Texas Tech backup QB may start against Missouri

Friday, November 5, 2010 | 6:59 p.m. CDT; updated 9:23 p.m. CDT, Friday, November 5, 2010
Texas Tech backup quarterback Steven Sheffield looks to throw in a 24-14 loss at home against Texas. Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville may start Sheffield over Taylor Potts on Saturday night against No. 14 Missouri.

LUBBOCK, Texas  — Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville may go with his backup quarterback Saturday night against No. 14 Missouri. Not that the Tigers care much about that.

Senior Steven Sheffield threw two touchdowns after he replaced starter Taylor Potts early in the fourth quarter of the Red Raiders' 45-20 loss at Texas A&M last week.

Tigers coach Gary Pinkel says both quarterbacks are good.

"Honestly, I don't think you can be concerned about that as much as the scheme and what they do," he said. "Whoever is out there, we have to do a good job."

Missouri (7-1, 3-1 Big 12) dropped its first game of the season last week at Nebraska, 31-17. It likely needs to win its next four games — Texas Tech, Kansas State, Iowa State and Kansas — to have a chance to win the Big 12 North.

Texas Tech, which hasn't been 4-4 since 1999, needs to find some consistency in its sputtering offense. The Red Raiders (4-4, 2-4) need two wins to be bowl eligible for an 11th straight year.

Texas Tech travels to No. 11 Oklahoma next week before finishing against two nonconference opponents, Weber State and Houston. A win over Weber State would not count toward bowl eligibility because it is in the Football Championship Subdivision.

Tuberville said Sheffield and Potts would split snaps in practice this week. But Sheffield last week provided what Texas Tech has lacked recently games.

"He gave us energy, and that is what we are looking for a little bit more of now," Tuberville said. "He did good at times and at times he didn't do so well. We just want somebody to go out and be consistent."

Missouri is working to get beyond the loss to the Cornhuskers, which followed a huge win over Oklahoma.

"You just hould just bottle that first four or five minutes of each game, to where our defense played, it would be great, but we tend to get tired," Tuberville said. "We were struggling to begin with and we are trying to move guys around."

Missouri's defense is good enough to make it tough on the Red Raiders, who are No. 7 nationally in total offense (317 yards per game ), Tuberville said.

"They have a lot of speed and a lot of good defensive linemen," he said. "They play a lot of man coverage. They force the issue so we are going to have to be at our best this week against a very good Missouri team."

Tigers cornerback Kip Edwards said he believes the game will be decided through the air.

"Saturday is going to be a lot of fun. There are going to be about 100 balls thrown on each side of the ball," he said. "The game is going to be won in the secondary, and I believe we are going to play hard and come out with the win."

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