LUBBOCK, Texas – No. 25 Texas Tech has practiced the play that gave the Red Raiders a 41-34 double overtime win over Kansas on Saturday — not always with the best results.
Eric Stephens took the snap out of the wildcat formation, rolled to his right and threw a 3-yard jump pass to Darrin Moore for the winning touchdown.
"It's been hit or miss in practice, but I just had a really good feeling about it," quarterback Seth Doege said. "I think Eric's one of those guys when you call his number, he's going to get the job done."
Kansas quarterback Michael Cummings couldn't connect with Tre' Parmalee in the end zone on fourth-and-9 for Kansas to end the Jayhawks' chances.
The two teams traded touchdowns in the first overtime. Cummings found James Sims for a 5-yard score to put Kansas up 34-27. Stephens tied it at 34 on a 1-yard run.
The Jayhawks (1-9, 0-7 Big 12) came from behind in the fourth quarter and sent the game into overtime on a 32-yard field goal by Nick Prolago with under a minute remaining in regulation. Those points were set up by a 44-yard run by Cummings on fourth-and-3 from the Jayhawks 36 that took the ball down to the Texas Tech 20.
"Michael runs down there and keeps the ball and almost takes it to the house," Kansas coach Charlie Weis said. "With my luck, he would have taken it to the house too quickly because, as it was, they came down the field and had a chance to win right there."
Doege completed 45 of 59 passes for three touchdowns and 476 yards for Texas Tech (7-3, 4-3). He had one interception in the second quarter that seemed to give the Jayhawks belief they could upset the Red Raiders. The Jayhawks outscored the Red Raiders 20-6 in regulation after the interception.
Tony Pierson had a career-high 202 rushing yards on 16 carries for Kansas, which lost its ninth in a row and 19th straight Big 12 game.
Pierson also got the longest run from scrimmage this season for the Jayhawks when he scampered 69 yards to set up Sims' 3-yard run that pulled Kansas within 27-24 with about nine minutes remaining in the game.
Sims, the junior from Irving, Texas, got his sixth game with more than 100 yards, becoming the first Jayhawk to do so since 1961. He finished with 127 yards on 30 carries.
The win ended a two-game skid for the Red Raiders, following losses to Texas and Kansas State.
Doege's completion to Tyson Williams at the Kansas 20 with six seconds remaining in regulation was called back after a review because Doege's knee hit the ground after he fumbled the snap. Then Ryan Bustin missed to the left by about a yard on a 41-yard field goal attempt in high winds that would have won the game at the end of regulation.
Texas Tech was 18th in the country in total defense coming into the game, giving up an average of 314 yards per game. Against the Jayhawks they gave up 419 yards.
Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said his team played well in spurts in the second half.
"We weren't able to make big plays like we thought we could," he said. "They made us earn it. There were times we were on the edge of breaking that thing open. We just weren't able to do that."
For a second straight week, the Red Raiders had some trouble when they got into the red zone. Last week, in the loss to Texas, they went for field goals four times after they stalled inside the 20. This week they got two field goals after failing to get into the end zone.
Still, Doege threw touchdown passes of 9, 16 and 6 yards — one each to Jakeem Grant, Williams and Moore — to build a 21-7 lead for Texas Tech in the second quarter.
A video clip of Tuberville went viral during the game. Footage shows him facing graduate assistant Kevin Oliver and appearing to use his left hand to strike him on the right side of his face. Oliver's headset and ball cap fall off. It happened when the Red Raiders seemed to have difficulty getting the right personnel on the field.
Tuberville said he didn't mean to hit the graduate assistant.
"It wasn't anything to it," he said. "It was just one of those deals where I missed his shoulder and ended up grabbing the microphone on his head set and pulled it off."
Texas Tech's offense was hit or miss in the first half. The Red Raider had three three-and-outs on three of their seven possessions. Yet at times Doege still was able to the offense down the field, despite a stiff south wind that at times gusted 50 mph.
Kansas pulled within 21-14 after Doege threw his ninth interception of the season. Brad McDougald picked off the pass in the middle of the field and returned it 32 yards to the Red Raiders 29 halfway through the second quarter.
A few plays later Cummings found Brandon Bourbon in the near-side flat and he ran it in for a 10-yard touchdown.
On the Jayhawks' next possession, Pierson juked diagonally across the field for a 49-yard run that led to a 22-yard field goal for Kansas to whittle the lead to 21-17 going into halftime.
On Doege's second touchdown pass he moved into third place all-time at Texas Tech. His 63rd touchdown pass came when he hit Tyson Williams in the back corner of the end zone to put the Red Raiders up 14-7 early in the second quarter.