Well to answer the question, Nic Shimonek may likely be the Red Raiders' starting quarterback for the game against Kansas State next Saturday. After Patrick Mahomes scrambled 32 yards for a big first down in the 3rd quarter, he had trouble getting up after a crushing hit. In came Shimonek, who picked up right where Mahomes left off with the offense as he drove them the rest of the way, firing a touchdown pass to Dylan Cantrell. He followed that up with three more scoring passes as Tech cruised to a 55-19 win over the Kansas Jayhawks on Thursday night.
So what's the story behind this 6-3 backup quarterback who threw four touchdowns without barely breaking a sweat last night? Born in Corsicanna, Texas, Shimonek played high school ball at Mildred. As a senior he was named a finalist for state Player of the Year and received honorable mention all-state his senior and junior years. He was also named district and area Offensive MVP while receiving first team honors as a junior and senior.
After his high school days, Shimonek decided to attend the University of Iowa to play college ball. His career there was short. He was redshirted his freshman year in 2013 and afterwards decided to transfer to Texas Tech. He of course had to sit out the 2014 season due to transfer rules.
Since Davis Webb was still at Tech last year, he was the third-string quarterback in 2015. He only appeared in two games. The first was against UTEP and the second was against Iowa State, in which he completed an 18-yard pass. After Webb decided to transfer after the 2015 season, Shimonek became the backup to Mahomes entering spring practice and has remained the backup since.
Shimonek did see a lot of action in the opener against Stephen F. Austin. He played almost the entire second half, but didn't have that great of a game. He went 18/28 for 150 yards and threw one touchdown. He also had one interception.
Despite his struggles in the opener, I have more hope in Shimonek now after his performance last night. Yes I know it was against the Jayhawks, who will probably finish last in the Big 12, but he looked better in last night's game than he did in the opener. He finished 15/21 for 271 yards, threw four touchdowns, and did not turn the ball over once.
I'm not saying I'm ready for Shimonek to take Mahomes' job, but if he does have to start against Kansas State and maybe more games based on how hurt Mahomes is, I believe he can keep Tech's offense going. He has a strong group of talented receivers to rely on, a stable of running backs, and he has Kliff "The QB Whisperer" as his head coach. I have confidence in him and other Texas Tech fans should too!