MORE:Expectations high for Doege
Alone, Texas Tech quarterback
Seth Doege is a pretty good player.
Even in midst of the Red Raiders' worst season in nearly 20 years, even with a roster
decimated with injuries, Doege turned in a junior campaign that will go down
statistically as one of the best in program history from a first-year starting
We know from last season that Doege is capable of great things when surrounded
by a healthy supporting cast. He was performing at an All-Big 12 level through
the first half of the 2011 season, but by November Doege only had two running
backs and a handful of healthy receivers available.
The hope in Lubbock is that Doege will return to 2011's early-season form this
"He'll be better," offensive coordinator Neal Brown said about Doege on
Lubbock's Double T 104.3. "We're going
to be better around him. I think when you're talking about Seth that one of his
best characteristics is he never made an excuse. He's not a guy that's blaming
or making excuses because of injuries."
Seth Doege was performing at an all-conference level
through the Red Raiders' first seven games last season before the team
bottomed out and lost its last five games. The hope in Lubbock is that
he'll return to that early-season form this fall.
• Seth Doege's 68.5 percent completion rate was the
highest for a first-year starter at Tech in at least 20 years.
• Doege finished the season with 46 net rushing yards, the highest total
for a Tech starting quarterback since Cody Hodges finished with 191 in
2005. Taylor Potts had four net rushing yards in 2010.
• Doege ended 2011 ranked first nationally in completions per game
(33.2) and fifth in passing yards (4,004).
BATTLE TO WATCH
The Red Raiders' first two spots on the depth
chart are effectively locked in with Doege and Michael Brewer. Walk-on
Brant Costilla would seem to have a leg up for the No. 3 spot given the
coaches' preference to redshirt incoming freshman Clayton Nicholas.
Doege led the country in completions per game and threw for 4,004 yards
and 28 touchdowns last season. He improved as the year went along, even as
injuries and a woeful defense caused games to get further and further out of
For as good as Doege was in 2011, Brown expects to see significant improvement
in his second year as a starter.
"You're talking about a kid who had not played in five years (due to ACL
injuries in high school) with not much help in the running game and not much
help on defense throw for 4,000 yards and really we have an opportunity to win
eight or nine of those games with not a lot of help," Brown said. "I think he'll
be one of our most improved players.
"From year one to year two, there's so much difference playing quarterback
because nothing is new anymore. You're not going into a venue and playing on the
road for the first time. Other than West Virginia and TCU, you're playing the
opponents a second time so it's a little bit more comfortable. He knows how to
react to things a little bit better when people do things differently
defensively. I think he's going to have a really good year."
Doege, not one to call attention on himself, notes that the return of several
injured players from last year -- namely running back Eric Stephens and
several receivers -- will make things much easier for him this fall.
"Eric Ward is coming back," he said. Darrin Moore who was the
leading receiver in the nation for three games (will be back). We've got a lot
of young guys like Jakeem Grant, Javares McRoy. All those guys
can really get the ball and do something with it."
Behind Doege is a capable backup in Michael Brewer, who has impressed
since arriving on campus in January 2010. Though Brewer has yet to take a live
game snap for the Red Raiders, the Austin (Texas) Lake Travis product is Doege's
NEW FACES: Tech added one quarterback in the 2012 recruiting
class in Abilene Cooper quarterback Clayton Nicholas.
The first-year quarterback will start as the third string quarterback due to the
transfers of Jacob Karam (Memphis) and Scotty Young (La. Tech).
If everything goes according to plan, Nicholas can redshirt behind Doege and
Brewer and still get some experience by traveling with the team for road games
and running the scout team during the weekdays.
Dustin Walton transferred to Tech from New Mexico following the spring
semester. He will redshirt this season due to NCAA transfer rules, but should
have three years to play starting in 2013.
PRESSURE IS ON: Seth Doege. Even though Doege performed well in
his first year as a starter and has largely (and correctly) escaped blame for
the Red Raiders' miserable late-season slide, his legacy is on the line this
fall. He may not have been a big reason that Tech missed a bowl game last year,
but as the team's starting quarterback he will forever be linked to last year's
Fortunately for Doege, the final chapter on his career has yet to be written.
His team isn't perfect. The Red Raiders' defense, while improved, is still an
area of concern and there are questions at running back and offensive line. But
there is enough talent there, especially with Doege at the helm, to bring Tech
back to the postseason.
BIGGEST QUESTION: How much will we see of Michael Brewer? The
Red Raiders will open the season with three cupcakes, which should allow for
some mop-up action for Brewer, but coaches indicated in the spring that the
redshirt freshman could see meaningful snaps this fall.
PRE-CAMP DEPTH CHART
The only question about Tech's depth
chart at quarterback is who will emerge as the No. 3 behind Seth Doege
and Michael Brewer, and even that is kind of a stretch. Brant Costilla
took reps in the spring, and the Red Raiders will want to redshirt
incoming freshman Clayton Nicholas. New Mexico transfer Dustin Walton
has to sit out this season due to NCAA transfer rules.