Texas Tech 27

(1-0, 1-0 away)

SMU 13

(0-1, 0-1 home)

8:00 PM ET, September 4, 2004

Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas, TX

1 2 3 4 T
TTU 6 0 14 727
SMU 3 0 3 713

Top Performers

Passing: S. Cumbie (TTU) - 470 YDS, 4 TD

Rushing: C. Phillips (SMU) - 21 CAR, 75 YDS

Receiving: J. Hicks (TTU) - 8 REC, 150 YDS, 1 TD

Texas Tech 27, SMU 13

DALLAS (AP) -- The way Texas Tech coach Mike Leach sees it, there are only so many snaps in a season. So he wanted to give his quarterback, a fifth-year senior making his first start, as many throws as possible -- even with a 14-point lead and time running out.

SMU coach Phil Bennett had another opinion of Leach's decision. And he didn't hesitate to let him know it.

Bennett took off toward Leach and began shouting at him when time expired on Tech's 27-13 victory over SMU on Saturday night. A big skirmish broke out involving nearly everyone on both teams and it lasted several minutes.

Punches and helmets were thrown, but no one appeared to get hurt. The skirmish overshadowed everything that happened before, such as Tech's Sonny Cumbie throwing for 470 yards and four touchdowns and the Mustangs hanging tough -- it was tied at 6 in the third quarter -- before losing their 13th straight, tying the worst skid in school history.

"I told Mike I didn't appreciate how the game ended," Bennett said. "Neither team deserved to have that happen."

Tech's final six plays were throws, most coming in the last minute and several with the Red Raiders using a hurry-up offense.

"We're not a team that kneels on the ball or runs the ball up the middle," Cumbie said. "It's a different philosophy. If you don't like it, stop it."

Tech had a first down at the SMU 2 and could've ended it there by taking a knee. Instead, a screen pass turned into a 2-yard loss. The Red Raiders could've let the clock run out without even taking a snap, but Cumbie threw into the end zone.

"I wish we would've caught the ball," Leach said, adding that he was practicing what he preaches to his team.

"I've spent a lot of time coaching our players to play hard, finish, score. I don't change gears on that. I'm not going to stop the projector, I'm not going to look at the down, I'm not going to look at the distance."

The only thing he regrets is that Bennett was so angry.

"I really respect and like him a lot. I hope he still likes me," Leach said. "I'd love to talk to him."

Cumbie came to Tech as a walk-on and watched from the sideline as Kliff Kingsbury and B.J. Symons shattered school, conference and national passing records. The only time Cumbie played was late in lopsided wins, so this was his first chance to show what he can do.

He finished 40-of-66 with TD passes of 14 and 13 yards to Bristol Olomua, a 15-yarder to Joel Filani and a 19-yarder to Jarrett Hicks. He wasn't intercepted.

"He got more comfortable as the game went on," said Olomua, a BYU transfer who was playing his first game since 1999. He caught seven passes for 100 yards.

While Cumbie had more yards than Kingsbury or Symons had in their debuts, he also showed why he backed them up. His throws lack the zip Symons had, and his decision-making needs work. On the game films, he'll see how many open receivers he never looked at, often while throwing to players who were tightly covered.

Cumbie also needs to learn how to finish drives. He had 221 yards by halftime, but Tech led just 6-3. A missed field goal and a missed extra point kick hurt the cause and persuaded Leach to give up on kicking. The Red Raiders went for it on every fourth down inside the SMU 40; they finished 3-of-7.

The Mustangs tied it on the first drive of the third quarter, then the Red Raiders' offense finally began turning yards into points.

Cumbie answered SMU's tying field goal with a 64-yard touchdown drive and got in a 78-yarder later in the quarter. Midway through the fourth, Cumbie took the Red Raiders 90 yards to make it 27-6.

"We started a little sluggish," Cumbie said. "I'd like to play better myself and the offense to play a little better."

The Mustangs, who scored just 15 touchdowns last season, worst in Division I-A, finally got one with 3:07 left on a 7-yard run by Cedrick Dorsey. That drive was the only one under quarterback Tony Eckert.

Starter Chris Phillips did a nice job keeping SMU close, mostly with fake handoffs that turned into keepers. He ran for 75 yards on 21 carries.

Still, the Mustangs stretched the second-longest losing streak in the nation, behind Army's 15 in a row.

"We're on a path to get where we need to be," Bennett said. "We might have taken some steps tonight, but I'm not going to sit here and talk about that."

The game drew a rare sellout crowd of 34,689, the biggest in the five-year history of Ford Stadium, although most were rooting for the Red Raiders.