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Iowa State football: 5 things to know about Texas Tech

Red Raiders have a defense to go along with prolific offense this season

Texas Tech Red Raiders quarterback Alan Bowman (10) drops back to pass during Saturday’s game against Kansas. (Michael C. Johnson/USA TODAY Sports)
Texas Tech Red Raiders quarterback Alan Bowman (10) drops back to pass during Saturday’s game against Kansas. (Michael C. Johnson/USA TODAY Sports)

AMES — The Big 12’s best offense and defense square off Saturday in Ames as Iowa State (3-3, 2-2 Big 12) hosts Texas Tech (5-2, 3-1).

Here are 5 Things Iowa State fans need to know about the Red Raiders.

1. Golden boy

Texas Tech Coach Kliff Kingsbury returned to his alma mater in 2012 when he became the school’s 15th head coach.

Kingsbury’s seat was a little warm in the offseason after two straight losing seasons, but he seems to have found some Freon to cool his seat. He’s led the Red Raiders to wins over Big 12 powers Oklahoma State and TCU as well as wins over Lamar, Houston and Kansas.

Kingsbury, a former quarterback, has a reputation as a quarterback whisperer. He has four former quarterbacks in the NFL, including the Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes, who is taking the NFL by storm. The other four are the Denver Broncos’ Case Keenum, New York Jets’ Davis Webb and Washington Redskins’ Nic Shimonek. He also coached Johnny Manziel while an assistant at Texas A&M.

2. The next in line

True freshman Alan Bowman is the next quarterback in line for Kingsbury and the Red Raiders to put up ridiculous stats.

Bowman leads the Big 12 in passing yards per game with 348. His season high came against Houston when he passed for 605 yards.

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He’s passed for 2,088 yards, 14 touchdowns and only four interceptions while completing 71 percent of his passes through seven games.

Bowman comes from an athletic family. Both of his sisters played soccer for Oklahoma and his dad, Kirk Bowman, was a tight end for Penn State from 1980-83 and was part of Penn State’s 1982 national championship.

3. Reliable target

Passing the football is a two-man deal. Bowman has proved himself to be a good quarterback, but his receivers deserve some credit, too.

Antoine Wesley leads the Red Raiders in receiving with 858 yards and six touchdowns. Wesley also averages 17.2 yards per reception, which is fifth in the Big 12.

Ja’Deion High is Texas Tech’s second-leading receiver. High has 538 yards and three touchdowns.

4. Decent defense?

Texas Tech always will put up numbers offensively with its air-raid attack. But the Red Raiders defense might actually be decent this season.

Texas Tech led the Big 12 in turnovers forced last season with 29. But it still gave up 32.2 points per game, eighth in the Big 12 ahead of only Kansas and Baylor.

This season, the Red Raiders are allowing 26.4 points per game, down nearly a touchdown from 2017.

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Texas Tech’s defense is led by Dakota Allen, a former star of the Netflix series "Last Chance U." Allen has 52 tackles and 5.5 tackles for a loss. The Red Raiders haven’t lost their aggressiveness from last season that allowed them to force 29 turnovers. Adrian Frye leads Texas Tech, and the Big 12, with four interceptions and 10 pass breakups.

5. Multiple Mascots

Texas Tech has two mascots, both awesome in their own way. The oldest is The Masked Rider, who rides a black horse into the stadium before home games. The Masked Rider became an official mascot in 1954, but the tradition of people riding around the field before games started in 1936 when “ghost riders” did it.

The mascot looks a lot like Zorro and it was the first mounted mascot in the country.

The other mascot is Raider Red. Unlike The Masked Rider, Raider Red travels and looks more like a traditional mascot.

In fact, he looks remarkably like Yosemite Sam from the Looney Tunes.

Raider Red was created in 1971.

l Comments: benv43@gmail.com

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