Jett Duffey's performance in win over TCU might be better than you think

Texas Tech QB Jett Duffey looks downfield while scrambling versus West Virginia.Elise Bressler photo

Sophomore QB kept Red Raiders in the game in 1st half, made the plays that mattered in 2nd.

Texas Tech quarterback Jett Duffey showed what he can do as he led the Red Raiders to a victory at TCU last Thursday night.

Duffey, the player a lot of fans and some in the media thought would be Texas Tech’s quarterback going into this season, started his first Big 12 game and had his ups and downs. At halftime, Duffey had completed 7 of 12 passes for 40 yards and an interception. The Red Raiders failed to score a touchdown in the first two quarters and trailed 7-3 at the break.

But then Duffey made the plays that mattered in the second half. He threw a 62-yard touchdown pass to Ja’Deion High and ran 38 yards for the go-ahead score. Duffey completed 6 of 12 passes for 150 yards in the final two quarters.

“I’ve always known that about Jett, a dynamic play maker, mentally tough, no question,” Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said during his weekly Tuesday press conference. “To have to watch it for a series and then come back in and lead his team to victory on the road against the best defense in the conference statistically says a lot about who he is as a competitor. You can build off that.”

Duffey’s performance wasn’t the norm for Texas Tech quarterbacks, who have turned passing for hundreds of yards into one of the school’s best traditions. But his slow start in the first half might not have been all his fault. The Red Raiders started three of their five full possessions in the first half inside their own 10.

Maybe the best thing Duffey did in the first half was to take care of the ball and help keep Texas Tech close. He threw one interception, but it amounted to a punt as it came on a third-and-10 from the Red Raider 1 and set up TCU at the Texas Tech 44.

The Red Raider defense responded on the ensuing drive by holding the Horned Frogs to a field goal attempt, which they missed.

Next up, Texas Tech (4-2, 2-1 Big 12) hosts Kansas on Saturday. Anyone who might know whether it will be Duffey starting again — or freshman Alan Bowman or junior McLane Carter — goes to work inside Texas Tech’s new indoor training facility. So the Jayhawks and Red Raider fans alike will probably get that information sometime early Saturday afternoon.

The Red Raiders face a bit of a mystery too as Kansas will be playing its first game since firing offensive coordinator Doug Meacham.