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Quarterback to Back: Alan Bowman, Houston’s Donovan Smith Have a Lot in Common

Both QBs are in need of a bounce back.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

Both the Cowboys and Cougars are in desperate need of a bounce-back game, and it starts with their two quarterbacks.

Oklahoma State quarterback Alan Bowman is fresh off his worst game as a Cowboy (maybe one of the worst of his career) as he tied his career most with three interceptions — for the first time without throwing a single touchdown. More important than individual lows, he was unable to captain his offense out of a wet paper sack. Soaked as they were in rain, the Cowboys mustered just three points. The Knights defense hadn’t held a team below 26 since Big 12 play started.

But he’s not the only passer coming into this game that had a rough go last week. Houston’s Donovan Smith threw three picks of his own last weekend on the way to his team’s 24-14 loss to a Cincinnati team that was 0-6 in conference play.

Both former Texas Tech QBs have a lot to prove; both still have plenty at stake. But that’s not all they have in common.

Before we dig into the matchup, here’s how Bowman and Smith compare on stat sheet.

QB2B Bowman Smith
Att. 324 348
Comp. 188 227
Pct. 58.0% 65.2%
Yds 2139 2405
Yds/Att 6.6 6.9
TD 8 20
INT 8 10
Rating 116.70 136.50
QBR 65.4 (45th) 65.6 (44th)
Rushing TDs 2 5

Statistically, Smith gets the upper hand in most categories. It is important to remember that Bowman wasn’t the guy for Weeks 1-3, but that doesn’t account for stuff like completion percentage (which we’ve been able to explain away as of late) or the uncharacteristic turnovers (what are less explainable). Pretty random that they’re right next to each other in ESPN’s QBR.

A Lot in Common

The two shared a quarterback room briefly in Lubbock. Both Bowman and Smith started their careers at Texas Tech. Bowman transferred to Michigan before Smith ever saw the field, but they did overlap during 2020, Smith’s true freshman season.

And Smith is no stranger to the Cowboys thanks to his time as a Red Raider. Last year, Smith’s starting streak ended with the OSU game when Behren Morton took his spot (mostly due to Smith’s own TO woes). Smith did attempt one pass in the loss to OSU. Two years ago, Smith was the starter in Stillwater. The Cowboys blanked Tech 23-0 on their way to a Big 12 title game. OSU fans hope they can do something similar this year.

Now, the final thing they have in common. Both are coming off three-pick outings last week and both have to shake it off and fast. For Smith, he needs to will his team to wins in the final two games to keep Houston’s bowl streak alive. For Bowman and the Cowboys, a Big 12 championship ticket is still on the table. But they’ll need to win out, too. Whichever one can bounce back the best will get to play spoiler to his counterpart.

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