Defensive purists, avert your eyes.
In what was expected to be an offensive shootout, Texas Tech and Houston exceeded most of those expectations as the Red Raiders claimed a 63-49 win in a decidedly defense-optional affair. The two teams combined for 1,339 yards of offense (TT 717, UH 24) and 64 first downs (TT 36, UH 24), yet still combined to punt the ball away 13 times (TT 7, UH 6).
Alan Bowman was easily the star of the offensive show staged by both squads in Lubbock. Making his second career start, Bowman threw for 605 yards and five touchdowns on his 59 pass attempts (72.9 completion percentage). The yardage broke the school’s freshman record previously set by current Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Pat Mahomes.
Bowman was at least within shouting distance of the all-time single-game FBS record of 734 first set by Washington State’s Connor Halliday in 2014 and then matched by Mahomes two years later. He also fell just short of breaking the freshman record of 611 yards set by Nevada’s David Neill in 1998, but did break the Big 12 record for a first-year player.
On the receiving end of a sizable chunk of Bowman’s yardage was Antoine Wesley, who caught 13 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns. Wesley’s yardage total set a school record as well.
In a losing effort, D’Eriq King set career-highs for both passing yards (431) and passing touchdowns (five). King also added a touchdown on the ground for good measure.
Iowa State will indeed have a 12-game regular season — probably.
Wednesday afternoon, Iowa State announced that it will play FCS Incarnate Word on Saturday, Dec. 1. That matchup will replace the season opener against South Dakota State, which was canceled because of inclement weather.
That December game, though, is dependent on the Cyclones not playing in the Big 12 championship game and the Cardinals not qualifying for the FCS playoffs. As Iowa State has finished above .500 in conference play just once the last decade (5-4 in 2015) and Incarnate Word has never won more than six games in a season, it’s a safe bet that the game will go off as scheduled.
“Although it’s been a challenging process to identify a school that was willing and able to play in Ames on Dec. 1, we are thankful to the Cardinals’ Athletics Director Brian Wickstrom and Coach Eric Morris in helping us schedule this game,” ISU athletic director Jamie Pollard said in a statement. “We explored multiple options to give our student-athletes every opportunity to compete and, ultimately, be eligible to participate in a bowl game. Our student-athletes only have so many chances in their career to play collegiate football. I’m very grateful to the administration at UIW for helping us provide our student-athletes, as well as our marching band and spirit squad another chance to represent Iowa State University.”
ISU will pay the FCS school $300,000 for the game, and will also provide use of a charter aircraft to fly the football team into Des Moines.
Incarnate Word has opened the 2018 season with a pair of losses to FBS teams — 62-30 to New Mexico and 58-16 to North Texas. ISO lost to in-state rival Iowa 13-3 in Week 2.
Not that there was much doubt, but it appears the Quan Shorts era in Lubbock has officially come to an end.
Earlier this month, Kliff Kingsbury announced that the wide receiver had been dismissed from his football team for unspecified reasons, although it turned out that the dismissal came on the heels of a second arrest this offseason. Monday, Shorts confirmed via his personal Twitter account that he “just received my official release from Texas Tech University.”
“I am excited to now begin focusing on finding the right environment (academic/athletic,” Shorts wrote, “to continue to SELF-IMPROVE and grow into the man God desires me to be.”
Shorts started three games this past season, with his nine receptions producing 109 yards and a pair of touchdowns. As a redshirt freshman in 2016, Shorts caught five passes for 124 yards and a touchdown.
If Shorts heads to a lower level of college football to continue his playing career, he’d have two years of eligibility remaining. He would have to sit out the 2018 season if he decides to move on to another FBS program, which would leave the receiver with one year of eligibility that he could use in 2019.
Texas Tech’s task of replacing four of their top five receivers from last season appears as though it will be an even bigger uphill batter than first thought.
Red Raiders head coach Kliff Kingsbury announced on Thursday evening that wide receiver Quan Shorts has been dismissed from the team and that the school would not be commenting further on the matter. It turns out there’s a good reason for that even if it still is a bit vague at the moment.
Per Lubbock Avalanche-Journal beat writer Don Williams, Shorts was booked into the county jail this afternoon so it took less than two hours for the program to formally cut ties.
The redshirt junior from Humble, Texas made three starts last year and has played in 18 games the past two seasons. He had just nine catches in 2017 but two of them went for touchdowns and he was expected to be a potential starter given how wide open the depth chart was looking for nearly every skill position spot on offense.
While the Red Raiders’ depth at receiver is no doubt hampered by this news, the team did add former Oregon State QB/WR Seth Collins in April and he could be in for an increased workload given this bit of news out Lubbock. Either way, a very large season looms for Kingsbury at his alma mater in 2018 and the exodus out of town (by a variety of players for a variety of reasons) isn’t a super encouraging sign as we hit mid-June.
Not surprisingly, there are some football-related repercussions for a quartet of Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Over the weekend, four Red Raider football players, quarterback Jett Duffey, wide receiver Quan Shorts, defensive back Desmond Smith and linebacker Christian Taylor, were arrested following an incident outside of a Lubbock nightclub. Duffey and Taylor were charged with criminal mischief, while Shorts and Smith are facing one count each of disorderly conduct.
Tuesday, head coach Kliff Kingsbury announced that all four of those players have been indefinitely suspended from the football team.
Duffey is expected to compete with McLane Carter for the starting quarterback job.
Shorts has 14 catches for 233 yards and two touchdowns in 18 career games. Smith started at cornerback for the Red Raiders last season and was credited with 46 tackles and one interception. Taylor appeared in all 13 games in 2017, registering five tackles.