A big thank you to Adam over at Addicted to Quack for helping us out here. This was a huge pickup for Wells and Cumbie, as the quarterback room is a question mark. Can Shough steady the position? Let's see what the expert thinks!
What is the mood in Oregon over the transfer in general? Sad to see Tyler go, or happy to see the back of him?
It really is split down the middle. Obviously you never want to lose a quarterback that has the potential to at least be a serviceable backup, but there are plenty of Duck fans who believe Shough was never going to be the QB to take us to that next level.
Still, I think the majority of Duck fans believed he would be favored for a reprisal of his QB1 status. Considering he entered the 2020 season a redshirt sophomore having thrown just 15 passes in his college career, it seems a bit ridiculous to assume we’ve seen everything the kid has to offer in this latest season. After all, this was his first year in a new offense during a very strange season that featured very little preseason practice.
How would you describe Shough’s performance as the starter?
I would describe Shough’s 2020 performance as a bonfire that ran out of fuel halfway through the party. No one really knew what to expect from Shough after the departure of Herbert, and at first it seemed we were in for an agile, dual-threat QB that was rapidly improving as the season went on.
A week-one win over Stanford and a comeback victory over Wazzu had the fanbase rallying around Shough. And against a surprisingly decent UCLA defense he had his best game of the season, finishing with three touchdowns and 334 yards through the air without throwing a pick.
Unfortunately, on the road against Oregon State and Cal, Shough had a combined four turnovers, and when things got tougher against USC and Iowa, Mario Cristobal elected to turn to grad-transfer Anthony Brown Jr. In hindsight, it seems like it was a decision made out of desperation and not out of confidence in Brown.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of his game?
Shough’s major weakness at Oregon was his inability to fully execute Moorhead’s offense, which relied heavily on RPOs and a mobile quarterback. He seems to have an impressive arm, and occasionally showed real promise in the pocket by planting his feet and letting it rip or escaping pressure and turning it into positive yardage, but he made a handful of mistakes that sank a few crucial Oregon drives.
Still, the talent is there, now he needs a system that will help him unlock it.
Tech is likely switching back to an Air Raid orientated attack under Cumbie. Do you think Tyler’s game fits that style?
I think so. He came to Oregon as the No. 7 pro-style quarterback in the class of 2018, according to 247Sports. He also looked much more comfortable buying time to throw downfield than he did barreling forward for yards, though picking up big chunks of yards with his feet when the defense gives it to him is one of his best qualities.
I’m fairly confident that, given a full offseason, Shough’s skill set will fit nicely into Cumbie’s offense. And considering lack of confidence likely played a big part in Shough’s failures here, a system that requires quick, accurate decisions may be just what the young QB needs to reset his game.
Lastly, do you think Shough takes the next step as a quarterback if he were to win the starting job in Lubbock?
If Shough earns the starting job right away, then I think Texas Tech fans have a promising quarterback that potentially will be a three-year starter. Duck fans are definitely rooting for him, and if your fanbase welcomes him with open arms then I truly believe he can leave his troubles in Eugene.
Thanks again to Adam for his thoughtful answers! To me, it sounds like Tech is getting a quarterback capable of thriving under Cumbie. The Air Raid does not demand a truly mobile quarterback, nor does it have to have an RPO flavor.
Watching Shough's film shows a young quarterback who has all the tools. Physically he is a Power Five starter. If Cumbie can develop him as a decision maker, this offense will take off.