Until the NCAA requires college football teams to give detailed injury reports on a daily basis, similar to the NFL’s policy, it’s a good bet Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury will continue to be vague to the point of mystery.
During his Monday press conference, Kingsbury said he hopes to have all three quarterbacks available when the Red Raiders play at TCU on Thursday night.
However, junior McLane Carter has been recovering from a high ankle sprain for more than a month and freshman Alan Bowman spent five days in the hospital with a collapsed lung last week.
When asked a specific question about sophomore Jett Duffey, who entered the West Virginia game late in the second quarter and finished the contest, Kingsbury replied with an assessment of the QB position group as a whole.
“I feel like all three of those guys have gotten better as the year has gone on,” Kingsbury said. “That was our goal. As a quarterback room, I feel like we’ve progressed in (decision making).”
The Red Raiders’ history of dealing with QBs injuries further clouds the scenario for this week.
Two year ago, Patrick Mahomes appeared to have a shoulder injury that would sideline him for several weeks. But Mahomes never missed a game. That adds to the mystery of who will play quarterback for the Red Raiders as it means it’s not out of the realm of possibility or precedence that Bowman could play.
Ultimately, no one will know until Kingsbury sends a quarterback out for the first play when the Red Raiders face the Horned Frogs on Thursday night on ESPN.
But the challenge Tech faces from the other side of the line of scrimmage is easier to assess. The Horned Frogs likely have the best defense the Red Raiders have faced this season. TCU is giving up just a shade over 300 yards per game.
“I think anytime you have a Gary Patterson-coached defense (a challenge is) what you’re going to get,” Kingsbury said. “Very disciplined. You’ve got to earn every yard. Nothing’s conceded. It’s just impressive every year no matter who the pieces are.”
One thing is certain: when Texas Tech has the ball, it will be strength versus strength. The Red Raiders enter with the top ranked offense in the nation.