7:00 PM ET, September 27, 2002
University Stadium (NM), Albuquerque, NM
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.
Kliff Kingsbury broke the school- and Big 12-records with his six TD passes.
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 Long.
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 record.
"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 trying to win him the Heisman Trophy -- they'll never win it, but they're trying. ”|
|— Lobos coach Rocky Long, who wondered if Texas Tech left QB Kliff Kingsbury in the game too long|
"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.