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August 22, 2010

Potts named Tech's starting QB

Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville announced on Sunday that senior Taylor Potts would be the Red Raiders starting quarterback this season.

Potts, who beat out senior Steven Sheffield for the job, started 10 of Texas Tech's 13 games last season and threw for 3,440 yards and 22 touchdowns.

"We have a very talented group of quarterbacks and are excited about every one of them," Tuberville said in a statement posted on the program's official website. "The competition during camp between Taylor (Potts) and Steven (Sheffield) has been outstanding but at the end of the day we can only have one starter. Taylor has done a tremendous job and we feel like he has gotten better each and every day.

"There is no doubt that Steven has also improved during camp and will still be fighting to take over that starting job every day at practice. That kind of competition will only make us stronger as the season goes along."

The Abilene, Texas native entered the offseason in a closely contested competition with Sheffield to be Tech's starter. Injuries sidelined both quarterbacks in the spring, meaning whoever performed the best over the first two weeks of fall camp, especially during the team's two scrimmages, would win the job.

Potts held an edge after the first scrimmage, outperforming Sheffield by most accounts.

"If you take this scrimmage and look at it from an outsider looking in there's no way you can say I did better than Potts," Sheffield said at the time. "Of course I hurt my chances and I'm just going to have to work hard and make it up this next week and make it up when the next scrimmage rolls around."

That momentum apparently continued into the second scrimmage. Afterward, Potts said that he felt like he had made a good case for himself.

"Shoot, I hope a good one," he said. "I hope I've made a real good case. But that's for coach to decide. It's in his hands, and I think he'll make the best decision for this team."

Potts's intangibles likely played a role, as Tuberville noted on Saturday that statistics would not be the deciding factor in the decision.

"Myself, I don't worry about completions," he said. "I worry about making the right decisions in terms of checking out of a play, are they going through their progressions or taking the easy way out.

"And just being a team leader. That's going to go into it as much as much as someone who throws a 50-yard touchdown pass because the guy that's going to be the solid leader is the guy that we're going to want running the team."

The Red Raiders open their 2010 season on Sept. 5 against SMU.


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