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From Wearing Jerseys of OSU Greats, to Managing Bedlam Wins, Alan Bowman Understands the Assignment

‘… it’s just been unbelievable.’



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

Alan Bowman strutted into the meeting room at Boone Pickens Stadium for the Bedlam postgame press conference wearing a white No. 13 Oklahoma State jersey that obviously wasn’t brand new.

Bowman not only boasted that it was Josh Field’s jersey, but continued to emphasize that it was literally Fields’ game-worn jersey. Bowman has made it a trend to wear uniforms of OSU greats after recent wins, including Bob Fenimore (on Fenimore’s birthday), Terry Miller, Barry Sanders and Hart Lee Dykes.

“Game-worn piece right here. Two-time Bedlam winner. How about that?” Bowman said as he pulled the front of the jersey for all to get a good look. “… We’re kinda on a roll right now, so I feel like, you know, what about some Josh Fields? So here we go.”

Fields won two Bedlam games as OSU’s quarterback, which Bowman reminded everyone of 21 years later after beating OU 27-24 in his only shot at the Sooners as a graduate transfer in the last Bedlam on the schedule.

“Obviously I think it means a lot – for the state of Oklahoma, for every OSU fan ever, for every ex-player that’s played here, I sent out a Tweet,” Bowman said. “Every player, more than likely, has had to take a loss to those players, to take a loss to Oklahoma. To be able to come out with the win on the last one in the series, it’s not just for me. It’s for everybody, for every coach, but it’s for every player, every fan that has had to deal with or go through stuff like this.

“So now the record doesn’t really matter. All that matters is the last one, and we got it.”

Bowman was not the brightest star in the Bedlam win, though. Those were the guys he was handing or throwing the ball to.

Bowman was 28-of-42 for 334 yards. He didn’t throw a touchdown pass, but he did have a 13-yard rushing touchdown to give his team a 14-7 lead in the second quarter when called upon on a quarterback draw. And though Bowman didn’t have a touchdown through the air, he also didn’t throw an interception. Bowman even had a tackle listed on the stat sheet.

Quite simply, Bowman did what he needed to do, whether that was put his body on the line to rumble into the end zone or hand the ball off for someone else to do just that.

Role player is a term often thrown around in the NBA, but rarely the sport of football. Especially in a day of NIL and players transferring to the place that best spotlights them. Despite being at his third destination after transferring twice (from Texas Tech and Michigan), Bowman has become a role player within OSU’s program. He’s like a point guard coming in to facilitate the football to Ollie Gordon, Brennan Presley or whichever playmaker has the hot hand that day, which Bowman seems to have a knack for finding who that guy is.

“Being at Michigan the past two years and understanding kind of how to game-manage with a bunch of good guys around you was a huge, huge help for me,” Bowman said. “Yes, I had the talent at Texas Tech to kind of run around and throw for a lot of yards, but to be able to learn how to manage a game, take care of the football.

“We have a bunch of really good players on this team. As long as I just don’t mess it up, right – facilitate it, throw it to the open guy, take care of the football, turn the run game, lead the offense, get everybody lined up, get motions right – we’re really, really, really hard to beat.”

OK, so that was quite a list managerial duties. Obviously being a “game manager” at quarterback is not nearly as simple, or even derogatory, as the term is often referenced as.

Bowman mentioned taking care of the football several times, which he has, especially against OU. Since throwing two interceptions in his first full game as QB1 against Iowa State, Bowman has thrown only two since in five games.

The only interception thrown against OU was actually from Gordon on a trick play. Then Bowman chased the defender down and ran him out of bounds as the only guy stopping a pick-6 and OU going up 28-17 in the fourth quarter. Ultimately, OU was stopped and punted. Then Bowman marched his offense 97 yards to take a 24-21 lead with 7:59 left after a 1-yard Gordon run.

“I do all this work to take care of the football and not turn the ball over, we give it to Ollie,” Bowman joked. “No, it’s no big deal, man.”

In a stat that the offensive line deservedly gets most of the credit, Bowman’s role in the Cowboys’ recent sack numbers is also underrated. OSU put out this week that in six Big 12 games and 238 pass attempts, OSU has given up only two sacks. The Pokes haven’t allowed a sack at all in three straight games.

“He’s been operating in a good way and understands if he doesn’t feel good about something the best thing to do is just throw it away and we’ll live another down,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said.

On that 97-yard drive that gave the Pokes’ a Bedlam lead they wouldn’t lose, Bowman didn’t throw anything away. In fact, the only passes of his to hit the turf were pass interference calls. Bowman was 4-for-4 for 43 yards on the drive that Gordon got to finish in the end zone striking the Heisman pose.

It wasn’t that 97 yards that got Bowman to where he’s at, though. It’s been much longer than that for him. It’s been six years, three schools, multiple injuries and a handful of position battles. This season alone Bowman didn’t earn the quarterback job until Week 4 after enduring a three-man rotation.

“To be able to be here, to be a part of this team, obviously there were parts of my career, I’ve been through injuries, been the backup at times, been benched, been through a bunch of stuff,” Bowman said. “So to be able to overcome some of those things and be a part of this team, have the guys believe in me, it’s just been unbelievable.”

From studying up on legends of Cowboys past, to managing a game so legends in the making can score touchdowns and win games, Alan Bowman understands his assignment at Oklahoma State.

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