Texas Tech Beats #1Texas In Primetime Print
Written by mark   
Saturday, 01 November 2008 20:14

Number 1 In Texas

Texas Tech can call itself No. 1 in the Lone Star state - and maybe best in all the land.

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Graham Harrell fired a 28-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree with one second left and No. 6 Texas Tech stunned No. 1 Texas 39-33 Saturday night in a wild game that will shake up the national title race.

Texas (8-1, 4-1 Big 12) had stormed back from a 19-0 deficit to take a 33-32 lead when Vondrell McGee scored on a 4-yard run with 1:29 left in the fourth.

Harrell drove the Red Raiders (9-0, 5-0) to the touchdown in six plays, slinging the long pass to Crabtree, who broke the tackle of Curtis Brown near the sideline, kept his balance and scooted the last five yards for a score.

``Play 60 minutes is obviously important, you may have a second to spare,'' said Tech coach Mike Leach, the quirky offensive mastermind whose teams have made a name for themselves by piling up huge passing numbers and the occasional big win.

But never a win THIS big.

Thousands of Texas Tech fans poured onto the field and had to be sent off while the play was under review. Once the fans were chased off the field and Tech kicked the extra point, the Red Raiders were penalized and forced to kick off from their own 7.

When Texas couldn't pull of a miracle kickoff return, the fans ran back on the field to celebrate the biggest win in Texas Tech history.

The victory not only gave the Red Raiders command of the Big 12 South, it puts them smack in the chase for the national title, quite a leap for a program usually left behind by conference powers Texas and Oklahoma.

In fact, maybe Texas Tech shoots to the top of the rankings and the BCS standings? More likely, Alabama moves to No. 1. The question is whether the Red Raiders, on the strength of the program's first victory against a No. 1 team, can jump over the likes of Florida, Southern California and unbeaten Penn State on Sunday.

Harrell, who may have jumped ahead of Texas quarterback Colt McCoy in the Heisman Trophy race, finished with 474 yards passing and two touchdowns on 36-of-53 passing.

McCoy has nothing to be ashamed of, throwing for 294 yards and two touchdowns. He did have a interception returned for a touchdown in the third quarter.

Crabtree had 10 catches for 127 yards.

Texas had appeared to pull off a stunning rally behind McCoy, who threw second-half touchdown passes of 37 and 91 yards to Malcolm Williams and led Texas on a grinding drive to its final touchdown after Texas Tech's Donnie Carona kicked a field goal for a six-point lead.

McGee's burst stunned the home crowd until a big kickoff return by Jamar Wall gave the Red Raiders the ball at their own 38 and time to move. Harrell hit on four straight passes, to get the ball in Texas territory when the Red Raiders were just trying to set up for a winning field goal.

He also got a break when Texas freshman safety Blake Gideon dropped what would have been a game-ending interception on a tipped ball.

Facing third down, Harrell fired the risky pass to the All-American Crabtree. The ball reached Crabtree right before the defense could close in on it and the big receiver snagged it just inside the 5 and shrugged off Brown.

Given the chance to make a national statement, Texas Tech looked early like it would dismiss the Longhorns in a rout. The Red Raiders belted Texas on the Longhorns' on first play and kept hammering away for the entire first half.

Backed up on the Texas 2 in front of the raucous student section, McCoy handed off to Chris Ogbonnaya, who never got out of the end zone when he was dropped for a safety by defensive tackle Colby Whitlock.

The play seemed to rattle the Longhorns, who had been unflappable all season.

Harrell was just warming up, deftly dodging the Texas pass rush to find open receivers or lofting perfectly thrown balls for big yards. Texas Tech was on its own 6 and facing third down when Harrell hit Edward Britton on the sideline, tucking the ball just over Gideon for a 46-yard gain. The Red Raiders capped the drive with Baron Batch's 3-yard TD run.

Texas Tech made it 19-0 when Harrell found Eric Morris with another soft throw just beyond a defender's reach for an 18-yard TD and the Red Raiders led 22-6 at halftime.

Matt Williams, the kicker Leach plucked from the stands after watching him win a promotional kicking contest six weeks ago, made field goals of 29 and 31 yards.

Texas was out of sync the entire first half. McCoy came in completing 81 percent of his passes but had receivers drop four of his first seven throws. Even sure-handed Jordan Shipley, McCoy's roommate and best friend, dropped a likely touchdown on Texas' second possession.

Texas appeared all but done when Daniel Charbonnet returned McCoy's only interception for a touchdown and a 29-13 Texas Tech lead.

But McCoy, who has led nine come-from-behind wins in his career, had the Longhorns storming back and in position to win.

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