Texas Tech vs. Lamar Preview: Red Raiders try to bounce back

Red Raiders quarterback Alan Bowman (left) celebrates with wide receiver Ja'Deion High (88) and running back Tre King (24) after scoring a touchdown during the second quarter against Mississippi at NRG Stadium.Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Alan Bowman likely to make first college start, defense needs improvement versus Cardinals.

Texas Tech will kick off versus Lamar at 3:15 p.m. CT on Saturday at AT&T Jones Stadium in Lubbock.

Here are the key elements:

PLAYERS TO WATCH

QB Alan Bowman had a decent debut when he was thrust into action against Ole Miss. He completed 29 of 49 passes for 273 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. A true freshman who enrolled at Texas Tech in the spring, Bowman showed the moment wasn’t too big for him.

RB Da’Leon Ward ran hard and smart as he gained 90 yards on 17 carries with a 15-yard touchdown. He seems to be close to breaking a big run and having a monster game in the near future.

WR T.J. Vasher made one of the highlight catches of the first weekend of college football when he leapt and snagged a one-handed reception while falling backward. The play ignited the Red Raiders first touchdown drive of the season. He finished with 4 catches for 66 yards.

LB/DE Tony Jones didn’t get a lot of attention in spring ball or two-a-day practice. But when the lights came on, he did what he seems to do on a regular basis — he made plays. Jones had 6 tackles, including a sack and another TFL. That put him well on his way to his total of 4 sacks among 7 TFLs in 2017.

SERIES HISTORY: Texas Tech leads the all-time series versus Lamar, 2-0. The Red Raiders won the last meeting, 59-28, in 1988.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We talked about doing the little things right this week, getting back to the basics and playing a much cleaner game. When you play a quality opponent like Ole Miss and you make that many mistakes and get behind that early, you’re not going to win those games and our guys understand that.” – Kliff Kingsbury on responding to mental mistakes, personal foul penalties that Texas Tech committed against Ole Miss.

KEY MATCHUP: Texas Tech front seven versus Lamar QB Darrel Colbert. Colbert showed off his dual-threat ability in the Cardinals’ season-opener versus Kentucky Christian as he passed for 179 yards and 3 TDs and rushed for 61 and another score. Lamar made short work of an NAIA opponent, but now Colbert will get to show what he can do against a Power 5 opponent. The Red Raiders gave up big plays against Ole Miss last week and will be working to correct that habit.

ROSTER REPORT:

QB McLane Carter suffered a high ankle sprain in the first quarter versus Ole Miss. Kingsbury said he’ll be a game-time decision against Lamar, but considering that Carter wasn’t in position to go back in the game in Houston, it’s unlikely he’ll be able to play this week. It appears that will make freshman Alan Bowman the starter versus Lamar.

S Jah’Shawn Johnson missed the Ole Miss game as he continues to recover from a shoulder injury. Kingsbury said he hopes to have Johnson back in practice in the next couple of weeks.

DB Vaughnte Dorsey was ejected for targeting in the second half versus Ole Miss. He’ll have to sit out the first half versus Lamar.

CB Desmon Smith was ejected for targeting in the first quarter versus Ole Miss. He’ll be eligible to return to action to start the Lamar game.

CB Octavious Morgan suffered a lower leg injury in the first scrimmage of training camp. It appears that he is out for the season, though Texas Tech hasn’t said that officially.

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