Texas Tech Opens Season With Victory over SMU, 35-27
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Sept. 5, 2010
Tuberville took over after the popular and successful Mike Leach was fired in December amid allegations he mistreated an injured player.
Tuberville promised to stick with a pass-heavy offense that helped Leach make the Red Raiders famous. Promise kept.
Texas Tech ran its winning streak against SMU to 14 games, dating back to 1989.
Eric Stephens rushed for 3-yard TD to put Texas Tech up 35-14 midway through the third quarter.
The Mustangs had a chance late and were driving when they failed to convert a fourth-and-21 from the 50 on their final drive.
Texas Tech intercepted SMU quarterback Kyle Padron three times. He threw for 218 yards.
The Mustangs rallied behind their special teams. Darryl Fields returned a kickoff 92 yards to set up a 24-yard field to pull SMU within 35-17. Early in the fourth, Matt Szymanski booted a 61-yard field, his longest ever.
The Mustangs also blocked two field goals.
SMU pulled within 35-27 midway through the fourth quarter after taking over on downs on the Tech 32.
On fourth-and-six from the 13, Padron threw into the end zone and it looked like safety Cody Davis had broken it up. But the ball stayed up in the air and Cole Beasley caught it for a score.
Texas Tech's defense had to task of trying to stop Padron, who threw for a school-record 460 yards and two touchdowns running coach June Jones' run-n-shoot in a 45-10 win over Nevada in the Hawaii Bowl.
For Leong it was a career day in receptions and yardage, grabbing 11 passes for 142 yards.
Stephens touchdown came late in the third quarter when he juked back and forth in the backfield before getting around defenders on the right side and skipping untouched into the end zone.
Tech's special teams and defense set up the first two Red Raiders scores. Cornelius Douglas forced a fumble as Kenneth Acker fielded a punt deep in SMU's own territory late in the first quarter and Franklin Mitchell recovered it at the 18.
Tech ran the ball four consecutive times - something Leach rarely did - before Potts found Leong in the corner of the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown to give Tech a 7-0 lead.
On the second play of SMU's next possession, redshirt freshman Jarvis Phillips stepped in front of a pass from Padron to set up Potts's second TD pass. The 6-yard score went over the middle to Leong who was wide open near the back of the end zone.
SMU scored its first touchdown on its final drive of the first half as Padron led a 13-play drive, including his scrambling for 18 yards for a first down on fourth-and-3 from Tech's 34. Zach Line scored from 2 yards and the Mustangs were down by only one score.
Tuberville's 111th career victory came in the Red Raiders now-less-lopsided stadium. The east side of the stadium now has a $25 million addition where all 29 new suites were sold for the opener. The addition ups the stadium's capacity to 60,454.
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