Archive for Sunday, October 10, 2004

Texas Tech clobbers NU

Red Raiders set records in 70-10 victory over Cornhuskers

October 10, 2004

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— This didn't look like the Nebraska of old.

Texas Tech handed the Cornhuskers the worst loss in their storied 114-year history Saturday night, with Sonny Cumbie throwing for 436 yards and five touchdowns in a 70-10 win.

"I'm very disappointed in our team's effort," first-year NU coach Bill Callahan said. "We are certainly capable of being a better ball club. It just came down to turnovers and we had a lot of them in the second half."

Tech (4-2, 2-1 Big 12 Conference) forced seven turnovers and recorded its first victory in eight tries against Nebraska (3-2, 1-1), which set school records for points allowed and margin of defeat.

Before Saturday, the most points scored against Nebraska came in a 62-36 loss to Colorado in 2001. Nebraska's largest previous margin of defeat was 54, set in a 54-0 loss to Minnesota in 1943 and matched in a 54-0 loss to Indiana in 1944 and a 61-7 loss to the Golden Gophers in 1945.

Tech coach Mike Leach said he didn't know about the record until about five minutes remained.

"We were just trying to play efficiently," he said.

It was a numbing low for NU, a longtime power that has seen a gradual decline in recent years.

The Huskers won two national championships in the 1970s under Bob Devaney and three more in the 1990s under Tom Osborne. They had nine wins or more for 33 straight seasons and spent 54 straight weeks in the AP Top 10 before going 7-7 in 2002 under Frank Solich.

Solich replaced the retired Osborne in 1998 but was fired after last season despite going 10-3 and finishing 58-19 in six seasons.

Callahan was brought in after a long search, and the former Oakland Raiders coach replaced Nebraska's traditional run-first mentality with an offense that emphasized the short pass.

But Saturday, the passing game backfired on Nebraska, which threw five interceptions and set up easy Tech scores. Four interceptions and both Nebraska fumbles came after halftime. And Tech converted most into scores.

"We kept allowing them opportunities to keep scoring, and we just basically gave the game away," Nebraska safety Daniel Bullocks said. "They took advantage of our mistakes."

Nebraska scored to make it 21-10 after halftime, and Callahan thought his team still had a chance.

"I thought we had Tech right where we wanted them," he said. "I also felt the game was in reach as we made it a two-possession game and we had a chance to come back, but it just turned into a catch-up game."

Five of Tech's last six possessions began in Nebraska territory: at the 41, 14, 8, 6 and 12.

"I never saw anything like it," Tech defensive end Adell Duckett said. "The last nine minutes took forever. Everyone got involved, it was good stuff."

Cumbie, who came into the game leading the nation in passing yards at 417 yards a game, threw TD passes of 22, 80, 6, 3 and 2 yards. It was his sixth straight game of more than 350 yards passing and his fourth of more than 400 yards this season.

Missouri 30, Baylor 10

Waco, Texas -- Brad Smith's three touchdown passes, Joe Tantarelli's three field goals, and a stout defense enabled Missouri to defeat Baylor take over the lead in the Big 12 North.

The Tigers (4-1, 2-0) grabbed first place in the North after Texas Tech whipped Nebraska, 70-10, in Lubbock, Texas. Missouri, which snapped a six-game road losing streak, returns to Texas on Saturday to play the Longhorns. It's the first time Missouri ever has been alone in first place in Big 12 North play.

Smith surprised Baylor (2-3, 0-2) with two touchdown passes to red-shirt freshman tight end Martin Rucker and tossed an 8-yarder to Sean Coffey early in the fourth quarter as the Tigers turned a close game into a blowout.

No. 22 Okla. State 42, Colorado 14

Boulder, Colo. -- Vernand Morency ran for 165 yards and two touchdowns, and Donovan Woods threw for three more scores for Oklahoma State. The Cowboys (5-0, 2-0) established their powerful running game early, shocking the Buffaloes on Morency's 58-yard touchdown run on OSU's third play. Morency added a six-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, eclipsing 100 yards for the seventh straight regular-season game. Lawrence Vickers had 168 total yards -- 72 rushing, 96 receiving -- and scored on a six-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter for Colorado (3-2, 0-2).

Texas A&M 34, Iowa State 3

Ames, Iowa -- Texas A&M quarterback Reggie McNeal passed for 222 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score to lead surging A&M. McNeal gave Iowa State fits all night with his accurate throwing and nimble feet. He scrambled out of trouble several times and finished 16-for-27 with no interceptions and touchdown passes of 18 yards to Tydrick Riley, 13 yards to Joey Thomas and 12 yards to Courtney Lewis. With its fourth straight win, A&M (4-1, 2-0) matched last season's victory total, broke an eight-game losing streak on the road and handed Iowa State its 12th consecutive conference loss.

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