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Quarterback to Back: Alan Bowman, John Rhys Plumlee on Different 2023 Paths but Both Still Have Plenty at Stake

A look at the QB matchup between the Cowboys and Knights.



[Liz Parke/Big 12]

Fresh off of a rivalry-capping win, Alan Bowman is headed to Disney to lead his team through any potential Bedlam hangover. The Cowboys have everything in front of them and it will be up to Bowman, the game manager, to keep them from tripping up in these final three conference games.  On the other sideline is UCF’s John Rhys Plumlee, who’s taken a less desirable road through 2023, but whose team still has plenty at stake.

Before we dig into the difference between the two QBs, let’s see how their numbers stack up so far this year.

QB2B Bowman Plumlee
Att. 288 150
Comp. 169 95
Pct. 58.7% 63.3%
Yds 1914 1273
Yds/Att 6.6 8.5
TD 8 8
INT 5 7
Rating 120.21 142.89
QBR 66.7 (41st) 68.4 (36th)
Rushing TDs 2 4

Bowman is the vanilla pocket-passer who can move when he needs to. Plumlee brings more a dual-threat option but has three multiple-pick games this season. Each has taken a different path to get to this weekend’s game, and their goals are much different, but both have a lot at stake.

Bowman is the journeyman who has battled injuries in the past, with stops at Texas Tech and Michigan, before he found his footing in Stillwater. Since he was handed the reins of the Cowboys’ offense, he’s been a steadying facilitator that’s allowed Ollie Gordon II’s star to shine. He’s become known (and praised) for his choice to dial up the sideline and live to play another day instead of forcing the issue, something that has the Cowboys on pace to finish in the top third of the league in turnover margin for the first time since 2016.

Plumlee spent three seasons at Ole Miss before transferring to UCF. He missed three games this season due to a knee injury and then coughed up four turnovers in UCF’s loss to West Virginia. But last week, in a battle of winless Big 12 newcomers, his Knights squeaked out a win over Cincinnati when a late Bearcats two-point conversion attempt fell to the turf.

Bowman’s Cowboys can guarantee a ticket to Arlington and the Big 12 Championship by winning out. Plumlee’s Knights, fresh off their first conference win, need to win two of their final three just to get bowl eligible.

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