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'A Special QB Room': Joey McGuire Raves Over Red Raiders QBs

Texas Tech's Joey McGuire is expecting big things from both Donovan Smith and Tyler Shough entering the 2022 season.

ARLINGTON -- Joey McGuire was all smiles when taking the podium at AT&T Stadium Thursday morning. Part of that could be due to his excitement surrounding Texas Tech football. 

Perhaps one of the major factors that play into his excitement is the stability at the quarterback position. Both Tyler Shough and Donovan Smith give the Red Raiders an opportunity to build off their first winning season since 2015. 

"I told coach [Zach] Kittley, he will never in his career have a room like he has, that we have three guys that can go win football games," McGuire said Thursday at Big 12 Media Days. "We have three guys that all can extend plays with their feet. We have three guys that have exceptional arm talent.

"They're competing extremely hard." 

The third name, Behren Morton, has the least experience entering August. Morton played seven snaps in the team's 23-0 loss to Oklahoma State, completing one pass and rushing for 15 yards.

Shough and Smith are neck-and-neck in a race for the title of QB1. It's a competition that could last until kickoff against Murray State. McGuire is making it a fair race for Kittley to go in unfazed in making his decision. 

Shough, the initial stater last season, might have been prepping for NFL training camp if not for a broken collarbone. The Oregon transfer was shut down for the remainder of the year after getting sacked against Texas in Week 4. 

This opened the door for Smith, a mobile passer from Las Vegas, to run then-interim coach Sonny Cumbie's offense on the way to a 7-6 finish. He threw for 1,181 yards and seven touchdowns against a pair of interceptions while completing 61.2 percent of his passes. 

McGuire isn't trying to rotate quarterbacks like other first-year coaches trying to feel out which player fits the system. He is, however, open to the idea of utilizing Smith's frame in a power-run play in the red zone for an easy six if he doesn't win the starting job. 

"I would be crazy not to have a 6-5, 240-pound quarterback not running quarterback power at the goal line," McGuire said.

Texas Tech opens the season at home against the Racers on Sept. 3. 

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