Texas Tech-UMass: #11 Red Raiders Charge through Minutemen

Andrew GloverCorrespondent ISeptember 21, 2008

The Massachusetts Minutemen secondary came into Tech looking forward to defending the pass since James Madison mostly ran the ball. Texas Tech had no problems through the air in a 56-14 win.

The Red Raiders offense was nearly impossible to stop as they scored on six of seven possessions in the first half. Graham Harrell was 18-for-25 with 253 yards passing and four touchdown passes. Harrell finished the game with 322 yards passing.

However, the passing game was not the only thing putting up numbers for Tech. Shannon Woods had 80 yards rushing in the first half including a 38-yard touchdown run.

Baron Batch also had some good gains in the first half giving the Red Raiders 138 yards rushing. Woods finished with 108 yards rushing on 10 carries and three touchdowns. Batch had 55 yards rushing on eleven carries. Batch also led the team in receiving with five receptions for 68 yards.

The Texas Tech defense was strong again. They did not allow a score until 51 seconds left in the game. The defense stopped UMass 9 out of 13 third down attempts. Darcel McBath made a big play for the defense intercepting Liam Coen and taking it 45 yards for a touchdown on UMass’ opening possession in the second half.

The Minutemen briefly made things interesting. In the first quarter, Harrell completed a pass to Tramain Swindall who caught it at the fifty and lost the ball before he was down. Brian Ellis of UMass picked up the ball, started running to the end zone, and scored after Tech delayed their pursuit thinking the play was over. Tech coach Mike Leach challenged and the play was upheld cutting Tech’s lead to 14-7.

On the kickoff, LaRon Moore returned it for Tech and lost the ball but after a review was ruled down. Harrell on the next play, connected with Michael Crabtree on a 26-yard screen pass. After two incomplete passes, Harrell completed a pass to Swindall, and the Minutemen were penalized for facemask moving the ball to the UMass’ 30. Harrell ended the drive with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Eric Morris giving Tech a 21-7 lead.

Tech struck again on their first possession in the second quarter. On second down and eight, Harrell hit Edward Britton on a 21-yard pass. After an eight-yard run by Morris, Woods rushed it in from 38 yards to increase the Red Raiders’ lead to 28-7.

Harrell hit Crabtree and Morris on touchdowns, giving Tech a 42-7 halftime lead.

Crabtree had five receptions for 62-yards and a touchdown. Morris had three receptions for 32 yards and two touchdowns.

Coen went 13-for 20, with 145 yards passing and one interception. Korrey Davis led the Minutemen in rushing with 15 carries for 51 yards and one touchdown. Jeremy Horne led in receiving with 58 yards on two receptions.

The #11 Red Raiders (4-0) have a bye next week and opens Big XII play Oct. 4 at Kansas State (2-1).