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Recap: Alan Bowman and TJ Vasher Lead Texas Tech To Big Win Over UTEP

The Red Raiders won comfortably over UTEP in Lubbock with a solid performance on both sides of the ball.

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Running back TaZhawn Henry of Texas Tech attempts to stiff arm UTEP safety - Getty Images - John E Moore III
Getty Images - John E Moore III

Texas Tech blew by the Miners on Saturday with ease as the defense shut UTEP out until the fourth quarter. By then, it was too little too late, and the Red Raiders won 38-3.

Texas Tech won the toss and coach Matt Wells decided to defer the ball until the second half. The strategy worked as the defense forced a three-and-out with a tackle for a loss, a sack and an incomplete pass to send the ball to the Red Raiders with a punt.

Texas Tech drove the ball down the field methodically on their first drive  with Ta’Zhawn Henry being the focal point. He caught two passes for 19 yards and rushed for 19 more on the opening drive. He capped it off with a 5-yard run to the end zone less than five minutes into the first quarter. 

The offense missed a couple of big plays throughout the game, but managed to go into the half up 21-0. They came back in the third quarter and drove down the field settling for a field goal. 

Trey Wolff nailed a 45-yard field goal coming out of the half showing promise as a redshirt freshman after there was some uncertainty at the position coming in to the season.

The first defensive series for the Red Raiders would set the tone for the rest of the game as UTEP would only manage to gain 131 total yards on the day. The Tech defense only gave up 11 first downs and were 71 percent on third downs the rest of the game, allowing only two third downs the whole night.

UTEP was shut out the majority of the game with their three points coming in with just over five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter when most of the starters had already taken the night off. 

Matt Wells praised the defense in the post game conference as he should. They have been solid the last two weeks and Kieth Patterson has the team going in the right direction. 

Key Plays

14:12 1st [UTEP 3rd & 12 at UTEP 23] Broderick Washington sacks UTEP quarter-back Brandon Jones to force the Miners to a three-and-out on the opening drive of the game.

11:14 1st [TTU 2nd & Goal at UTEP 5] – Ta’Zhawn Henry caps off the Red Raiders first drive after a UTEP three-and-out to go up 7-0.

1:35 2nd [TTU 2nd & 3 at UTEP 49] – Alan bowman completes a screen to Dalton Rigdon who takes it to the house for a 49-yard touchdown to put the Red Raiders up 21-0 to go into the half.

2:45 3rd [TTU 1st & 10 at UTEP 30] – Alan Bowman hits TJ Vasher for a 30-yard touchdown pass putting the game out of reach at 31-0.

Key Stats

131 total yards The Red Raider defense strangled the UTEP offense allowing only 54 yards passing and 77 yards rushing.

3 Sacks, 7 TFLs – Texas Tech was in the back field all night with seven different Red Raiders getting in on either a sack or a tackle for loss.

2-14 On 3rd Down – For the second straight week, the Red Raiders have allowed inferior opponents to convert only twice on third downs.

Players of The Game

QB Alan Bowman – 30/45 passing with three touchdowns to one interception. Bowman is in the driver’s seat of Yosts’ offense and he shows us why for the second week in a row. Throwing three touchdown passes and running for a few first downs puts Bowman on my list for one of the player’s of the game.

LB Jordyn Brooks Six solo tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and 11 total tackles is good enough to put Jordyn Brooks at the top of the defensive stat sheet for Texas Tech. He is everywhere and the stat sheet doesn’t fully justify Brooks’ play. He is a tough, hard hitter who is all over the field and is the center piece of Tech’s success on defense through two games.

WR TJ Vasher – Vasher caught six passes for 78 yards and two touchdowns making him Tech’s top receiver for week two. Vasher made some contested catches and his first receiving touchdown had him fighting through two defenders and extending to the goal line to reach pay dirt. He played like the player we know he can be today. Let’s hope he builds off of this game and shows out next week versus Arizona.

Remaining Thoughts

The Offense Is Still Developing: Texas Tech’s offensive output versus UTEP took a step back from the numbers put up last week against FCS opponent Montana State.

The run game seemed to slow after the first possession. Alan Bowman also missed some big shots down the field. One being a gimme touchdown to Dalton Rigdon that was slightly overthrown.

Bowman also threw his first interception of the year on a scramble where he was avoiding pressure. That one doesn’t rest solely on his shoulders though. Myller Royals seemed to give up on his route after Alan was flushed out of the pocket, a simple mistake from a redshirt freshman that is easily correctable and nothing to be alarmed about.

Although some points were left off of the scoreboard, Tech still managed to put up a solid 424 total yards. The Red Raiders are still young in the new system, and should have more success as the season progresses.

The O-Line Is Deep: The offensive line still held strong while missing two starters, including Jack Anderson. They only allowed only one sack, and three tackles for loss.

UTEP had some playmakers on the defensive line and I was impressed by the Red Raiders ability to adjust and perform the way they did. UTEP isn’t a power five opponent though, and we hope to get Jack Anderson and Travis Bruffy healthy before we head into Big 12 Play.

Texas Tech No Longer Has A “Bend-But-Don’t-BreakPhilosophy: The Red Raiders brought pressure throughout the whole game. As I mentioned earlier, seven different Red Raiders made plays in the back field. Out of the three sacks and seven tackles for loss, only 1.5 of each came from a defensive lineman. Patterson brings the heat early and often and it is a welcome change to a program that is used to watching quarterbacks dissect our secondary.

Game Highlights

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