Texas Tech football: How Alan Bowman stacked up against other FR QBs in 2018

LUBBOCK, TX - OCTOBER 20: Alan Bowman #10 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders calls signals at the line of scrimmage during the first half of the game against the Kansas Jayhawks on October 20, 2018 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)
LUBBOCK, TX - OCTOBER 20: Alan Bowman #10 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders calls signals at the line of scrimmage during the first half of the game against the Kansas Jayhawks on October 20, 2018 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)
(Photo by John Weast/Getty Images) /

As we prepare for Alan Bowman’s sophomore season, let’s look back at how the Texas Tech football team’s newest star compared with his fellow freshmen QBs in 2018.

If there is one reason Texas Tech football fans feel optimistic about the upcoming season, it would be the return from injury of sophomore QB Alan Bowman.  After missing what amounted to five games last fall (four full games and the second half of two others) because of a collapsed lung, the Grapevine, Texas native is back to 100% and ready to pick up where he left off.

Officially, he averaged 329.7 yards per game through the air while tossing 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions.  But if you take the two games he did not finish out of the equation, his yards per game average jumps to 381.3.

He completed over 60% of his passes in five of his eight appearances.  That included a ridiculous 88% against Lamar and 80.8% in the first half against Oklahoma.

To say that he was the surprise of the season is more than an understatement.  He was a revelation for the program and had Kliff Kingsbury not been fired, Bowman’s return would be receiving top billing among Texas Tech fans and the West Texas media.

Looking back at what the recruiting analysts had Bowman rated as it is easy now to see that he was a steal.  According to 247Sports, he was a 3-star prospect who was just the No. 37 pro-style QB in the nation.  Now, it would be impossible to find 37…or even 7…2018 QB signees that had better seasons last fall.

After what we’ve seen from Bowman, it is hard to believe his only Power 5 offers beside Texas Tech came from Illinois and Ole Miss.  And in all fairness, Kingsbury was somewhat fortunate in landing Bowman as he offered as many as five and maybe even six (depending on what recruiting service one chooses to believe) 2018 QBs prior to Bowman.

Still, credit is due to Kingsbury for turning Bowman into a college-ready QB in just eight months on campus.  No one knew that he would be needed before Tech completed its third drive of the season but despite being called upon to play early, he threw for 273 yards and a touchdown on 29-49 passing against an SEC defense that was playing with a huge lead and knew that Tech would be throwing on almost every down.

After making quick work of Lamar in week two, Bowman seized the starting QB job by the throat in throwing for a Big 12 freshman record 605 yards to go along with five touchdowns against Houston in a 63-49 win.

The next week, he helped Tech break its nine-game losing streak to Oklahoma State.  In Tech’s 41-17 road win, Bowman had 397 yards and two more touchdowns while also throwing the first two picks of his career.  But the next week, his season turned for the worse.

At the end of what was already a poor first half that saw the freshman complete just 9 of 20 passes for 124 yards, a touchdown, and an INT against West Virginia, he was knocked out of the game with a collapsed lung when he was sandwiched by two pass rushers.  He would miss the remained of Tech’s 42-34 loss.

But thanks to a well-timed off week, Bowman missed only one game, a 17-14 win over TCU in Ft. Worth.  He returned the next week to throw for 408 yards and three touchdowns against Kansas in a Red Raider laugher.

However, his next start would not be as enjoyable.  Against Iowa State and the best defense in the Big 12, Bowman looked human by throwing for just 323 yards and a touchdown while being intercepted three times in a 40-31 loss.  In that game, he completed just 57.1% of his passes, his lowest total in any game other than the WVU game that he was knocked out of.

One week later his season came to an early end when he was again knocked out of a game just before halftime, this time after a sterling first 30 minutes against Oklahoma.  Leading Tech to a 31-28 advantage over the No. 7 team in the nation, Bowman completed 21-26 passes (80.6%) for 227 yards and two scores but when Kliff Kingsbury called a designed QB run near the goal line, the freshman took a hard shot that caused a reoccurrence of the collapsed lung that he initially sustained just a month prior against West Virginia.

Without Bowman leading the offense, Tech’s passing yards per game fell to just 280.3 over the final three contests.  And with the season and head coach’s job both on the line, the Red Raider offense managed to score just 24.6 points per game down the stretch without Bowman.

Now, Red Raider fans believe that their starting QB is ready to emerge onto the national scene this fall with a tremendous second season.  Still, most around the nation do not know what Alan Bowman brings to the table.  But if we look at how he compared to other top freshman QBs accomplished last year statistically, it is easy to see that Bowman was among the very best freshman passers in the nation.