On Monday afternoon, Texas Tech coach Matt Wells announced that Alan Bowman is going to miss several weeks due to a shoulder injury. The news comes as several reports earlier in the day indicated Bowman could be out 6-8 weeks. That timeline hasn’t been confirmed by the school, though.
The injury came in last Saturday’s loss to the Arizona Wildcats. And it seems to have happened on a controversial play that should have been called for a personal foul.
Nevertheless, the Red Raiders are without Bowman for the third time in his career, and we look to see if the back-ups can provide any hope of saving the season.
The Red Raiders have a bye in week four, and they will need it as the drop of from Bowman to his replacements is steep. Jackson Tyner and Jett Duffey will be competing for the starting job, and thus, deja vu from last year begins to settle in.
The same situation that may have cost Kliff Kingsbury his job last year, now presents itself to first year head coach Matt Wells. Last year, Texas Tech opened the season 3-1 behind Bowman; including a big win over Oklahoma State. After losing Bowman, the Red Raiders went just 2-6.
Jett Duffey and an unhealthy McLane Carter both manned the starting spot after Bowman went down last year, but with Carter having transferred to Rutgers, Duffey will likely compete with Rice transfer Jackson Tyner for the job.
Jackson Tyner has taken the majority of the snaps as the back-up quarterback in the first two games in garbage time. However, with three pass attempts on the year, he’s still looking for his first completion.
While at Rice in 2018, his numbers weren’t much better. Tyner was fourth on the passing stat sheet for the Owls with 132 yards and zero touchdowns to one interception. He has thrown for 1,048 yards in his career with four touchdowns to seven interceptions. Tyner is averaging a 35.05 percent completion percentage over his career. That’s not ideal for a team looking to throw it around 50 times a game.
To be fair, this years performance from Jackson has been limited and he never had a chance to get a feel for the game as it sometimes takes a while for a quarterback to settle in before he can get in to a rhythm.
One thing we know about Jett Duffey, is that he is a playmaker. Everyone remembers how he used his legs to beat TCU last year on the road in a tight low scoring game. He was the leading rusher on the team totaling 369 yards on the ground with four touchdowns. With Tech focusing more on the ground game this year, his legs could prove useful. The Good news is that offensive coordinator David Yost has had success with running quarterbacks in the past.
After the bye week, things get rough for the Red Raiders. The next four games feature Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor and Iowa State. Even with Bowman at the helm, the probably would not have been favored in any of these games. If Tech loses all four matchups, they will have to win four out of the remaining five games to reach bowl eligibility.
With their starting quarterback out, expect the Red Raiders to lean more on their defense and newly found ground game to try and fill the void that is Bowman’s arm. For Bowman, it’s just another setback in a career defined by freak injuries. Last year, it was a collapsed lung. This year, it was an unlucky and play.