Red Raiders offense revving up with Bowman behind the wheel

Texas Tech quarterback Alan Bowman is second in the nation with 1,557 passing yards through four games. Elise Bressler photo

Efficiency in the red zone making a difference for Kingsbury and company.

Texas Tech ranks No. 1 in the nation in total offense (623.5 yards per game) and passing offense (435.8), and fifth in scoring offense (52 points per game).

That’s nothing new.

But the Red Raiders have jumped up in a couple of other important categories. After four weeks of the season, Texas Tech ranks fifth in time of possession and has a red-zone scoring percentage of .862. That last stat is just 64th in the nation, but it’s a lot better than the Red Raiders’ 69-percent clip in 2017.

“That was on offseason emphasis and a focus after we were disastrous there, last in the country last year,” Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “A lot of that’s on me, play-calling, play design down there. So we’ve emphasized it as a team, as a coaching staff. We did some offseason projects on it. So far, it’s paying off.”

The Red Raiders have been fantastically efficient on offense the last two weeks in wins over Houston and Oklahoma State. As a result, Texas Tech (3-1) checked in at No. 25 in the Associated Press poll this week.

For their next act, the Red Raiders host No. 12 West Virginia at 11 a.m. CT on Saturday at Jones AT&T Stadium.

The Mountaineers rank eighth nationally in total offense at 545.3 yards per game, positioned in between Texas Tech’s last two opponents. Houston is right behind the Red Raiders at 608.5 yards. Oklahoma State is 11th at 539 after Texas Tech held the Cowboys well below their previous clip.

But West Virginia (3-0) enters with a quarterback who tormented the Red Raiders a year ago. Mountaineer senior Will Grier passed for 352 yards and 5 touchdowns in a 46-35 victory over Texas Tech in 2017.

“(Grier will) be one of the top guys taken (in the NFL Draft) this year and should be,” Kingsbury said. “He’s got a family, he’s married and he’s mature, kind of like an NFL player already. I was hoping he would’ve left last year, but he stuck around and is playing through the roof.”