LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) -- Texas Tech needed a little time to figure
out a tricky Baylor defense Saturday.
Once the Red Raiders did, the game was over.
Graham Harrell threw for 483 yards and four touchdowns -- three
to Joel Filani -- and Tech scored five touchdowns in the equivalent
of a quarter to turn a close game into a 55-21 victory.
"We were lucky enough to identify what they were doing and
catch them," Red Raiders coach Mike Leach said. "I thought
Graham's ability to do that was key because he's got the most
immediate information -- he's under center."
Baylor freshman Blake Szymanski made his first collegiate start,
struggling at times to move the Bears (4-6, 3-3 Big 12). He
completed 16 of 30 passes for 196 yards with an interception and a
touchdown. He ran for two 3-yard scores.
"When we gave him some protection. He was finding his receivers
and throwing the ball a little bit," Baylor coach Guy Morriss
said. "I thought he played pretty good."
But Tech's offense, which produced a season-high 682 yards, was
Harrell, who had 519 passing yards in last week's loss to Texas,
threw to 10 different Tech receivers. Filani was by far his
favorite target, catching touchdowns of 4, 32 and 76 yards and
finishing with 212 yards on eight catches. He came into the game
averaging 89.3 receiving yards, 12th in the country.
"You always feel like you'll have a good game with Joel," said
Harrell, who was 35-of-52 with one interception. "He caught the
ball well, but he plays good every week."
It was Filani's third career three-touchdown game and second
this year. The first was in a 42-26 win at Iowa State.
"Once he got stoked up, I think that was key," Leach said.
"Once he got rolling, he really took off."
But the most important stretch of the game started, believe it
or not, with Tech's running game.
The Red Raiders (6-4, 3-3) trailed 14-7 midway through the
second quarter when Shannon Woods tied the score on a 34-yard run.
All three Harrell-to-Filani touchdowns followed -- the first two
giving Tech a 28-14 halftime lead.
When Woods scored on a 1-yard run midway through the third
quarter, the Red Raiders had five touchdowns in a span of 15:42 and
a 42-14 lead. Woods, who had a third TD run from 6 yards, finished
with a career-high 125 yards on just 10 carries, topping his
previous best of 104 against SMU in the season opener.
"He had a couple of explosive plays," Leach said. "He's so
steady that almost all of his games run together in a way."
Szymanski replaced Shawn Bell, the nation's No. 4 passer, who is
out for the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in
his right knee during the fourth quarter of a 31-21 loss to Texas
A&M last week.
And he helped keep Baylor close early.
A fourth-down try by Tech late in the first quarter translated
into a quick score for Baylor. On fourth-and-5 from Baylor's 44,
Harrell was hurried and threw an incompletion. On the first play
after taking over on downs, Szymanski hit Trent Shelton along the
sideline for a 56-yard touchdown to tie it 7-7.
The Bears' only lead, 14-7, came early in the second quarter on
a 3-yard run by Szymanski. The score came one play after Baylor
defensive back James Todd intercepted a Harrell pass and returned
it 25 yards.
Baylor's Daniel Sepulveda had two 60-yard punts and set an NCAA
record with his 91st punt of longer than 50 yards. Brian Smith of
Mississippi had 88 from 1983 to '86. The 60-yarders were the 20th
and 21st of Sepulveda's career.