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October 11, 2008
"It was one of the strangest games I had been a part of,
and I think that Nebraska would say the same too. I can't say enough about their
offensive line and their offense did a great job. I think the coaching job they
did was impressive. I was proud of our guys hanging in there, we had a little
bit of adversity but we overcame it. I am really proud of them for that."
Bo Pelini and his Cornhuskers had other things in mind. After mounting a furious 14 point comeback in the fourth quarter, capped off by a 17-yard touchdown pass from Joe Ganz to Todd Peterson, the Huskers appeared to be on the brink of a major upset over the seventh-ranked Red Raiders. Instead, Tech scored a touchdown on their first and only possession of overtime and junior cornerback Jamar Wall picked off a Ganz pass on the Big Red's second play of their possession.
"It was an extremely exciting game and we were lucky to go in there and come out with a win and you have to show respect for Nebraska, they are a good team," complimented senior quarterback Graham Harrell. "They did a great job executing. Lucky for us we came out on top though."
"Nebraska deserves a lot of credit for the fight they put up, their first road game and they put up a lot of fight," said Tech head coach Mike Leach. "They played as hard as any team we have played this year."
Pelini and offensive coordinator Shawn Watson devised a game plan centered on screens to the outside to gain yards on the Red Raider defense and, for the most part, it worked exceptionally well. Nebraska piled up 471 offensive yards, including 357 through the air.
"It was nothing that we didn't see in practice it was just guys on the defense trying to make too many plays trying to be a hero," explained sophomore middle linebacker Brian Duncan. "Ruff says the only way that we are a hero to him is if we do our job. We came through with a victory and had a good time."
The Tech offense managed only a measly 48 plays, but big plays of 31, 47, 49, and 56 drastically reduced the number of plays for Tech. Despite the low amount of snaps, the Harrell-led offense amassed 421 yards for an average of 8.8 yards per play.
"I think Graham Harrell did a great job keeping them focused in and that is tough," said Leach. "Our offensive had about nine yards a play and I can't say enough about that, keeping their head in it and ready to go do. Finding a way to go out there and respond time after time."
Sophomore WR and Heisman Trophy candidate Michael Crabtree became the school's all-time leader in receiving touchdowns when he caught a 35-yard TD pass from Graham Harrell in the first quarter to give Texas Tech a 6-0 lead. Crabtree surpassed Jarrett Hicks, who had 30 career touchdowns between 2003-06. ... Crabtree caught his second touchdown pass of the afternoon with 4:47 remaining in the third quarter to give the Red Raiders a 23-10 lead. The second TD catch gave him his third multiple-TD game of the season and the 10th of his career. ... With 284 yards passing, senior QB and Heisman Trophy candidate Graham Harrell moved into fifth place on the NCAA's career passing yards list, surpassing Houston's Kevin Kolb. Prior to today's game, Kolb was the most prolific passer (FBS) in state history, but that title belongs to Harrell, who now has 12,993 career passing yards. ... Sophomore RB Baron Batch had a huge day for the Red Raider offense as he turned in 150 all-purpose yards, including 97 on the ground and 53 through the air. Late in the second quarter, he busted off a career-long 49-yard rush to set up a 26-yard field goal by Donnie Carona. The 49-yard gainer marked the fifth-longest rush in the Mike Leach era.
Junior DT Richard Jones made his first career start in replacement of Rajon Henley, who did not dress for Saturday's game. ... Saturday's game marked Texas Tech's third consecutive sellout of the season as 53,449 were in attendance at Jones AT&T Stadium. ... Saturday's overtime game was the sixth in Nebraska history, but their first loss. The huskers won in overtime against Missouri in 1997, Colorado in 1999, Notre Dame in 2000, Iowa State (2OT) in 2005 and Kansas in 2006. ... Senior RB Shannon Woods moved into a tie for seventh place on the school's career rushing touchdown list with a four-yard TD run late in the first half. He now has 29 rushing scores in his career and that ties him with Billy Taylor (1974-74), Byron Hanspard (1994-96) and Zebbie Letheridge (1994-97). ... Woods now has 34 career rushing and receiving touchdowns and ranks sixth on the Tech all-time list. He trails Byron Morris (1990-93) by three scores for fifth place. ... Junior DE McKinner Dixon put an end to Nebraska's first offensive possession when he registered a sack on a key 3rd and 3 situation. The sack was his sixth of the season and went for a loss of two yards. ... The overtime game was the first for Texas Tech since a 38-35 win over UTEP in El Paso in 2006. The Red Raiders are now 3-2 in overtime games under Mike Leach. Tech's last overtime game at home resulted in a 51-48 loss to No. 16 North Carolina State.
Oct. 18: Texas Tech vs. Texas A&M, 11:00 a.m. on FSN
Oct. 18: Nebraska at Iowa State, 11:30 a.m.
* Key Performers, Notes and Stats courtesy of Texas Tech Media Relations.