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Red Raiders blow game open with seven-straight TD possessions

11/9/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

LUBBOCK, Texas -- Graham Harrell had a few early jitters. But he didn't have the meltdown that many observers expected.

His early fumble and the resulting Oklahoma State touchdown sparked a few groans about how Texas Tech would respond after last week's upset over Texas.

"I just wanted to stay calm," Harrell said. "It was only two minutes in the game and there was no reason to worry about it. We gave them the ball and they scored. But it was no reason to panic because we still had 58 minutes of football to play."

Harrell and the Red Raiders proceeded to erupt with a vintage offensive performance that even had Mike Leach smiling at the end of the game.

"Yeah, it (the fumble) wasn't good," Leach said. "But if anything, it was beneficial. It settled us down and we had better tempo after that."

Tech charged ahead with touchdowns on seven-straight possessions as they cruised to a resounding 56-20 victory over Oklahoma State.

"Seven-straight was good," Harrell said. "That's what it's all about: putting the last drive behind as you are scoring the next one."

The length of the drives were equally impressive. Tech marched for touchdowns on drives of 80, 70, 97, 72, 48, 80 and 96 yards. Only another fumble by Harrell on his final play of the game ended the streak.

"That's probably as good of a whole game as we've put together," said Eric Morris, who led Tech with 10 catches for 97 yards and a touchdown. "We were clicking on all cylinders."

Harrell said he was inspired by many doubters who thought the Red Raiders would crumble after the victory over Texas last week.

Oklahoma State had upset Missouri and played Texas close in Austin. In both games, they had limited those opponents to more than 20 points below their yearly scoring averages.

But the Cowboys were no match for Texas Tech's offense on Saturday as the Red Raiders raced to their first 10-0 start since 1938.

"I think it says a lot about us, it's big," said Harrell, who completed 40 of 50 passes for 456 yards while matching his career high with six touchdown passes.

"A lot of people picked us to lose and thought we wouldn't be ready to play. But that's the thing about this team is we put games behind us quickly and come out ready for our next opponent."

The Red Raiders got production up and down their lineup. Harrell was barely pressured and, after being sacked twice in each of his last two games, he wasn't sacked tonight.

Eight different receivers produced at least two receptions. Baron Batch and Shannon Woods combined for 115 yards. It was the 10th straight game this season that Tech produced at least 100 rushing yards.

And Michael Crabtree had another big performance as he grabbed eight passes for 89 yards and three touchdowns.

"There wasn't anything to it," Crabtree said. "I was just doing my job and making routine plays. It came out to three touchdowns."

But the biggest offensive performance still was sweet for the Red Raiders, who proved something to many who expected them to fail.

"I feel every week we have something to prove," Crabtree said. "Week after week they seem to come up with something about us not having this or that. So every time we come out and we've got to play. That's what I put into everyone's head and that's what we've done."