Texas Tech's dream season ended with a thud Friday in the last Cotton Bowl Classic played at its namesake stadium. No. 20 Mississippi chalked one...

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DALLAS — Texas Tech’s dream season ended with a thud Friday in the last Cotton Bowl Classic played at its namesake stadium.

No. 20 Mississippi chalked one up for the Southeastern Conference in delivering a convincing 47-34 victory over the Big 12’s Raiders before a crowd of 88,175 — the largest in the 73-game history of the event that is moving to the Dallas Cowboys’ $1.1 billion stadium being built in Arlington, Texas.

Eighth-ranked Texas Tech (11-2) failed to reach 12 wins in a season, which would have been a first in program history, and dropped to 0-4 in Cotton Bowl appearances.

Ole Miss (9-4) outscored Tech 24-0 from midway through the second quarter until the end of the third quarter to pull away.

The Rebels, who beat powerhouse Florida earlier in the season, carry a six-game winning streak into the offseason. It was a spectacular debut performance for Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt, formerly Arkansas’ coach.

“I wish we could keep this team and bring it back,” Nutt said. Then, turning to some seniors next to him, he said, “You can’t leave!”

Seconds later, he was so giddy he told Cotton Bowl officials, “We’ll make the announcement we’ll come back next year, right now. Let’s go!”

To understand the excitement, appreciate how far this program has come: from 3-8 last season, winless in the SEC and bowl-less since 2003 (when quarterback Eli Manning, who plays for the Super Bowl champion New York Giants, was a senior).

Mississippi’s scoring spurt produced a sad ending for record-setting Tech quarterback Graham Harrell’s career.

“You never like to lose your last game, but it’s been a fun run here,” Harrell said. “It wasn’t the way we wanted to end the season.”

Harrell, who completed 36 of 58 passes, set a Cotton Bowl record with 364 passing yards. He finished the season with 5,111 passing yards, making him the first player in NCAA history to record multiple 5,000-yard passing seasons. Harrell’s four touchdown passes gave him 134 in his career, surpassing Colt Brennan’s NCAA record of 131 at Hawaii.

But in the highest-scoring game in Cotton Bowl history, it was Ole Miss’ offense that had more ammo. Quarterback Jevan Snead, a Texas transfer, finished with 292 passing yards and three touchdown passes.

Some of the team’s biggest stars in the Cotton Bowl — Snead, Dexter McCluster and cornerback-punt returner Marshay Green — are to return next season.

McCluster rushed 14 times for 97 yards and caught six passes for 83 yards.

Green returned an interception 65 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter and returned a punt 54 yards.

Green capitalized when All-American receiver Michael Crabtree slipped before the ball arrived.

“If he doesn’t slip, he catches it,” Tech coach Mike Leach said of Crabtree. “The ball is going to hit him in the face, he slips, it hits the DB in the face and he runs for a touchdown.

“There’s not a lot of schematic stuff I got for that one. Keep your shoulders over your feet is the biggest thing.”