LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Tech quarterback Alan Bowman knows exactly when his team’s no-huddle offense is working.

When he watched opponents looking to their sideline tapping their helmets, that means they’re asking for a substitution so they can take a break. After his team’s 45-10 win over Montana State on Saturday at Jones AT&T Stadium, Bowman expressed his enjoyment in making his opponents feel exhausted.

In 95 degree heat, which an official said translated to 110 degrees on the field turf, Texas Tech chipped away at MSU’s defense on its first two possessions of the game which resulted in touchdowns.

“This could have been a very intimidating environment coming out here,” Bobcats head coach Jeff Choate said. “There’s no way to simulate what we were going to get ourselves into, but I thought our guys handled it very well.”

With every play, the Red Raiders scrambled to the new line of scrimmage. They sometimes were so fast they had to wait to snap the ball before it had been handed over from the referees.

Choate said the Red Raiders were going to be difficult to prepare for no matter what because of that fast pace and Bowman’s explosive capabilities.

MSU safety Brayden Konkol didn’t feel the heat or the high tempo affected the game, but the Red Raiders felt differently. The Bobcats were forced to call a timeout on the first possession to give their players a break. And by the second half, some Bobcats were slow to their feet after a play because they were stretching out.

“I think that’s something that we feed on,” said Texas Tech head coach Matt Wells, who won his first game with the Red Raiders. “We want to play fast, we want to be physical up front, we want to continue to put the pedal down.

“And I think as soon as you can see your opponent tired and tapping his helmet and needing a break, I think it gives you a little bit more internal motivation as an offensive player.”

Bauman stands up to pressure in first start

Evading pressure, Casey Bauman kept looking forward.

The MSU redshirt freshman rolled right and located Willie Patterson on a corner route. As Patterson found a soft spot in Texas Tech’s defense, Bauman fired away. His pass floated just over the reach of a Red Raiders safety and into Patterson’s hands.

Bauman’s first career start wasn’t perfect. Sometimes far from it. But in the house of a Big 12 program, he didn’t freeze.

“Once I got the nerves out and started feeling myself and playing my game, I think it went better for us,” Bauman said. “I think once we got moving, we were able to do some good things.”

The young signal caller from Sumas, Washington, completed 7 of 19 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown. While he missed a few open receivers, Bauman also didn’t throw an interception.

Choate said Bauman’s mental development was key in choosing him over preseason favorite Tucker Rovig to be MSU’s man behind center. Choate didn’t expect Bauman to play like a four-year starter, but he did display patience and mobility while only taking one sack.

His highlight moment was MSU’s lone scoring drive. He threw an accurate pass to Kevin Kassis to convert a third and 11 for a 35-yard gain. Then he successfully read Texas Tech’s defense and hit Coy Steel for a 31-yard touchdown.

“I think in the first half, we had some wide open guys, and (Bauman) wasn’t able to put the ball on them. But he did some nice things for us as the game progressed. I thought he did a better job of calming down and taking what was available. He stood in the pocket and took some shots, and I was really proud of that,” Choate said. “And we can continue to evolve in that way.”

Bobcats rotate, struggle up front

Backed up only a few inches from their own end zone, the Bobcats needed some room to operate.

So MSU offensive coordinator Matt Miller called for a quarterback sneak just to pick up a few cheap yards. Bauman needed to find a gap, and MSU’s offensive line just needed to create it.

But those linemen were met in a stalemate. Twice.

The Bobcats rotated their offensive and defensive linemen often to keep them fresh. But they still didn’t have enough power against the Texas Tech. Their offense often didn’t have enough room to operate, and its defense didn’t pressure Bowman enough to create any serious dilemmas for him.

As a team, MSU rushed for 127 yards to Texas Tech’s 255. While the Bobcats allowed just one sack, they also only sacked Bowman once, which was a priority for MSU. And despite how quickly the Red Raiders found the end zone on their scoring drives, they still won the time of possession by over a minute.

But defensive end Bryce Sterk, who recorded MSU’s sack, isn’t discouraged. He figures MSU’s linemen will bounce back against FCS teams.

“I’m excited for next week and the weeks after that,” Sterk said. “I think the sky’s the limit for this D-line and this team.”

Colton Pool can be reached at or 406-582-2690. Follow him on Twitter @CPoolReporter.

Colton Pool can be reached at or 406-582-2690. Follow him on Twitter @CPoolReporter.