7:00 PM ET, October 9, 2004
Jones AT&T Stadium, LUBBOCK, TX
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) -- Nebraska has never looked this bad.
Texas Tech handed the Cornhuskers the worst loss in their storied 114-year history Saturday night, with Sonny Cumbie throwing for 436 yards and five touchdowns in a 70-10 win.
"I'm very disappointed in our team's effort," first-year coach Bill Callahan said. "We are certainly capable of being a better ball club. It just came down to turnovers and we had a lot of them in the second half."
Tech (4-2, 2-1 Big 12) forced seven turnovers and recorded its first victory in eight tries against Nebraska (3-2, 1-1 Big 12), which set school records for points allowed and margin of defeat.
Before Saturday, the most points scored against Nebraska came in a 62-36 loss to Colorado in 2001. Nebraska's largest previous margin of defeat was 54, set in a 54-0 loss to Minnesota in 1943 and matched in a 54-0 loss to Indiana in 1944 and a 61-7 loss to Minnesota in 1945.
Tech coach Mike Leach said he didn't know about the record until about five minutes remained.
"We were just trying to play efficiently," he said.
It was a numbing low for a longtime power that hasn't contended for a national title in recent years.
The Huskers won two national championships in the 1970s under Bob Devaney and three more in the 1990s under Tom Osborne. They had nine wins or more for 33 straight seasons and spent 54 straight weeks in the AP Top 10 before going 7-7 in 2002 under Frank Solich.
Solich replaced the retired Osborne in 1998 but was fired after last season despite going 10-3 and finishing 58-19 in six seasons.
Callahan was brought in after a long search, and the former Oakland Raiders coach replaced Nebraska's traditional run-first mentality with an offense that emphasized the short pass.
But Saturday, the passing game backfired on Nebraska, which threw five interceptions and set up easy Tech scores. Four interceptions and both Nebraska fumbles came after halftime. And Tech converted most into scores.
"We kept allowing them opportunities to keep scoring and we just basically gave the game away," Nebraska safety Daniel Bullocks said. "They took advantage of our mistakes."
Nebraska scored to make it 21-10 after halftime, and Callahan thought his team still had a chance.
"I thought we had Tech right where we wanted them," he said. "I also felt the game was in reach as we made it a two-possession game and we had a chance to come back, but it just turned into a catch-up game."
Five of Tech's last six possessions began in Nebraska territory: at the 41, 14, 8, 6 and 12.
"I never saw anything like it," Tech defensive end Adell Duckett said. "The last nine minutes took forever. Everyone got involved, it was good stuff."
Cumbie, who came into the game leading the nation in passing yards at 417 yards a game, threw TD passes of 22, 80, 6, 3 and 2 yards. It was his sixth straight game of more than 350 yards passing and his fourth of more than 400 yards this season.
Cumbie completed 44 of 56 passes, including 14 straight in the third quarter, and had one interception. His longest TD pass came late in the first half when he found Jarrett Hicks on the left sideline for an 80-yarder that made it 21-3.
It was the longest TD pass by Tech since Leach brought his aerial offense five years ago. The longest previous pass came in Tech's 49-45 win over Mississippi last season when B.J. Symons threw a 70-yard TD toss to Carlos Francis.
Hicks said the team was looking for a strong rebound after its 28-13 loss at Oklahoma last week.
"The biggest thing is we play more relaxed at home in front of our own fans," said Hicks, who caught three passes for 103 yards. "Once the crowd gets behind us, I don't think there's anybody that can stop us."
Tech has scored 70 points in each of its two home games this year. The Red Raiders beat TCU 70-35 in September after trailing by 21.
Tech running back Taurean Henderson scored the first rushing touchdown against Nebraska in the past 26 quarters when he capped an 86-yard drive on a 3-yard run to give the Red Raiders a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Henderson scored three touchdowns, one passing and two rushing. Johnnie Mack also scored three.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||6-19||8-14|
|4th Down Conversions||2-3||2-2|
|TD||6:23||JARRETT HICKS 22 YD PASS FROM SONNY CUMBIE (ALEX TRLICA KICK)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 74 yards.
|TD||10:35||TAUREAN HENDERSON 3 YD RUN (ALEX TRLICA KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 86 yards.
|FG||4:53||DAVID DYCHES 46 YD FG|
Drive info: 4 plays, -2 yards.
|TD||1:14||JARRETT HICKS 80 YD PASS FROM SONNY CUMBIE (ALEX TRLICA KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 85 yards.
|TD||14:07||MARK LEFLORE 74 YD PASS FROM JOE DAILEY (SANDRO DEANGELIS KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||4:16||JOHNNIE MACK 6 YD PASS FROM SONNY CUMBIE (ALEX TRLICA KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 69 yards.
|TD||2:24||BRISTOL OLOMUA 3 YD PASS FROM SONNY CUMBIE (ALEX TRLICA KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 41 yards.
|TD||2:03||JOHNNIE MACK 14 YD RUN (ALEX TRLICA KICK)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 14 yards.
|TD||11:16||TAUREAN HENDERSON 1 YD RUN (ALEX TRLICA KICK)|
Drive info: 14 plays, 64 yards.
|TD||9:36||NEHEMIAH GLOVER 2 YD PASS FROM SONNY CUMBIE (ALEX TRLICA KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 8 yards.
|TD||9:05||JOHNNIE MACK 6 YD RUN (ALEX TRLICA KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 6 yards.
|TD||7:14||TAUREAN HENDERSON 6 YD PASS FROM CODY HODGES (ALEX TRLICA KICK)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 12 yards.