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January 17, 2011

Season In Review: Quarterback

Prior to the 2010 season most observers projected the Texas Tech Red Raiders to finish 8-5 or thereabouts and that's exactly what happened. The Red Raiders achieved this mark despite a rather rocky start and some fairly miserable moments during the first half of the season. Over the next couple of weeks, RedRaiderSports.com, via a review of each position, will see how Tech rallied to eight wins. Today we start with the quarterbacks.

THE HIGH POINT: POTT CONTINUES TECH'S WINNING WAYS IN BOWL
The Red Raiders capped off the season by winning four of their last five games, and the final punctuation was a 45-38 victory over Northwestern in the TicketCity Bowl. In that game, senior signal caller Taylor Potts authored one of the best performances of his career. Rebounding from an errant first couple of drives, Potts completed 43 of 56 passes for 369 yards with four touchdowns and an interception that was not entirely his fault. Potts completed passes to 11 different receivers and was not sacked a single time. The Abilene native endured some abuse during his Tech career, but concluded it with a performance he could be proud of.
THE LOW POINT: KNOCKOUT IN NORMAN
Tech's 45-7 loss to Oklahoma will be remembered primarily for the fact that the Red Raider defense allowed the Sooners to score 38 points in the first half. But the Tech offense, including quarterbacks Potts and Steven Sheffield, was also a tad shy of scintillating. Detron Lewis had more touchdown passes in this one (one) than the Potts/Sheffield combination. Potts was more prolific in the interception department, however, lobbing two to the Sooners. He was also sacked thrice. Tech's quarterbacks completed less than 50 percent of their passes for 144 yards. It was a meltdown for the ages.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT: CAM POTTS... WELL, SORT OF
The touchdown passes were plentiful for Potts, but a touchdown run was the most striking play of his senior season. Late in the second quarter of the TicketCity Bowl, and with the Red Raiders attempting to expand their 10-6 lead over Northwestern, Potts took the center snap and fired a lateral across the field to Austin Zouzalik. But Zouzalik, rather than race upfield with the ball, rifled it back across the field to a waiting Potts who snared it and strolled 13 yards into the end zone untouched. It was a marvelously designed and executed play. Zouzalik's throw back to Pott was initially ruled a pass but, after reviewing the tape, the play went down into the record books as a later.
WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS: A MYSTERY, WRAPPED IN A RIDDLE, INSIDE AN ENIGMA
Quarterback will be more of a question mark in 2011 for Texas Tech than has been the case in many a year. The Red Raiders have, of course, replaced starting quarterbacks with some frequency, but rarely have they done so with players as untested as Seth Doege, Jacob Karam, Scotty Young and Michael Brewer. Doege, who will enter spring practice as the presumptive starter, has very little experience and only attempted four passes in 2010. That is three more than Karam, who is the likely second-teamer at this point. Young will be a redshirt freshman. All three players were high school phenoms, and all bring unique skill sets to the field, but how they perform in games over the long haul is anybody's guess.




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