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|09-12-2015, 07:40 PM||#1|
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Texas Tech dominates UTEP 69-20, improves to 2-0
Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury finally saw the killer instinct Saturday that his Red Raiders were lacking last week.
"We knew if we got them out of that ball-control running they like to do, they would have a hard time keeping up with our offense," he said. "We felt the momentum turning. The guys kept going and got it done this week."
Patrick Mahomes threw for four touchdowns and ran for two more to lead Texas Tech past UTEP 69-20.
The sophomore completed 18 of 33 passes for 361 yards.
Mahomes' scoring passes went to Jakeem Grant (60 yards), Justin Stockman (46 yards), Reginald Davis (35 yards) and Devin Lauderdale (34 yards).
DeAndre Washington scored on a 51-yard run for the Red Raiders (2-0), and Mahomes' rushing TDs were from 7 yards and 1 yard.
Washington gained 138 yards rushing on 12 carries.
The Red Raiders begin a three-week stretch against Top 25 teams, beginning at Arkansas next Saturday. After that, Texas Tech hosts TCU and plays Baylor Oct. 3 in Arlington, Texas. Mahomes said he's ready.
"I mean, it's going to be a great competition," he said. "They're three great teams. To start off with great teams, it will be a good trend setter to see where we're at and make ourselves known as a team that can be in the Big 12 and make something happen."
Miners' running back Aaron Jones scored on a 91-yard rush -- the longest running play in UTEP history. He got hurt and left the game just before halftime with a left ankle injury. The Miners (0-2) really needed him in the second half.
"It was a devastating blow for us," UTEP coach Sean Kugler said. "We've got to respond better than that. Guys gotta step up, make plays in his stead, and we can't let the loss of one guy affect our team the way that it did."
Jones also scored on a 24-yard pass from quarterback Mack Leftwich, who completed 14 of 22 passes for 164 yards.
The game was a far cry from last year's when Texas Tech had to come from behind to beat the Miners 30-26 in El Paso.
And it was a much better defensive outing for the Red Raiders, who gave up 637 total yards last week in their 59-45 win over Sam Houston State. On Saturday, Texas Tech gave up 414 total yards.
Mahomes came out early in the fourth quarter and was replaced by Red Raiders backup Davis Webb, who scored twice on rushing TDs, a 1-yarder and a 5-yarder.
Stockman's touchdown pass from Mahomes showcased the sophomore's blistering speed. He caught the ball with at least four blockers near him and he sprinted past them and potential tacklers on his way into the end zone to give the Red Raiders a 17-7 lead in the first quarter.
Grant, who almost matched his career-best game (155 yards on 12 catches) by halftime, got the first Red Raiders score. Mahomes found him wide open at the Miners 28, and Grant juked and darted left to outrun his defenders.
Grant had 141 yards on seven catches at halftime and didn't catch any passes in the second half.
Jones, the Miners leading rusher Saturday with 139 yards on 17 carries, returned to the field shortly after the beginning of the third quarter. He was on crutches and wearing a black boot on his left leg.
"I think we were moving the ball pretty good in the first half," Leftwich said. "Obviously the injury changed things."