The Red Raiders showed out as home underdogs on Saturday; exploding for over 700 yards of offense on Houston in order to get the 63-49 win. Just in case you can’t tell from the final score, the afternoon contest was an absolute shootout with 63 points scored in the first half alone.
Thanks almost exclusively to a record-setting performance by quarterback Alan Bowman, the Red Raiders pulled away late in the game. They looked like a team on the verge of missing bowl eligibility a week ago, but not they look like a team that could be an upset threat any given week.
Alan Bowman Is Legit
It looks like Kliff Kingsbury’s found his quarterback. Bowman was phenomenal on Saturday, breaking a single game passing record that was previously held by former Red Raider Patrick Mahomes.
Bowman, a true freshman, posted a QBR of 91.4 and threw for over 600 yards in his second start for the Red Raiders. He’s completing 70.7 percent of his passes after decimating Houston’s pass defense and has yet to throw an interception in his college career.
Now, Bowman wasn’t facing the staunchest of defenses in Lubbock, as the Cougars had given out pass yardage like candy to Arizona and Rice before entering Jones AT&T Stadium.
That being said, the offense was electric with Bowman taking snaps for Texas Tech. No matter the opponent, any time a team averages 70 points per game over two weeks, they’ve found something offensively. Whatever happens with the Red Raiders for the rest of the season, it’ll be fun to watch their young signal caller in action.
— LandGrant Gauntlet (@the_LGG) September 16, 2018
The Jury’s Still Out On The Running Game
The Red Raiders won pretty decisively on Saturday despite not being able to move the ball on the ground as successfully as 63 points might suggest.
Freshman running back Ta’Zhawn Henry had a good day, with 111 yards on 24 carries. Outside of him, though, there wasn’t a ton of success to point to.
With two running backs dealing with injuries, Henry looked like a solid option for Texas Tech. At 170 pounds, he’s on the small side for a college running back, but hopefully he will be able to put on some weight as his career progresses.
#806D? Maybe not so much…
There was a good bit of debate throughout the off-season as to just how good Texas Tech would be on defense in 2018. Giving up 49 points to an AAC team at home doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.
True, Arizona and Rice each gave up 45 a piece, so there’s no question that the Cougars can be potent on offense. But that’s not the kind of company you want to keep if you’re looking to change the narrative.
Texas Tech was mostly gashed on big passing plays down the field, one reason they gave up 462 yards through the air. They did manage to hold Houston to about 100 yards under their total rushing average coming into the game, though. That was the reason the Red Raiders pulled away eventually – Houston couldn’t convert long third downs setup by their inability to run the ball.
Same Old Texas Tech?
What are we to make of the Red Raiders in 2018? They seemed to have taken a step back on offense against an Ole Miss team that wasn’t supposed to be anything special defensively. The game against Houston, though, seemed to be the classic, high octane kind of contest we expect from Texas Tech.
Similarly, this is a team that came in with serious expectations for its defense. If Kingsbury can get both sides of the ball headed in the right direction, this could be a special team.
Three games into the season, it’s probably too early to say anything definitive. After Texas Tech’s upcoming matchup against No. 15 Oklahoma State in Stillwater, though, we should know more about this squad.