Texas Tech beat up on no-names like Florida International, Sam Houston State and Indiana State earlier this season. The high-scoring Red Raiders...
AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Tech beat up on no-names like Florida International, Sam Houston State and Indiana State earlier this season. The high-scoring Red Raiders, who were averaging 52 points, even jumped into the Top 10 for the first time since 1976 after racing past Kansas State, 59-20, in a game where fifth-year senior quarterback Cody Hodges threw for 643 yards and five touchdowns.
But Texas, Tech discovered, can provide a harsh dose of reality.
The second-ranked Longhorns short-circuited Tech’s high-voltage offense yesterday, defeating the 10th-ranked Red Raiders, 52-17, before a sellout crowd of 83,919 at Memorial Stadium.
The prolific Hodges launched 64 passes, completing 42 for 368 yards and two touchdowns in what had been hyped as the biggest game in modern Tech (6-1) history.
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Most of it — and the 93 plays Tech ran — was wasted energy.
It didn’t take long to see which team was the national contender and which one looked out of place as the No. 7 team in the initial BCS rankings.
“I said at the beginning of the season USC was definitely No. 1 and nobody deserved to be No. 2 because they hadn’t done enough,” Texas coach Mack Brown said. “Now I think this team definitely deserves to be No. 2.”
Nobody is arguing, just like nobody is disputing that Texas’ junior quarterback, Vince Young, deserves to be atop the Heisman race along with USC’s Reggie Bush.
“Everybody was saying this was his Heisman game,” Brown said. “A lot of the national media were coming in to see him. There was a lot of pressure on him. There wasn’t any pressure on Cody. Everybody was saying all week how great he was. Vince was in the spotlight and after a few rough spots in the first quarter, he played pretty well.”
Young completed 12 of 22 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 45 yards on seven carries. He scored on a 10-yard run up the middle as the Longhorns (7-0) defeated the Raiders for the fifth time in six years.
Young, who threw touchdown passes of 15 and 75 yards to wideout Billy Pittman, has become markedly more efficient this season, as has the Longhorns’ balanced offense, which piled up 443 yards and averaged 7.2 yards.
Young was not sold on his performance.
“I’d give myself a C-plus,” he said.
One plus: Young did not blow up after throwing two first-quarter interceptions. “I was getting frustrated,” he said. “But I went off to the side, put myself in a corner and just talked to myself and tried to get ready for the next series. In the past I might have thrown my helmet and not talked to any of my teammates. But I’m older, more mature. Everybody looks at the quarterback to see how he’s going to react.”
“I think he’s being a little hard on himself,” Brown said. “We did score 52 points. But that’s the standard he sets for himself.”