at the position.
Redshirt freshman Michael Brewer was impressive during spring practice, demonstrating a powerful arm and a strong grasp of the offense. His progress leaves the coaching staff confident the sky won’t come falling down should Doege suffer an injury.
With a proven starter, and a promising passer waiting in the wings, quarterback lines up as a position of strength for Tech in 2012.
Seth Doege, senior
In Doege, Texas Tech has one of the top returning quarterbacks in the Big 12 Conference.
Doege threw for 4,004 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2011, and his 333 yards per game was good enough for third in the league behind Oklahoma State’s Brandon Weeden and Oklahoma’s Landry Jones. Not bad for a guy starting full time at quarterback for the first time since his sophomore year in high school.
The majority of Doege’s biggest targets are back this season, and redshirt freshmen Jakeem Grant and Javares McRoy could add to the arsenal of weapons. If Doege can complete passes to his stable of receivers at a 68-percent clip like he did last season (third-best in the Big 12), it will give a talented group of playmakers a chance to make big plays in the open field.
Still, Doege wants to see that number climb even higher.
“I’m going to continue to try to be one of the most accurate passers in the country,” he said Monday.
Doege said his biggest focus heading into the Sept. 1 opener against Northwestern State is keeping himself in the game mentally during every play. The quarterback conceded he allowed himself to become too frustrated by mistakes last season, and, at times, he said he would allow poor plays to snowball.
“That’s something I need to work on throughout the season and the summer,” Doege said. “I think I’ve done a really good job with it. I think it will help me for this upcoming season.”
Michael Brewer, redshirt freshman
There is no quarterback controversy at Tech this season, but that doesn’t mean Brewer won’t get a chance to see the field in 2012.
After Brewer’s solid performance in April’s spring game (21-of-28 passing for 297 yards), Tech coach Tommy Tuberville and offensive coordinator Neal Brown said they expected the redshirt freshman to get playing time in certain situations.
“I wanted to leave this spring with me having confidence in (Brewer) and the rest of our team having confidence in him,” Brown said after the spring game. “I think we got that done today.”
Brewer demonstrated a strong arm during the spring and an ability to hit for big gains down field. He said he gained strength by adding 20 pounds during his redshirt season.
Brewer came to Tech in 2011 after a successful career at Austin Lake Travis, where he was a part of four state championship teams. He threw for 4,437 yards and 41 touchdowns as a junior. When Jacob Karam and Scotty Young transferred during the winter, Brewer instantly moved into the No. 2 quarterback spot.
Another year learning from Doege and contributing in spots could leave Brewer well positioned to be the quarterback of the future in Lubbock.
“He’s a winner,” Brown said. “He’s got a little bit of the ‘it’ factor.”
Other quarterbacks: Clayton Nicholas, freshman; Brant Costilla, junior
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