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December 8, 2009

Potts to start at QB against Michigan State

Mike Leach is apparently tired of treating his quarterback situation as a "game-time decision." Following weeks of speculation about how he would handle the starting position during bowl practices, Leach announced on Monday that Taylor Potts would get the nod over Steven Sheffield for the team's Alamo Bowl matchup with Michigan State.

"I'm going to start Potts (in the Alamo Bowl)," Leach told Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "He's steady and I need to settle on one (quarterback) and quit pulling them in and out, and then in the spring they'll battle it out."

Potts began the season as the Red Raiders' top quarterback and started the team's first five games (3-2) before he was sidelined with a concussion in the first half against New Mexico. In his place, Sheffield played at an extremely high level, completing 72-of-96 passes (75-percent) for 962 yards, 11 touchdowns and two interceptions in less than three games.

The former walk-on appeared to have locked up the starting position following blowout victories over Kansas State and then-No. 15 Nebraska, but Sheffield sustained a foot injury in Lincoln that knocked him out of the lineup and limited him for the rest of the regular season.

A source close to the situation has confirmed to RedRaiderSports.com that Sheffield's foot injury is still not 100-percent, which may explain why Leach chose to announce Potts as the starter despite kick-off against Michigan State still being three weeks away.

Potts finished the regular season with 3,068 yards, 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions on 280-of-427 (65.5-percent) passing. He was 5-4 as a starter and led the Big 12 in passing yards per game (306.80).


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