The Texas Tech football team heads to the unfriendly environs of the deep Midwest to play Iowa State on Saturday.
The Red Raiders have rarely had an easy game in Ames, Iowa, and were throttled by the Cyclones on their last trip, 66-10.
Although Texas Tech (5-2, 3-1 Big 12) enters the game with a better record than the Cyclones (3-3, 2-2), Iowa State has been impressive lately. Cyclones fans stormed the field after their team defeated then-No. 6 West Virginia, 30-14, on October 13.
Iowa State’s bounce back from a 1-3 start to this season has coincided with the emergence of freshman quarterback Brock Purdy. The Cyclones inserted Purdy at quarterback in place of Zeb Noland against Oklahoma State and the freshman led Iowa State to a 48-42 victory on the road.
Purdy then added to his budding fame by starting against West Virginia and passing for 254 yards and three touchdowns.
Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said Purdy is just the latest addition to a talented Cyclones roster.
“(Purdy is) a big part of it, no question,” Kingsbury said. “They have wide outs that are 6-6 that can go up on anybody and make plays. The quarterback’s playing at a tremendous level. O-line is playing at a high level. They’re well-coached. I think it gets lost, they have really good personnel.”
The Red Raiders have a freshman sensation of their own as freshman quarterback Alan Bowman returned to the field after a lung injury and led Texas Tech to a 48-16 victory over Kansas on Saturday. Bowman passed for 408 yards and three touchdowns, showing no ill-effects of the collapsed lung that caused him to spend four nights in the hospital three weeks ago.
Like Purdy, Bowman has big targets to throw to in 6-6 receiver T.J. Vasher on one side and 6-5 Antoine Wesley on the other.
Texas Tech freshman cornerback Adrian Frye goes against the Red Raiders twin towers in practice, but he’ll have a slightly bigger challenge versus the Cyclones.
“I was kind of getting used to the size factor and having to play through those long-armed guys,” Frye said. “It’s kind of a little bit of an at-home thing, since I see those guys every day in practice. But those (Iowa State) guys are also a lot heavier than T.J. and Antoine, so that weight factor will be a little bit different.”