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Quarterback to Back: Alan Bowman and Quinn Ewers to Square Off for Big 12 Trophy

Both QBs have taken circuitous trips to Arlington.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

Their high schools in Grapevine and Southlake are less than 10 minutes apart, neither more than a half-hour drive from Arlington, but Oklahoma State’s Alan Bowman and Texas’ Quinn Ewers traveled a lot of miles to get a chance to square off this weekend.

It’s been a circuitous trip from Lubbock, through injury, to Ann Arbor and Stillwater, but Bowman is finally in Arlington with a shot to win a Big 12 championship. On the opposite sideline in Jerry World, Ewers, who also spent time in Big Ten county at Ohio State, will get his own first (and only) shot at the Big 12 trophy.

Before we dig into the matchup, here are the two quarterbacks’ numbers.

QB2B Bowman Ewers
Att. 414 305
Comp. 248 213
Pct. 59.9% 69.8%
Yds 2808 2709
Yds/Att 6.8 8.9
TD 10 17
INT 11 5
Rating 119.54 159.56
QBR 62.5 (60th) 74.5 (22nd)
Rushing TDs 2 5

While they share similarities, there is a lot that divides the two, starting with those numbers. Ewers is second only to Oklahoma’s Dillon Gabriel in most of the Big 12’s passing stats that matter, even earning the edge in completion percentage at 69.8%. He’s also thrown one less interception than Gabriel.

Ewers didn’t need to do much in the Longhorn’s 57-7 shellacking of Texas Tech, but he’s been exceptional and efficient all season. Since the start of Big 12 play, Ewers hasn’t thrown less than 65% in a single game and has only one multiple-INT game on the year (two in the loss to OU). Meanwhile, he’s captained Texas to 35.1 points per game. That’s a big reason the Longhorns are two-TD favorites, according to Vegas.

While his completion percentage hasn’t looked good on paper all year, Bowman took care of the ball for the first two-thirds of the season. (Many of the incompletions were intentional in order to avoid a worse play). But it’s seemed like Bowman has tried to do a little more over the last month, sometimes too much. He’s thrown six picks in the last three games. If we cherry-picked the UCF loss and last week’s BYU win (separated by two weeks), Bowman had a TD-to-INT ration of 0:5. The Cowboys were able to overcome his two picks to BYU. They can’t afford that against a top-10 team in a title game.

If the Cowboys want to pull the upset and finally take home some hardware from Arlington, they’re going to need a huge game from Ollie Gordon and the rest of their playmakers, and a huge game from their defense. But they’re going to need more than a just clean game from their QB. Bowman will need to find that balance between dynamic facilitator and reckless gunslinger. If he can do that and get the ball into the hands of his playmakers, he’ll give the Pokes a chance.

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