Two-time transfer and sixth-year quarterback Alan Bowman became the first OSU passer to play a complete game Saturday when OSU lost 34-27 at Iowa State. Afterward his coach wouldn’t say whether he won the job.
AMES, Iowa — Oklahoma State quarterback Alan Bowman heard the play and knew what the formation meant.
A running back to his right and two receivers out wide. It was a quarterback run all the way.
“I knew that was kind of for me,” Bowman said of offensive coordinator Kasey Dunn’s first-quarter call from the Iowa State 12. “Stick it up in there, bounce it outside (to the right) and there was nobody there between me and the goal line. Race to the end zone.”
Bowman cut to the right, got his feet tangled in Ben Nikkel’s diving tackle attempt and fell forward. His facemask hit first, planting in the end zone and a 7-0 OSU lead.
“I think that kind of got the party started, for sure,” Bowman said.
After sharing snaps with Garret Rangel and Gunnar Gundy through three games, Bowman started and played the entire game Saturday when OSU fell 34-27 at Jack Trice Stadium. He threw two touchdown passes and a pair of interception, the last of which ended Cowboy comeback hopes with 1:20 remaining.
Bowman’s 20-yard touchdown pass to Rashod Owens made it a one-score game with 2:46 remaining. When an OSU defense that struggled most of the afternoon held, Bowman got the ball back 24 seconds later. Iowa State’s T.J. Tampa intercepted a Bowman pass thrown late and behind Talyn Shettron at the Cyclone 39 to clinch it.
“It was good to get out there and get in a rhythm with the offense and the team,” Bowman said afterward in his first in-season interview. “I think we moved the ball well in the first half and was pleased with what we were able to do. Obviously, just came up short in the end.”
Bowman, a sixth-year senior, had trouble recalling the last time he scored a touchdown. For the record, it came four years and two teams ago, on a 5-yard run in Texas Tech’s season-opening 45-10 win over Montana State on Aug. 31, 2019.
He suffered a cracked collarbone two games later, a benching the next season and a 2022 relegation to third-string after transferring to Michigan.
Hours before kickoff Saturday, OSU play-by-play announcer Dave Hunziker broke the news that Bowman would start. He passed for 278 yards while competing 23 of 48 attempts, four shy of his total in the Cowboys’ first three games.
“It looked like he played pretty good,” OSU head coach Mike Gundy said. “Decision making, what I heard on the headphones, seemed to be good. I didn’t hear of a lot of poor decisions so I thought he played pretty good.”
Yet Gundy refused to say whether Bowman had earned the starting job going forward.
“I can’t give you that answer right now,” he said after OSU fell to 2-2 headed into a bye week.
Gundy said Bowman got the nod as OSU’s starter because he practiced well last week and gave OSU a good chance against ISU’s defensive scheme.
There were bad plays, such the interceptions and when he took a sack for a 17-yard loss in the third quarter. There were good plays, such as a fourth-and-10 throw that led Owens to the front left pylon for a top-tap touchdown.
“He made some great throws in there down the stretch and they gave us a chance,” Dunn said. “You know that touchdown throw toward the end was a fantastic ball.”
Dunn said he thought Bowman benefited from playing the entire game instead of having to worry about coming out. Bowman said he started the second half slowly, but felt like he was able to let it rip as he settled in.
“Going though the first three games, a punt wasn’t the best thing because you wanted to score as many points as you could because you only have a certain amount of plays,” Bowman said. “But kind of getting a full game under your belt and being able to settle in, it’s been a lot better. I felt more confident out there.”