The injury-riddled Texas Tech football career of QB Tyler Shough is over. Sunday, the senior who has missed the last seven games with a broken leg announced on social media that he intends to enter the transfer portal in the hopes of finding a place where he can start next season.
Given that Behren Morton now seems entrenched as this program’s QB1 for 2024, this news came as no surprise. What might be a bit of a surprise, though, is his desire to continue playing after his unfortunate run of bad luck on the injury front.
Arriving in Lubbock in 2021 after two seasons at Oregon, the former 4-star high school recruit was handed the starting job immediately by former Red Raider head coach Matt Wells. However, in his fourth game at Tech, his first Big 12 start, he broke his collarbone on a dive into the endzone in the first quarter of a game in Austin.
That injury would cost him the remainder of that season. However, he was once again anointed the starter prior to the 2022 season even with Wells out and Joey McGuire taking over the reins of the program.
Unfortunately, that season, he would again break his collarbone on a running play but this time, it was in the first game of the year. That timing allowed him to return in the middle of the season and even start the final four games. Over that closing stretch, he would help Tech go 4-0 and end the year with eight wins including a bowl victory over Ole Miss in the Texas Bowl.
In the postgame celebration following that triumph, Shough, the game’s MVP, announced his intention to return to Tech for another year. That decision led many around the nation to pick the Red Raiders as a darkhorse Big 12 contender.
However, Shough got off to a rough start in 2023. In four games played, he was only a 60.4% passer and he was picked off four times while throwing just seven TDs. That was a huge reason Tech was just 1-2 in the games he started and finished this fall.
Of course, 2023’s fourth game, a loss to West Virginia, saw Shough leave with a broken leg sustained at the end of a running play on which he was rolled up on by a defender. But because Texas Tech seems to be cursed, since then, the QB injury bug has also bitten Morton who has had to battle through a sprained shoulder suffered in that same contest.
However, in the games Morton has played in and finished this season, Tech is now 5-0 following Saturday’s 24-23 win over UCF. That’s one reason why he’s being elevated to QB1 for the program moving forward.
Of course, there was a time when Shough had a similar statistic going for him. Prior to the start of this season, Tech was 8-0 in games that he started and didn’t leave due to an injury.
However, that changed with the week-one loss at Wyoming back in September. That day he did put up 374 total yards and three TD passes but he also had a critical first-half interception that helped keep Wyoming in the game when the Cowboys trailed by three scores.
In week two of this season, Shough faced his former team, Oregon, and he couldn’t deliver a win. He was picked off three times and fumbled once and his pick-six in the final minute sealed the deal for the Ducks in a 38-30 Oregon win.
Against Tarleton State, Shough was again less than impressive. Despite squaring off with an FCS opponent, he completed only 10 of 20 passes for 123 yards and 1 TD (but at least he didn’t turn the ball over).
Then, when Tech went to Morgantown, West Virginia, he was off to a terrible start before his injury. On a rainy day, he completed only two of six passes for a whopping three yards in the first quarter.
Shough is going to go down as the ultimate case of “What if?” for the Red Raiders. We never got to see his full capabilities as a player because of his awful injury luck and all we will have are questions about what he might have been.
However, he was a stellar representative of the program and it was great to have him be one of the faces of our university for three years. That’s why Texas Tech fans have to wish Shough the best as he continues to pursue his football dreams and we wish him luck next year, which will be his sixth season of college football. Maybe, it will finally be the one when he gets to showcase what he can do for a full season.