Tuberville picks QB

New Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville has some fans ready

to jump ship already. The Red Raiders haven’t even played their

first game yet.

Tuberville named senior Taylor Potts quarterback over majority

fan favorite Steven Sheffield. Sheffield, who started the season as

a back-up last year, on multiple occasions sparked the Raiders

offense. The former walk-on was 4-1 in games that would not be

considered mop up duty. In the process, he showed Texas Tech fans

that he might be better suited for their pass happy style of

offense.

2009             CMP  

   ATT      YDS      TD

     INT     

SACKS      RAT

Potts              

      309       

470         

3440             

22      

13            

15             137.14

Sheffield          

   101       

136          

1219            

14       

4           

    8         

    177.64

But, as with any new coach, players slates are wiped clean.

The coaching staff wanted to have a clear cut leader after spring

practices, but both seniors found themselves banged up during most

of the spring and saw limited work. So the two found themselves in

a quarterback competition all fall.

According to Tuberville, Potts won and he is not looking to

defend his decision to fans that disagree.

“(They’ll) get over it,” the head coach said to a

group of reporters on Monday. “We’ve got two good quarterbacks and

a guy that had a very good spring. I don’t mind playing any of

them. We’ve just got to get some consistency.

“The competition during camp between Taylor and Steven has

been outstanding but at the end of the day we can only have one

starter.”

Potts has always been considered the more pro-ready quarterback,

showing a strong arm with accuracy down field. He has the size and

experience advantage over Sheffield. But, Sheffield showed his

ability to scramble and move out of the pocket last year. Something

that Potts struggled with at times.

If Potts find himself lying on his back in the early part of

the season with only two returning offensive linemen, fans will

once again start to chatter for Sheffield.

“Taylor has done a tremendous job and we feel like he has

gotten better each and every day. There is no doubt that Steven has

also improved during camp and will still be fighting to take over

that starting job every day at practice,” said Tuberville.

‘That kind of competition will only make us stronger as the season

goes along.”

As with any major coaching decision, the message boards were hot

on Monday as fans wanted to voice their opinions on Tuberville’s

choice. Most were against it. Scout.com’s RaiderPower saw an

increase in traffic while the story was hot.

Managing Editor Travis Cram watched the battle closely during

the fall and feels the best man for the job won out.

“He was obviously the better quarterback overall throughout the

selection process and has shown growth in the last few months since

injuring that throwing hand back in April,” said Cram.

“Taylor will be able to show how tough he is mentally because

of what happened last season and there is probably a small thought

in the back of his mind knowing the coaches could switch to

Sheffield.

“It wasn’t like that last season. Nobody outside of this team

really knew much about Sheffield and what he could do. So I think

we will see a different, more poised, and better leader version of

Potts when Tech kicks off against SMU.”

SMU and Tech will kickoff on Sunday September 5th in a

nationally televised ESPN game. Tuberville has to be excited to

make his Tech debut on an afternoon that features very few college

games, but can’t be excited about the opponent.

Behind the efforts of third year head coach June Jones, SMU is

expected to contend for a Conference USA title in 2010. They are

fresh off their first bowl game in over 25 years and have seven

returners on both sides of the ball.

 

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