Texas Tech Outguns SMU 27-13|
Sept. 4, 2004
By JAIME ARON
DALLAS (AP) - Sonny Cumbie, the latest quarterback plugged into Texas Tech's passing machine, threw for 470 yards and four touchdowns, yet most of the scoring came in the second half as the Red Raiders slowly pulled away from Southern Methodist for a 27-13 victory Saturday night.
Cumbie, a fifth-year senior making his first start, had 221 yards by halftime, but Tech led only 6-3. The Mustangs tied it on the first drive of the third quarter, then the Red Raiders' offense finally began turning yards into points.
Cumbie answered SMU's tying field goal with a 64-yard touchdown drive and got in a 78-yarder later in the quarter. Midway through the fourth, Cumbie took the Red Raiders 90 yards to make it 27-6.
He finished 40-of-66 with TD passes of 14 and 13 yards to Bristol Olomua, a 15-yarder to Joel Filani and a 19-yarder to Jarrett Hicks. He wasn't intercepted.
The Mustangs, who scored just 15 touchdowns last season, worst in Division I-A, finally got one with 3:07 left on a 7-yard run by Cedrick Dorsey. That drive was the only one under quarterback Tony Eckert. Starter Chris Phillips did a nice job keeping SMU close, mostly with fake handoffs that turned into keepers. He ran for 75 yards on 21 carries.
Still, the Mustangs lost their 13th straight game, tying the worst skid in school history. It's also the second-longest in the nation, behind Army's 15 in a row.
The game drew a rare sellout crowd of 34,689, the biggest in the five-year history of Ford Stadium. Most were rooting for the Red Raiders - and they were eager to see how Cumbie would do in his first big chance.
Having arrived in Lubbock as a walk-on, Cumbie watched from the sideline as predecessors Kliff Kingsbury and B.J. Symons shattered school, conference and national passing records.
Cumbie followed the script perfectly by opening with short, safe passes. He completed his first six passes and got Tech to at least the SMU 20 on four of his first five drives. Yet a missed field goal, a missed extra point and some other missed chances left the Red Raiders with only six points.
The early misses convinced Leach to give up on kicking. Tech went for it on every fourth down inside the SMU 40, even though Cumbie converted only 3-of-7.