Texas Tech football: How Red Raiders can survive until Alan Bowman returns

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 11: Jett Duffey #7 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 11, 2018 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 11: Jett Duffey #7 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 11, 2018 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
1 of 6
(Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)
(Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images) /

The Texas Tech football team can survive without Alan Bowman by picking up its play in other areas of the game such as on the ground and on special teams.

Life without starting QB Alan Bowman is not going to be easy for the Texas Tech football team.  For proof, we need to look no further than back to last season.

When Bowman was 100% healthy, the Red Raiders sat at 3-1 and were fresh off an upset of Oklahoma State to end a 9-game losing streak to the Cowboys.  But when he left game five against West Virginia with his first collapsed lung, everything changed.

Prior to the WVU game, Tech averaged 52 points per game but saw that number dip to 29.4 after the fifth game.  Amazingly, in the four contests in which Bowman was healthy, Tech scored a total of 208 points.  In the seven games after his first injury, Tech managed just 206 total points.

Likewise, Tech’s yards per game dropped from 623.5 prior to the WVU game to 409.2 int he seven games afterward.  Of course, the falloff was not surprising, though just how far the team fell might have been.

Here’s hoping that the same does not happen again in 2019.  And one reason we can be fairly certain that the offense will not dip as much this year without its leader is the fact that it doesn’t have nearly as far to fall.

To this point, David Yost’s offense has yet to find its rhythm.  It hasn’t been dreadful by any means putting up 32.3 points per game and 508.6 yards per game, numbers that are decent but far below what we have come to expect from Texas Tech in the last two decades.

Most disappointing of course was Tech’s inability to put points on the board against an Arizona defense that entered the game No. 126 in the nation in total defense.  Even with Bowman at the helm, the Red Raiders had only two touchdown drives while seeing three other drives result in no points after reaching at least the Arizona 30-yard-line.

Tech currently sits at No. 57 in scoring offense and No. 21 in total offense nationally, far lower than what Red Raider fans have come to expect and what David Yost’s resume suggests he should produce.  And though Tech is going to be shorthanded for the next several weeks, the offense is going to have to hold up its end of the bargain as Big 12 play starts.

Tech can’t expect its defense to keep the OU offense off the scoreboard a week from Saturday in Norman.  The Sooners rank No. 1 in the nation in total offense and No. 2 in points per game thanks to the infusion of grad transfer QB Jalen Hurts.

The next week brings Oklahoma State to Lubbock.  The Cowboys are No. 12 overall in total offense and No. 9 in scoring offense, meaning that Tech will have to have some firepower on its side in the year’s first home Big 12 game.

The trip to Waco isn’t going to be much easier on the defense.  The Bears lead the nation in scoring with 59.5 points per game and have the No. 15 nationally-ranked offense in terms of yards.

To wrap up the 4-game gauntlet that opens Big 12 play, Tech will face a different challenge when Iowa State comes to town.  The Cyclone defense is arguably the Big 12’s best and will be a major challenge for the Tech offense regardless of who is at QB.

Still, they are not going to cancel these games just because Bowman is out.  And if they are going to play them, Tech might as well try to win them.

So let’s take a look at how the Red Raiders can offset the loss of its starting QB.  If Matt Wells can get his team to excel in the following areas, he can still have a successful debut season.