Texas Tech Takes Nebraska, 70-10|
Oct. 9, 2004
By BETSY BLANEY
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Texas Tech handed Nebraska its worst loss in the Cornhuskers' storied 114-year history, with Sonny Cumbie throwing for 436 yards and five touchdowns in the Red Raiders' 70-10 victory Saturday night.
Tech (4-2, 2-1 Big 12) recorded its first victory in eight tries against Nebraska (3-2, 1-1 Big 12), 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 Minnesota in 1945.
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 fifth straight game of more than 350 yards passing and his fourth of more than 400 yards this season.
For Nebraska, it was a numbing low for a longtime power that hasn't contended for a national title 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.
Bill 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.
Tech has scored 70 points in each of its two home games this year. The Red Raiders beat TCU 70-35 in September after trailing by 21.
Cumbie completed 44 of 56 passes, including 14 straight in the third quarter, and had one interception. His longest TD pass came late in the first half when he found Jarrett Hicks on the left sideline for an 80-yarder that made it 21-3.
It was the longest TD pass by Tech since coach Mike Leach brought his aerial offense five years ago. The longest previous pass came in Tech's 49-45 win over Mississippi last season when B.J. Symons threw a 70-yard TD pass to Carlos Francis.
Tech running back Taurean Henderson scored the first rushing touchdown against Nebraska in the past 26 quarters when he capped an 86-yard drive on a 3-yard run to give the Red Raiders a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Henderson scored three touchdowns, one passing and two rushing. Johnnie Mack also scored three: one in the air and two on the ground.