Alan Bowman threw three touchdown passes, two to T.J. Vasher, and Texas Tech rode another strong defensive performance under new coach Matt Wells to a 38-3 victory over UTEP on Saturday night.
The Red Raiders (2-0) cruised despite a sluggish start from the offense a week after Bowman had the most yards passing in the nation. The sophomore was 30 of 45 with an interception for 260 yards after throwing for 436 yards in a 45-10 win over FCS team Montana State in Wells’ debut.
Texas Tech allowed just 131 yards total offense for the Miners (1-1), the fewest the Red Raiders have given up since setting the school record by limiting Northwestern State of the FCS to 84 yards in the 2012 opener. It was Texas Tech’s eighth straight win against UTEP, going back to 1963.
Vasher had team highs of six catches and 78 yards, with a 13-yard touchdown for a 14-0 lead and a punctuating 30-yarder over the shoulder as he crossed the goal line for a 31-0 lead late in the third quarter.
Dalton Rigdon took a screen pass 49 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter, while Armand Shyne and Ta’Zhawn Henry each had a touchdown rushing. The Red Raiders rushed for 160 yards a week after getting their most on the ground in a season opener since 2000 with 255.
UTEP changed quarterbacks at halftime, replacing Brandon Jones with Kai Locksley. But it didn’t make much difference. Jones was 4 of 12 for 21 yards with minus-1 yard rushing, and Locksley finished 3 of 7 for 33 yards with 21 yards on the ground.
UTEP: The Miners have to feel a little better about themselves a week after barely winning at home against Houston Baptist, an FCS school with just one victory each of the past two seasons. The defense kept Bowman from getting too comfortable and frustrated the Texas Tech offense at times.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders went backward offensively with just 78 plays for 424 yards after saying they wanted to speed things up from the 95 plays for 691 yards they had against Montana State. The low point came when Bowman badly overthrew a wide open Rigdon on third down to force Texas Tech’s third punt midway through the third quarter.
UTEP: Nevada at home Sept. 21.
Texas Tech: Visits Arizona next Saturday in the first meeting between the schools in 30 years. They were in the Border Conference together from 1932-55.
AP Only 2019