(Saturday, October 4th)
Final Score: (7) Texas Tech 58, Kansas State 28
Manhattan, KS (Sports Network) - Graham Harrell tied a career-high with six touchdown passes, while running for another, to give the seventh-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders a convincing 58-28 victory over the Kansas State Wildcats in Big 12 action.
"I would say (Harrell) is the best (quarterback) in the nation this year," Red Raiders head coach Mike Leach said. "If you lead the nation in passing, I would think you deserve some attention. It's not like he just does it once in awhile. If it was so easy, then everybody would do it. But everybody doesn't do it; he does it."
Harrell, who became Texas Tech's all-time leading passer in the win, completed 38-of-52 passes for 454 yards to continue the Red Raiders' (5-0, 1-0 Big 12) unbeaten season. Star wideout Michael Crabtree grabbed nine balls for 107 yards and two touchdowns while Lyle Leong caught three passes, all for scores.
"It's a huge honor with all the great quarterbacks that have come through here," Harrell said of his becoming the leading passer in Aggies' history. "It comes with a lot of help. I've had great receivers here and the offensive line has been great to me."
Shannon Woods ran for 70 yards on 18 carries, and Eric Morris added 98 yards on seven receptions for Texas Tech, as the Red Raiders outgained the Jayhawks 626-296.
Josh Freeman connected on only 13-of-28 throws for 170 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for two scores for Kansas State (3-2, 0-1). Brandon Banks caught three passes for 51 yards, and Ernie Pierce hauled in a 33-yard touchdown and returned a blocked punt for a score. Lamark Brown led the team on the ground with 64 yards on 25 carries.
"We were thoroughly beaten today by a very good football team on both offense and defense, particularly on both lines," said Kansas State head coach Ron Prince. "We were out-physicaled for a bulk of the game. I thought their playmakers on offense were fantastic. We were soundly and thoroughly defeated."
Donnie Carona gave Texas Tech a 17-14 advantage with 9:43 to go in the half on a 31-yard field goal. After a punt, Harrell capped a four-play, 53-yard drive in just 1:03 with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Leong, giving the visitors a 10- point lead with 8:12 left on the clock.
The Red Raiders forced Kansas State to go three-and-out for the second consecutive drive and got the ball back with 7:21 to go. On 3rd-and-goal, Harrell hit Ryan Hale for a four-yard score with just under four minutes until the break.
Right before halftime, Crabtree caught his second touchdown of the day -- a 30-yarder -- to give Texas Tech a commanding 38-14 halftime lead.
Freeman ran for a three-yard score on Kansas State's opening second half drive, capping a 15-play, 77-yard march to close to within 17.
But Texas Tech kept the offense rolling, as Harrell found Leong for the third time in the game -- from seven yards out -- to restore a 24-point lead with 4:34 remaining in the third. Harrell also ran for a one-yard score in the first couple minutes of the fourth quarter to make it 52-21.
Following a fumble on the next Wildcats drive, Baron Batch gave the Red Raiders their largest lead of the game -- 37 points -- on a nine-yard touchdown run with 12:01 left to play.
Courtney Herndon blocked a punt for Kansas State, and Pierce and returned it 18 yards for a touchdown with 4:22 remaining to account for the final margin.
The Red Raiders got on the board first. On the opening drive, Leong caught a one-yard touchdown pass to cap a six-play, 80-yard drive in just over two minutes to go up 7-0.
But the Wildcats answered on their first possession. Freeman drove down the field in just four plays, finding Pierce over the middle for a 33-yard touchdown to tie the game just 3 1/2 minutes into the contest.
Harrell took a little more time on the next Texas Tech drive but produced the same result. On the 14th play of the set, Harrell, who converted all three of his third downs, found Crabtree for a 10-yard score with about five minutes left in the first.
The Red Raiders gave the ball back to the Wildcats after failing on a 4th- and-1 from their own 29, and Freeman scored on a one-yard run four plays later to tie the game at 14 only 25 seconds into the second quarter.
Texas Tech leads the all-time series between the schools, 7-3, including four straight wins...The Red Raiders moved to 9-4 all-time in Big 12 openers...Texas Tech's rank of seven is the highest for the school since being ranked No. 5 for three weeks during the 1976 season.
10/04 22:00:28 ET