Texas Tech-Baylor Football: No. 7 Red Raiders Bearly Escape the Bears' Trap

Andrew GloverCorrespondent INovember 29, 2008

The No. 7 Texas Tech Red Raiders scored 21 straight points in the second half to avoid a Baylor Bear upset in a 35-28 victory.

The Red Raiders (11-1) finish the season with 11 wins for the first time since 1973 and are in a three-way tie for first in the Big 12 South. No. 2 Texas defeated Texas A&M 49-9 and No. 3 Oklahoma defeated No. 12 Oklahoma State 61-41.

In his final home game, Graham Harrell completed 41-of-50 passes for 309 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Harrell trails former Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan by one touchdown for the most career touchdown passes (131). After the final regular season game, Harrell has passed for 4,747 yards threw 41 touchdown passes and only seven interceptions.

Senior Shannon Woods led the Red Raiders in rushing with 11 carries for 43 yards and one touchdown. Woods has gained 670 yards on 135 carries, and 12 touchdowns this season. Sophomore Baron Batch gained 28 yards on 10 carries, and two touchdowns. Batch has 742 yards on 111 carries, and seven touchdowns.

Michael Crabtree and Detron Lewis led the Red Raiders in receiving, with both of them getting nine receptions. Lewis gained 68 yards and Crabtree gained 63 yards. Lewis also caught the winning touchdown for Tech.

Crabtree was bothered by his left foot and had to leave the game on a cart midway through the second quarter. He failed to get in the end zone for the second straight game.

The Bears (4-8) finished fifth in the Big XII South only Texas A&M (3-9) was worse.

Robert Griffin III completed 12-of-15 passes for 91 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Griffin finishes his freshman season with 2,091 yards passing, 15 touchdown passes, and three interceptions.

Jay Finley and Griffin led the Bears rushing attack. Finley gained 105 yards on 15 carries and Griffin gained 99 yards on 18 carries, and scored two touchdowns. Griffin got the defense to bite several times on a fake to the running back then keeping the ball and running for large gains. Finley finishes the season with 865 yards rushing on 149 carries, and seven touchdowns. Griffin has gained 626 yards on 162 carries, and 11 touchdowns.

Thomas White led the Bears in receiving with four receptions for 39 yards. White finished the 2008 season with 35 receptions for 385 yards and two touchdowns. David Gettis had two receptions for 22 yards, and finished 2008 with 29 receptions and 391 yards. Kendall Wright had three receptions for 14 yards, and a two-point conversion reception. Wright had 50 receptions for 649 yards and five touchdowns.

The Red Raiders led 14-13 in the closing seconds of the first half and thought they forced and recovered a Baylor fumble for a touchback. However, after the review, the ruling was overturned and Griffin was down at the Tech one. Griffin wasted no time to take advantage, connecting with Ernest Smith. Griffin completed a pass to Wright to put Baylor ahead 21-14 at halftime.

The Bears started the third quarter where they left off in the second. Griffin led the Bears on a nine-play 78-yard drive using almost four minutes off the clock. Jacoby Jones carried it in from one-yard out to give Baylor a 28-14 lead.

That would be Baylor’s last score of the game. Harrell led the Red Raiders on a 14-play 72-yard drive. Woods capped it off with a one-yard touchdown run cutting the Bears’ lead to 28-21. On the Bears’ next possession, the Red Raiders defense stepped up. After giving up three first downs, Tech forced Baylor to punt.

Harrell led the Tech offense downfield with a 12-play 90-yard drive that lasted just over 5 and half minutes. Batch finished the drive with a three-yard touchdown run that tied the game at 28.

The Red Raiders defense came up big again on Baylor’s next possession. After giving up a first down, Brian Duncan intercepted a ball that was tipped giving the Red Raiders the ball at the Baylor 38. Harrell completed a 13-yard pass to Batch and a 14-yard pass to Lyle Leong. Lewis capped off the drive with a four-yard reception giving Tech a 35-28 lead.

On the Bears, next possession the Red Raiders defense came up big again. After giving up a 19-yard reception to White, McKinner Dixon would end any hope of a Baylor upset sacking Griffin for a loss of seven yards on fourth down and five at the Tech 48.

Harrell and the Tech offense would run out the rest of the clock to seal the victory and stay in the Big 12 South race. The highest-ranking team out of Tech, Oklahoma and Texas will go to the Big 12 Championship Dec. 6 in Kansas City.