"One of the first days I walked in,'' Doege said, "he was packing up to go to Houston.
"It wasn't that big a deal, though, because I was pretty close with a lot of the coaches on the staff at the time. Being from Lubbock, I'd go up there all the time and kind of got to know them. I hated to see him leave, but at the same time I felt comfortable with the rest of the guys.''
Holgorsen has since spent two years at Houston, another as the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State and then last year arrived at West Virginia. He's faced Texas Tech since then, but never when Doege was really in the mix. Doege's first year as a starter was last season, when Holgorsen was coaching in the Big East.
He still has a soft spot for the kid, though.
"We recruited him when he was a sophomore in high school and then never saw him play again,'' Holgorsen said. "I'm really proud of him being in the situation he's in because he had a great sophomore year, transfers to a bigger school in Lubbock and doesn't play for two years. And I was there. It was heartbreaking to see the kid not be able to play.''
Doege actually continued to have knee problems in college, too, which is one of the reasons it took him until last year to become the starter. He redshirted in 2008, then played sparingly in 2009 and 2010.
In his first year as a starter, he had some real highlights, like a 40-for-44 game against New Mexico that set an NCAA record for completion percentage with 40 or more passes and 441 yards and four touchdowns in 41-38 upset of Oklahoma.
Things haven't gone so well since for the Red Raiders, though. They lost five straight after that upset of OU and missed a bowl for the first time in 11 years, and after a 4-0 start this season were hammered Saturday by the Sooners in Lubbock, 41-20. In the last two games, Doege has thrown five interceptions, two of which were returned for scores.
Not that that means Doege is finished. He's proven he can bounce back before. Shoot, even after all those knee injuries, he refuses to wear a knee brace and says the injuries are "like they never happened at all.''
"You talk about a determined kid who just never gave up,'' Holgorsen said. "And that's how he plays the game, too. He just never gives up.''
For his part, Doege said he has kept track of Holgorsen through the years, but hasn't really kept in touch.
"I'm sure he's got other things on his mind other than talking to me,'' Doege said. "Maybe I'll see him after the game and say 'hi' or something.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.