Alan Bowman has steadily improved each time he’s stepped on the field, and today that progression culminated in the best performance I’ve ever seen for a freshman. While I might be mentioning Bowman first, I want to take nothing away from Antoine Wesley turning in the best performance we’ve seen from a receiver since the days of Michael Crabtree. Overall, I was very impressed by the mental toughness of this team. Specifically, finishing Houston off at the end of the game when things were still in doubt. Ta’zhawn Henry was also simply spectacular. Lastly, I’d like to apologize to Kliff Kingsbury because I’ll admit I had zero faith in his ability to win after we went down early. Let’s jump into some individual highlights.
Alan Bowman - Clearly, he’s our starting quarterback. And, you’ve gotta feel for McLane Carter because he didn’t deserve to lose his job. But, You can’t bench the kid who threw for 600+ on a good Houston defense. Also, zero turnovers...which, is all we could ask for and more.
Antoine Wesley - Crisp routes, deceptive speed, and elusiveness I had no clue he had. When Wesley came to Tech he was about as unheralded of a recruit as I can remember. But, a special thank you to Mike Jenks because he cleared unearthed a diamond in the rough. An absolute fantastic performance by Wesley.
Ta’zhawn Henry - Already touched on this above, but absolutely love this guy.
T.J. Vasher - He had two drops in the second half that were frustrating, but he also came down with two touchdowns that kept us in this one. It’s clear that he’s our most physically gifted offensive player, and I can’t wait to see him improve even more.
Ja’Deion High - He’s a security blanket for Bowman, and I can’t understate his importance. Every quarterback needs a receiver he can trust, and Bowan has great chemistry with High.
Dakota Allen - He flashed in key moments, and was what you needed him to be today. I can’t imagine the state of our defense had Allen not come back. I’d like to thank him again for coming back to Raiderland.
Justus Parker - You know, not everyone played great. And, frankly, Parker might be playing himself off the field. Never would I have expected that an ex-walk-on would play privileged, but Parker has been exceedingly disappointing this year. He was benched ahead of last week, loafed around the field this week, and he’s a shell of his former self. He’d better get his stuff together, or the feel good story will be over.
Dominic Panazzollo - At least he chose to boom punts when we needed him, and he shanked punts when didn’t need bombs. So, great game, I think.
KeSean Carter - I think it’s clear that Kingsbury is going to design three or four plays per week for Carter, and thus far it’s been effective. This guy is so much more than a track athlete, and I’d expect him to be one of your best receivers by end of year.
In closing, I think you’ve got to be thrilled with the direction of the team after beating a red hot Houston team. I’ve been critical many times over the year, and there are still pangs of skepticism around Kingsbury - but, he did a good job this week and we’ve got some notable swagger before heading to Stillwater. For those that scoreboard watch, Oklahoma State destroyed Boise State, and the Cowboys face Kansas after us. I’d expect we get their full attention and it’ll take todays offensive performance to hang around. Until next week - Wreck ‘Em.