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Red Raiders QB1: Joey McGuire Closer to Decision

Texas Tech's Joey McGuire should have his starting quarterback figured out within the next two weeks

Texas Tech's Joey McGuire might not know who his starting quarterback is yet, but he does know when he expects to finalize the decision. 

McGuire said Thursday that he wants to have his starter for Week 1's matchup against Murray State chosen following the next two scrimmages in practice. Currently, it seems to still be a two-man race between Tyler Shough and Donovan Smith

Both Shough and Smith saw action last season on the way to a 7-6 finish. Shough, who transferred from Oregon after two seasons, initially won the starting job, but suffered a broken collarbone against Texas in Week 4, ending his season. 

Smith, a freshman from Las Vegas, split reps with Henry Colombi until the firing of Matt Wells. Once offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie took over, Smith began to see his snap count expand. 

In nine games, Smith threw for 1,181 yards and seven touchdowns against a pair of interceptions while completing 61.2 percent of his passes. His best performance was against Iowa State, in which he threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns on the way to a 41-38 upset. 

McGuire said at Big 12 Media Days that he isn't trying to rotate quarterbacks like other first-year coaches have in the past. The Red Raiders have two passers with starting reps and have worked in a similar offensive design that will be ran by new coordinator Zach Kittley

"We all could run it just how coach Kittley wants us to," Smith said last April on how Kittley's offense compared to Cumbie's. "We always say find the easy throws. Find grass, so basically just the checks that we need to check to and if we need run, we'll run." 

Should Shough win the job, McGuire isn't ruling out a wildcat package for Smith, who proved his capabilities in the open field as a a dual-treat option. Primarily, McGuire would like to utilize the combination of Smith's size and strength to score the easy points in the red zone.  

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

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

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