(12) Texas Tech 35

(2-0, 1-0 away)

Nevada 19

(1-1, 1-1 home)

9:05 PM ET, September 6, 2008

Mackay Stadium, Reno, NV

1 2 3 4 T
#12TTU 7 7 7 1435
NEV 3 6 3 719

Top Performers

Passing: G. Harrell (TTU) - 297 YDS, 1 TD, 2 INT

Rushing: S. Woods (TTU) - 7 CAR, 45 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: M. Crabtree (TTU) - 7 REC, 158 YDS, 1 TD

Big plays rescue erratic Harrell in Tech's defeat of Nevada

Associated Press

RENO, Nev. -- Graham Harrell and Texas Tech's Air Raid offense was off, so the Red Raiders got big plays from their defense and special teams to pull away from Nevada.

Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree hooked up for an 82-yard touchdown pass and Eric Morris returned a punt 86 yards for a score to lead No. 12 Texas Tech to a 35-19 victory over Nevada on Saturday night.

Fast Facts

•  The Red Raiders outscored Nevada 21-7 in the final 20 minutes to secure their fourth straight win dating back to last season.

•  Texas Tech has scored 30 or more points in six straight and 18 of its last 20 games.

•  QB Graham Harrell was just 19-46 for 297 yards, his lowest passing total since 2006. His 19 completions and 41.3 percent completion percentage were also career lows as a starter.

-- ESPN Research

Shannon Woods also ran for two touchdowns for the Red Raiders (2-0), who overcame an off night for Harrell to score 30 or more points for the 18th time in their last 20 games.

Tech's defense limited Nevada to four field goals until Wolf Pack quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw a 48-yard touchdown to Marko Mitchell with 10:30 remaining and the game largely out of reach.

"The day was carried by our defense," Tech coach Mike Leach said. "We had some tough periods out there, we had some tough everything. But to win this game the way we did, I'm proud of our guys."

Nevada (1-1), which had 488 yards total offense to Tech's 421, appeared to take a 15-14 lead in the third quarter on quarterback Colin Kaepernick's 3-yard score and the officials signaled touchdown, but after a lengthy review, they overturned the decision and ruled he had fumbled the ball away to Texas Tech.

Griffin: Tech Dodges Bullet

It wasn't pretty, but No. 12 Texas Tech had just enough big plays to top Nevada and move to 2-0, Big 12 blogger Tim Griffin writes. Blog

"That was a big, big play. We really dodged a bullet there," said Tech defensive end Brandon Williams, who had two of the Red Raiders' four quarterback sacks and deflected a ball into an interception when Nevada was threatening early in the game.

"The thing about our defense, we have confidence in the player who is playing next to us," he said.

Kaepernick completed 24-of-35 passes for 264 yards and ran for another 92 yards on 13 carries.

Harrell, who threw for 536 yards last week and led the nation with 5,705 passing yards a year ago, was intercepted twice and completed only 19-of-46 of his passes for 297 yards -- 132 on two passes to Crabtree.

Harrell was 10-of-25 for 119 yards in the first half, but his 50-yarder to Crabtree set up Woods' 1-yard touchdown run to give Tech a 14-6 lead 5:18 before the half.

"We struggled a little bit but we knew it was only a matter of time before we'd find our rhythm. Nevada did a nice job but we just were a little out of rhythm," Harrell said.

Leach said the team has come to expect Harrell to finish strong despite a slow start.

"That's what makes him what he is, with all of the comebacks in his career he has," Leach said. "He's a guy that never gives up. He never gets rattled and just stays in there and tries to make a play."

Nevada coach Chris Ault said his defense did a good job of pressuring Harrell and played well for three quarters but had some "major breakdowns" in the final quarter.

"They have a great offense and a lot of people underestimate their defense," Ault said.

Kaepernick completed 24-of-35 passes for 264 yards and ran for another 92 yards on 13 carries for Nevada.

"We let one get away from us," he said. "Offense got in the red zone too many times unsuccessfully but our defense stepped up and did great."

Nevada lost for the season the Western Athletic Conference's leading returning rusher, Luke Lippincott, to a torn knee ligament in the second quarter.

Brett Jaekle made a 31-yard field goal to cut the Texas Tech lead to 14-12 with 6:40 left in the third quarter.

Nevada then tried an onside kick but Texas Tech recovered it at Nevada's 39 and after Harrell passed 15 yards to Tramain Swindall, Morris went in motion, took a hand off and ran 13 yards for a touchdown and a 21-12 lead at 5:20 in the third.

Jonathan Amaya intercepted Harrell's pass at Nevada's 47 with 14 minutes left in the game but Nevada failed to make a first down and Harrell passed to near midfield where Crabtree hauled it in, juked a defender and took off for the 82-yard scoring play and a 28-12 lead with 12:59 left in the game.

Marko Mitchell scored on a 48-yard pass from Kaepernick to cut the lead to 28-19 with 10:30 remaining but Woods answered with a 21-yard TD run to make it 35-19 with 6:18 on the clock.

Morris went 86 yards with a punt to give the Red Raiders a 7-3 lead midway through the first quarter.


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs2028
Total Yards421488
3rd Down Conversions6-143-16
4th Down Conversions1-31-3

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

FG10:31Brett Jaekle 27 Yd 03
TD07:51Eric Morris 86 Yd Punt Return (Donnie Carona Kick) 73
FG07:24Brett Jaekle 26 Yd 76
TD05:18Shannon Woods 1 Yd Run (Donnie Carona Kick) 146
FG00:00Brett Jaekle 43 Yd 149
FG06:40Brett Jaekle 31 Yd 1412
TD05:20Eric Morris 13 Yd Run (Donnie Carona Kick) 2112
TD11:34Michael Crabtree 82 Yd Pass From Graham Harrell (Donnie Carona Kick) 2812
TD10:30Marko Mitchell 48 Yd Pass From Colin Kaepernick (Brett Jaekle Kick) 2819
TD06:18Shannon Woods 21 Yd Run (Donnie Carona Kick) 3519