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Iowa State football: 5 things to know about Texas Tech

Texas Tech quarterback Alan Bowman (10) tries to hang onto the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football ga
Texas Tech quarterback Alan Bowman (10) tries to hang onto the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Kansas State Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

AMES — Matt Wells is in his second season as the coach of Texas Tech and he’s still trying to build up his program.

Here are five things to know about the Red Raiders, who visit Iowa State for a 2:30 p.m. game Saturday (ABC).

1. Sincerest form of flattery

Wells took over the Red Raiders after Cliff Kingsbury was fired in 2018 and Wells has gone 5-10 in the 15 games he’s coached. Texas Tech is 1-2 this season with a narrow 35-33 win over Houston Baptist, an overtime loss to Texas and a 10-point loss to Kansas State last week.

Wells is looking toward Iowa State and coach Matt Campbell as a blueprint for how he wants to build his program.

“Coach Campbell has established his program over the several years he’s been there,” Wells said. “They’re who we’re trying to be like in terms of the toughness and the discipline. We’re making those strides but we’re not there yet.”

2. Questionable quarterback

Texas Tech quarterback Alan Bowman got hurt early in the game against Kansas State last week after taking a late, low hit to the legs.

“Nothing is broken and nothing is fractured so he’ll be day-to-day,” Wells said.

Injuries, unfortunately, aren’t anything new for Bowman who redshirted last season after an early-season shoulder injury. He also missed four games when he was a true freshman in 2018 with a partially collapsed lung.

Bowman’s backup, Henry Colombi, who followed Wells from Utah State to Texas Tech, played relatively well. Colombi threw for 244 yards, two touchdowns and an interception on 30-for-42 passing against Kansas State. He also rushed eight times for 41 yards.

3. Emerging rushing attack

For years Texas Tech has had an air-raid offense, and the fact Colobi, the backup quarterback, threw the ball 42 times in a game that he didn’t play all four quarters suggests that it’s still an air-raid offense.

But the Red Raiders do have a couple young, dangerous running backs at their disposal.

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Sophomore SaRodorick Thompson is the Red Raiders’ leading rusher with 293 yards and four touchdowns on 50 attempts.

Fellow sophomore Xavier White saw his first significant playing time last week against Kansas State and made the most of it, rushing 12 times for 113 yards and a touchdown against the Wildcats.

4. Indefensible defense

Texas Tech has never been a program known for its defense in recent years but through three games this season, it’s as bad as it ever has been.

Seventy-four FBS teams have played a college football game this season and Texas Tech’s defense ranks 70th.

The Red Raiders have surrendered nearly 500 yards per game and 6.49 yards per play.

Opponents have averaged 42.3 points per game against Texas Tech

5. Familiar territory

Texas Tech’s offensive coordinator is David Yost, the longtime former Missouri offensive coordinator when it was in the Big 12.

Yost spent 12 seasons at Missouri and coached the likes of Brad Smith, Chase Daniel and Blaine Gabbert.

Smith was the first player in NCAA history to pass for at least 2,000 yards and rush for at least 1,000 in the same season, Daniel was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, and Gabbert was a top-10 NFL draft pick in 2011.

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