This week we're highlighting the make-or-break position battles for every program in the Big 12. We continue the series with the Texas Tech QB battle:
What happened last season: Webb came into last year with big expectations after torching Arizona State in the 2013 Holiday Bowl. But as the Red Raiders struggled collectively early in 2014, Webb forced the issue too often and tossed 10 interceptions in Tech's first five games. He finished with 2,539 passing yards, 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions before an ankle injury sidelined him for the final four games.
As a true freshman, Mahomes relieved him, and got off to a slow start. But in his final three games, he threw for 1,319 yards and 14 touchdowns to just two picks. He also nearly rallied the Red Raiders to an upset of Baylor in the regular-season finale.
What they offer: At 6-foot-5, Webb is the traditional air raid quarterback, who likes to operate out of the pocket and deliver the ball quickly. Having started half of the last two seasons, he brings more experience to the competition, too.
Mahomes is not as big as Webb, but he's not small either at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds. He's also far more mobile, able to make plays out of the pocket with both his wheels and arm. Though not as experienced as Webb, Mahomes got valuable time behind center last season against the likes of Oklahoma State, TCU, Oklahoma and Baylor.
Prediction: Though Mahomes finished the 2014 season with a flurry, coach Kliff Kingsbury has refrained from proclaiming him the starter, even with Webb undergoing offseason shoulder surgery. The Red Raiders aren't ready to give up on Webb, nor should they, as he showed great promise as a true freshman two seasons ago. Still, given how Mahomes jumpstarted the Tech offense late last season, it's difficult to see the Red Raiders not sticking with him to open the season.