For the third time this season, the Texas Tech Red Raiders will amazingly have a different quarterback in their starting lineup.
According to multiple sources, redshirt freshman Seth Doege will get the starting nod when the Raiders (5-3) host Kansas (5-2) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Jones AT&T Stadium. Doege replaces Taylor Potts, who was fairly ineffective and booed during last Saturday's 52-30 home loss to Texas A&M.
One source said: "I don't think (Doege starting against Kansas) is a surprise.''
Tech coach Mike Leach has been singing the praises of Doege since he completed 18 of 25 passes for 146 yards -- he also successfully completed passes on a pair of two-point conversions -- in less than a half against the Aggies.
"I thought he looked really good, I thought he played good,'' Leach said earlier this week. "I thought he made routime plays and I thought he didn't try to make too much happen.
"He has a good arm and he is a sharp guy. Just read the material in front of you and then don't add to it and read between the lines. I thought he did a good job of that.''
Other than fourth-quarter mop-up duty against Kansas State on Oct. 10, the game against A&M was the first regular season _ or postseason _ action for Doege since 2005 when he was a high school sophomore at Crane. He blew out his ACL in each knee prior to his high school junior and senior seasons and never played a down in either season.
Thus, to put Doege in the starting lineup at this critical juncture of the season tells you how far out of favor Potts has slipped.
"I think he did a tremendous job,'' wide receiver Alex Torres said of Doege's performance against A&M. "He stepped up under pressure.
"We needed to get a drive going and he came out ready to play and did his job. He got the offense going and a tempo going. It was awesome seeing him go out there and really perform the way he did.''
Potts started the first five games this season, suffered a concussion against New Mexico on Oct. 3, then lost his starting job to Steven Sheffield.
Sheffield made two impressive starts before injurying his left foot against Nebraska on Oct. 17. Back came Potts to start last week against A&M.
However, against the Aggies, Potts was 25 of 36 for 310 yards, two touchdowns, and two back-breaking interceptions, and he also lost a crucial fumble. Fans started chanting "No More Potts, No More Potts,'' late in the second quarter, and Leach agreed and removed Potts from the game in the third period.
Sheffield is expected to return in time for the Nov. 14 game at Oklahoma State. In the meantime, Doege will start against Kansas and Potts will be his understudy.
So how does all this quarterback shuffling affect the Raiders and the offensive chemistry? It's obvious not a good thing to be making changes at such a key position, and the revolving door must stop in order for the Raiders to be successful.
Asked for his perference on who should be Tech's starting quarterback, Torres said:
"That's not under my control. I'm going to go out there and do what I can for the team, and that's doing my job for every play. That's as far as I can control.
"As far as the quarterbacks go, that's not in my hands. And I'm glad it isn't, because we've got a lot of guys back there that can do a great job.''
_ Dwain Price