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Breaking Down Bowman’s Performance in Ames after a Big Drought Between Full Games

It had been 1,023 days since Alan Bowman played a full football game.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

Alan Bowman had gone 1,023 days between playing full games of football.

Bowman broke free from Oklahoma State’s three-quarterback system Saturday, playing the full 60 minutes in Oklahoma State’s 34-27 loss to Iowa State. His last full game of football came Dec. 5, 2020, when he led Texas Tech to a 16-13 win against Kansas in Lubbock.

He ended an even longer drought when he ran for a 12-yard touchdown to start Saturday’s scoring in Jack Trice Stadium. That was just the third rushing touchdown of Bowman’s college career and his first since the Red Raiders’ 2019 season-opening win against Montana State. It had been 1,485 days since Bowman crossed the goal line himself, and his 12-yard scamper on Saturday was the longest rushing score of his career.

Needless to say, it has been a while since Bowman has had a full helping of football. Bowman after the game said he felt settled in during the Cowboys’ last drive of the second quarter, where in just 43 seconds he led OSU 44 yards downfield to set up a field goal as the half expired. Under the four-series rotation of previous weekends, that would’ve been Bowman’s fourth series on the bench.

Against the Cyclones, Bowman threw for 278 yards and two touchdowns while completing 48% of his passes (a stat hurt by a large number of throwaways with nobody open). He also had the rushing touchdown and a pair of interceptions.

“Positives and negatives,” Bowman said in Ames. “It was good to get out there and get in a rhythm with the offense and with the team. I think we moved the ball well in the first half and was pleased with what we were able to do and obviously just came up short in the end.”

So after all that time away from a full game, where was Bowman at his best?

Bowman was at his most accurate throwing between the numbers, according to PFF, where he was 12-for-15 with 117 yards — that’s 7.8 yards per attempt. On the whole this season, 61% of Bowman’s passing yards have come in the middle of the field.

As far as distance, it makes sense that the closer to the line of scrimmage throws were, the more accurate he was Saturday. An interesting note in that regard, though, is that both of Bowman’s touchdown passes against the Cyclones were at least 20 yards down the field, where Bowman was 3-for-9 with 103 yards. Both of his interceptions came on throws between 10 and 19 yards downfield, where he was 6-for-12 with 106 yards. That distance is also where his interception against South Alabama was.

Regardless of where the ball went on the field, the Cowboys’ offense looked as good as it has this season with only one guy running the show. Bowman’s 278 passing yards more than doubled the three-quarterback system’s output against South Alabama (114 passing yards). The passing yards and yards of total offense (409) were both bests for OSU against FBS foes this season and by some margin.

“We have the talent, and we have the ability,” Bowman said. “I think the offense can be electric and will be electric. It just hasn’t clicked just yet, but it’s close.”

Whether Bowman will again be handed the reins next week against Kansas State is still up in the air, at least publicly. When asked after the Iowa State game whether Bowman would be OSU’s guy moving forward, Mike Gundy didn’t say definitively.

“I think we moved the ball at a high level,” Bowman said. “I think we had 400 yards of offense but obviously some mistakes that I made that I’m probably gonna need to clean up. I feel confident in what I did, and I think the team feels confident in me. But we’ll watch the tape and see what the coaches have to say.”

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