Wednesday afternoon, Texas Tech football head coach Matt Wells announced that junior QB Henry Colombi will replace Alan Bowman as the Red Raiders’ starter against West Virginia.
Typically one to play it close to the vest during the season, Matt Wells broke character on Wednesday and made an announcement that just about everyone saw coming. Speaking to the media, Wells announced that junior Henry Colombi, who transferred to Tech his offseason from Utah State, will replace Alan Bowman as the team’s starting QB. The news was broken on Twitter by a number of media members including Don Williams of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
The move comes in the middle of Texas Tech’s by week and on the heels of a truly dreadful showing against Iowa State by Bowman in a 31-15 loss. Playing three quarters against the Cyclones, Bowman completed just 13-22 passes for 97 yards as he struggled to handle the complex ISU coverage scheme.
But when Colombi replaced Bowman in the fourth quarter, he immediately led his team to what would be its only TD drive of the game. In all, he would finish the day completing 10-12 passes for 115 yards and a touchdown in only two drives.
It was the second-straight solid showing for the Florida native. Against Kansas State, Colombi completed 30-42 passes for 244 yards and two TDs while being picked off once after he entered the game for an injured Bowman.
Colombi also brings a dual-threat element to the offense. As a Red Raider, he’s run for 51 yards on 14 carries over the course of the last two games. While he isn’t the next coming of Lamar Jackson, he is able to keep plays and drives alive with his feet, something that Bowman is not equipped to do.
Prior to coming to Tech, Colombi went 53-69 for 460 yards and two TDs with one interception in two seasons for the Aggies. Overall, he’s appeared in 15 games but has never made a start.
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As for Bowman, he’s become a liability in the offense with his inability to read defenses and his insistence on throwing to his first option or checking down to his safety valve out of the backfield.
In the last 10 drives with Bowman at the helm, the Red Raider offense has failed to score a point. Meanwhile, in the last 10 drives with Colombi leading the way, he’s led Tech to 29 points with two of those drives ending in missed field goals.
When Colombi makes his first career start, he will be facing a tall task against the West Virginia defense. Allowing just 19.3 points per game, the Mountaineers are ranked No. 2 in the Big 12 in points allowed.
Additionally, they are No. 1 in the league against the pass by allowing just 166.3 yards per game through the air. They also are adept at getting after the passer ranking second in the Big 12 with 3.6 sacks per contest.
While we don’t know what Colombi will bring to the table next weekend in his first career start, it was becoming painfully obvious that what Bowman was giving his team simply wasn’t going to cut it. Thankfully, Wells has pulled the trigger and turned to a new QB. Now, we wait to see if this move will help turn around a season that is meeting on the brink of disaster.