Texas Tech Football vs. UTEP

Redshirt freshman running back Sarodorick Thompson jukes out a UTEP defender during the game at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at Jones AT&T Stadium. The Red Raiders defeated the Miners, 38-3.

The Texas Tech football team’s performance in its first two games of the season has earned the Red Raiders national recognition as they rank at the top of all teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) in several categories.

Sophomore quarterback Alan Bowman ranked in the top 25 in multiple categories after the first two weeks of college football, according to the NCAA. Of all teams in the FBS, Bowman ranked 9th in passing yards with 696 yards, 13th in total offense with 710 yards and 23rd in completion percentage with .714 percent. Among the Big 12, Bowman ranks first in passing yards per game and fifth in passing touchdowns with five touchdowns. 

Along with Bowman, senior linebacker Jordyn Brooks is among one of the most effective tacklers as he ranked 11th in the FBS and second in the Big 12 with 22 total tackles, according to the NCAA. Brooks led the Red Raiders with 11 total tackles in Tech’s game against Montana State and University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).

“I think Jordyn Brooks is a big-time linebacker,” head coach Matt Wells said. “He practices really good. He’s a football junkie. He can blitz. He can come in gaps skinny and come out thick and that’s a natural art.”

Junior wide receiver T.J. Vasher proved a top receiver in the conference as he ranked fifth in the Big 12 in receiving touchdowns with two, according to the Big 12. Vasher also ranked fifth in the conference with 150 receiving yards while sophomore Dalton Rigdon ranked ninth in the Big 12 with 128 receiving yards.

“(Vasher’s) been pretty consistent the last few weeks,” Wells said. “It’s just a matter of getting him the ball and getting him in space and being accurate with the ball. T.J.’s got such a huge catch radius, he’s very, very quarterback friendly.”

On the ground, both redshirt freshman Sarodorick Thompson and senior Armand Shyne ranked fourth in rushing touchdowns in the Big 12 with two touchdowns each, according to the Big 12. Shyne also ranked sixth in the Big 12 with 170 rushing yards total this season.

As a team, the Red Raiders ranked second in the nation as the team’s defense has only allowed its opponents to convert four times in 31 attempts on third down, according to Tech Athletics game notes.

“I think probably the best part of (getting stops on third down), again, is getting teams behind the chains early in the count, early in the downs, the series, whatever it’s called,” Wells said. “But I hadn’t been in very many third and shorts, chances go up getting off the field.”

While Tech ranked second in stopping opponents on third down, the Red Raiders’ defense also ranked third in the FBS and first in the Big 12 as they only allowed 6.5 points per game, according to the game notes. As the Red Raiders have kept opponents from scoring, Tech ranked ninth in the nation and second in the conference in total yards allowed as the defense only allowed 210.0 yards per game.

The defense has found success in preventing passing yards as Tech ranked seventh in the nation and second in the Big 12 as the Red Raiders only allowed 108.0 passing yards per game, according to the game notes.

Tech’s offense as a whole ranked ninth in the FBS and third in the Big 12 with 557.5 total offensive yards per game, according to the game notes. The Red Raiders also ranked 13th in the nation and third in the conference in passing offense with 350.0 yards per game.

Compared to the rest of the conference, Tech is one of five teams in the Big 12 with a 2-0 overall record, according to the Big 12. No. 12 Texas, Kansas and West Virginia were the only teams in the Big 12 to record a loss after the first week of college football.

With the Red Raiders ranking at the top of the FBS in several categories, Tech will continue its season against Arizona at 9:30 p.m. for its first road game under Wells’ guidance.

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