ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- NCAA passing leader Kliff Kingsbury's final tune-up for the Big 12 battles that await him and his Texas Tech teammates was one for the record book.
Kingsbury threw for a school- and Big 12-record six touchdowns as Texas Tech beat New Mexico 49-0 on Friday night.
"That's a big record, it's one of the records I wanted at Texas Tech,'' said Kingsbury, who holds 18 conference records for passing and total offense.
Kingsbury also wants a Heisman Trophy and he said how he plays against Big 12 teams will have a much bigger impact on his chances than his record-setting performance against a New Mexico team riddled by injuries and inexperience.
"We start conference (next week against Texas A&M) and we've
got some big games lined up,'' Kingsbury said. "Depending on how
that goes, we'll see what happens.''
Kingsbury guided the Red Raiders (3-2) to four straight scores
in the first half, including three in the second quarter.
He completed 41 of 59 passes for a season-high 407 yards.
New Mexico (2-4) lost starting quarterback Casey Kelly, who
broke his left arm late in the first quarter. Kelly, who is
right-handed, played the rest of the first half and X-rays taken at
halftime showed he had a broken forearm. He's expected to be out at
least four weeks.
The shutout ended New Mexico's streak of having scored in 111
straight games, dating to a 35-0 loss to Brigham Young in 1992. It
also was the Lobos' worst loss under fifth-year head coach Rocky
Kingsbury played into the fourth quarter, until the Red Raiders
had a 42-0 lead. Tech coach Mike Leach said he wasn't trying to run
up the score and didn't keep Kingsbury in so he could set the
"It's no disrespect to them, but we've got to get our work done
and you only get so many opportunities,'' Leach said. "It's
coaching and improvement throughout the course of a game.''
New Mexico coach Rocky Long, however, felt Texas Tech was trying to improve Kingsbury's Heisman resume at the expense of his team.
"They're into stats, they're into how many yards he can throw for,'' Long said. "They're trying to win him the Heisman Trophy -- they'll never win it, but they're trying.
"If you have a Heisman Trophy candidate, and you've got a team down and you're drilling them, you'll try to improve his stats so he looks good on the national wire,'' Long said.
The Lobos' best scoring chance came early in the second quarter when they reached the Tech 26, but failed to convert on fourth-and-2.
With his receivers having a decided height advantage on the
Lobos' defenders, Kingsbury threw TD passes of 2, 7 and 4 yards to
6-foot-4 Anton Paige, 2 yards to 6-foot-3 Mickey Peters, 20 yards
to Carlos Francis and 5 yards to Preston Hartfield.
The scoring pass to Francis came 55 seconds after Kingsbury's
second TD pass to Paige late in the second quarter. It was set up
when New Mexico's Joe Manning fumbled the kickoff and Tech's Ivory
McCann recovered at the Lobos 27.
Kingsbury, who has thrown 17 touchdown passes this season, was
sacked twice in the first quarter, but after that had plenty of
time to pick apart New Mexico's defense.
On the Red Raiders' first scoring drive, Kingsbury converted
first downs on third-and-16 and fourth-and-19 situations, the
latter putting Tech at the New Mexico 2. Two plays later, Kingsbury
floated a pass to Paige, who caught the pass over 5-foot-10 Lobo
defender David Crockett.
Tech, which came in averaging 43 passes a game, kept throwing
till the end. Kingsbury played into the fourth quarter and he and
backup B.J. Symons combined to complete 47 of 68 passes as Tech
finished with 590 total yards.
The Red Raiders, who have won nine straight games in the series and hold a 32-5-2 edge overall, drew boos from the partisan New Mexico crowd when, up 28-0 in the third quarter, they went for a fourth-and-one from their own 34-yard line and made it.
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