Alan Bowman passed for 402 yards against Texas A&M, his most in three years and he expects his eligibility to be resolved in the next two weeks.
HOUSTON — By now, after 14 games with the Cowboys, Alan Bowman has the routine down pat.
Before the media started cramming around him in a hot, stuffy corner of the NRG Stadium press room, he turned and jerked his thumbs over his shoulder, pointing to the name on the jersey.
As is his ritual, Bowman celebrated an OSU victory by sporting a game-used jersey of a past Cowboy football legend. After OSU’s 31-23 Texas Bowl win against Texas A&M on Wednesday, it was a Brandon Weeden jersey.
It may have been the last time Bowman, a senior now out of eligibility, partakes in this postgame tradition. His future awaits an NCAA ruling on a medical hardship waiver application.
Offensive coordinator Kasey Dunn couldn’t offer a definitive solution to next year’s quarterback quandary.
“We’re in great hands at the quarterback position… the room is deep and I’m excited where we’re going with it,” Dunn said.
OSU has five starting offensive linemen returning along with Ollie Gordon, the nation’s leading rusher. “Dangerous,” Bowman said of what the offense could look like next season. “Dangerous for sure.”
On Wednesday, Bowman was dangerous, throwing for a season-high 402 yards, his most in a game since 2020 with Texas Tech, and completed 34 of 49 attempts. He balanced two touchdowns with two interceptions. He completed all five of his passes on OSU’s final offensive possession.
That drive ended with Alex Hale’s missed field-goal attempt, but it left Texas A&M with just 17 seconds.
Bowman became a stable presence that unlocked OSU’s offense after a turbulent 2-1 start. The Cowboys finished 8-3 with him as their starter.
“(Bowman) had a huge impact,” said junior receiver Rashod Owens, the Texas Bowl MVP after his 10-catch, 164-yard, two-touchdown performance. “He played a big role with, especially, a lot of changes happening throughout the season and everything. But he always stayed positive no matter the course.”
Bowman finished second among Big 12 quarterbacks with 3,460 passing yards behind OU’s Dillon Gabriel. But he also led the league with 14 interceptions this season and his 60.7 completion percentage puts him No. 11 out of 12.
Bowman said two weeks ago he’d be “honored” to play at OSU next season. He submitted a medical hardship waiver after the Big 12 Championship Game and is a good candidate to get approved.
“I haven’t heard anything,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “We talked about this, the timeline with him we don’t know much. It could be three days, could be three weeks. I mean, I couldn’t imagine it could be more than three weeks because you have all the other things going on with college football now…”
Bowman was asked if the looming decision made him anxious.
“Those guys in the NCAA are celebrating Christmas and New Year’s and stuff like that so we’ll be probably my guess 10, 15 days until we know, so it will be not stressful but very anticipating so we’ll see how it goes.”
OSU’s 2024 options at quarterback include Garret Rangel has started four games across the past two seasons and played in nine. He’s completed 51.7% of his passes and thrown six touchdowns and six interceptions.
True freshman Zane Flores hasn’t played but drew high praise from Gundy in September. Dunn mentioned incoming freshman Maeliauaki Smith, the top-rated recruit in OSU’s 2024 high school class, saying OSU will be deep at quarterback.
“Zane is talented, so is Garret, so it will be interesting moving forward into spring how the dynamic at quarterback changes, well, not changes, but (sorts) its way out,” Dunn said.