Texas Tech has been known for quarterbacks that put up outrageous numbers since the turn of the millennium and with Kliff Kingsbury calling plays, I believe that will continue this season. After a rough outing at NRG Stadium I want to highlight a bright spot for this team moving forward.
McLane Carter looked to be on his way to an efficient outing leading the Red Raider offense after starting 4/7 with 49 yards passing. Unfortunately, Carter went down with a high ankle sprain and it seemed that things were only going to get uglier against Ole Miss. Many believed it was Jett Duffey’s time to shine, but Kliff put in the true freshman, Alan Bowman, out of Grapevine, TX.
Alan Bowman came into the game with 4:00 left in the 1st quarter and went on to complete 29/49 passes during the game. While his performance was not impeccable, he did show some flashes of great quarterback play. Kingsbury has stressed the entire off-season that his starting quarterback would need to secure the ball and minimize turnovers. Bowman did just that as time after time he made the wise decision to throw balls in areas where only his guy could get it. Bowman also showed a high football IQ by rolling out of the pocket when he needed to and throwing the ball away to live for another down. Nothing was forced and for a true freshman he played as well as one could hope against stiff competition.
What about Jett Duffey?
I’ll end any debate anyone can have about Jett Duffey right now; he can’t secure the ball as he threw numerous interceptions during fall camp and his off the field issues show a lack of maturity for a player that is three years removed from high school. Being a leader is a requirement to play quarterback in today’s game, and Duffey has not proven himself to lead an offense due to actions on and off of the field.
Who should be the starter moving forward?
If I were making the decision between McLane Carter and Alan Bowman, I’m choosing Bowman after what I’ve seen from both players. Carter can’t stretch the field and it showed early in his play against Ole Miss and it led to him being benched against Texas last year in favor of Nic Shimonek. I’m not sure if Carter prefers the short throws, but it seems like he does not have the arm talent to throw the ball down field without it floating on him. Even on some of his throws towards the sideline it seemed like the receivers had to wait on the ball to get there which gives the defense time to catch up.
On the other hand, Bowman had some zip in his throws and showed more potential to spread out the field than Carter. Bowman is indeed a young player and he’s bound to make mistakes, but Texas Tech isn’t going to be competing for a Big 12 title anytime soon. I’d much rather see Bowman develop and grow this year through valuable playing time.
The last true freshman quarterback to get playing time for Texas Tech was Patrick Mahomes and many of you might remember when he was thrown into the fire against Oklahoma State after Davis Webb got hurt. Mahomes had a rough debut to say the least after fumbling and throwing an interception on the same play. I’m not saying Bowman will be Patrick Mahomes, but for a debut, I thought the true freshman showed the potential for a high ceiling moving forward.