Lubbock, Texas - The Nebraska football team fell behind 21-3 at halftime and was unable to overcome a high-flying Texas Tech offense in the second half in a 70-10 loss to the Red Raiders on Saturday evening. With the loss, Nebraska slipped to 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the Big 12, while Texas Tech improved to 4-2 and 2-1 in conference action.
Playing in front of 52,954 fans and a TBS national television audience, the Huskers were victimized by the hot hand of Texas Tech quarterback Sonny Cumbie, who completed 44-of-56 passes for 436 yards and five touchdowns. Cumbie moved the Red Raiders consistently down the field against the Huskers with five scoring drives of 64 or more yards on the night. The 70 points scored by Texas Tech were the most ever scored against Nebraska.
All of Cumbie's passing numbers were opponent highs against the Huskers this season. He also became just the sixth opposing quarterback in history to throw for more than 400 yards against NU. His 434 passing yards ranks as the third-highest passing total in history against the Huskers. He also set the opponent regular-season record with five touchdown passes against NU and propelled the Red Raiders to an NU opponent season-high 451 yards of total offense.
Cumbie fired the Red Raiders to a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter. He completed 15 of his first 18 pass attempts for 163 yards to put the Huskers in a hole.
The Blackshirts gave the Huskers life when junior strong safety Daniel Bullocks intercepted his third pass of the season and returned it 38 yards to Texas Tech's 27-yard line. Nebraska's offense lost one yard on the ensuing drive, but sophomore place-kicker David Dyches got the Huskers on the board with his career-long 46-yard field goal to trim the Red Raider lead to 14-3 with 4:53 left in the first half.
Texas Tech then struck quickly with a two-play, 85-yard drive that took just 50 seconds. The big blow was delivered by Cumbie again, who connected with wide receiver Jarrett Hicks for an 80-yard touchdown strike. The pass was the longest reception by an opposing receiver since Texas A&M's Randy McCown connected with Chris Taylor for an 81-yard touchdown pass on Oct. 10, 1998.
Nebraska threatened on its opening drive of the night, marching to the Texas Tech 26 before the drive stalled. Matt Herian hauled in a 12-yard pass from Dailey on the drive to reach the 1,000-yard receiving mark in his career. The junior from Pierce, Neb., became the 12th Husker receiver and just the third tight end to reach that milestone. Unfortunately, the Huskers came away empty-handed with Sandro DeAngelis' 43-yard field goal attempt hitting the right upright and falling to the end zone.
Texas Tech answered with a march of its own on the Red Raiders' opening drive, going 74 yards in 11 plays capped Cumbie's 22-yard to Hicks to give the Red Raiders a 7-0 lead with 6:23 left in the first quarter.
Hicks became the first opposing receiver to go over 100 yards this season, and the first since Kansas State's James Terry had 175 yards and two touchdown receptions against NU on Nov. 15, 2003. Hicks had two touchdown catches for 102 yards in the first half alone, while Cumbie completed 19-of-27 attempts for 272 yards before halftime.
After Cumbie and Hicks connected for Texas Tech's first score, the Red Raiders extended their lead to 14-0 on Taurean Henderson's three-yard touchdown run with 10:35 left in the second quarter to cap a seven-play, 86-yard drive.
Nebraska came out gunning in the second half as Dailey hit Mark LeFlore for a 74-yard touchdown strike on the Huskers' third play from scrimmage to cut the Texas Tech lead to 21-10 with just over 14 minutes left in the third quarter. That catch was LeFlore's fifth of the night and gave him 110 yards, his first 100-yard career receiving game.
The Blackshirts stopped Texas Tech on its next drive to give the Husker offense a chance to cut into the Red Raider lead. However, Nebraska's offense was unable to capitalize, and the Red Raiders went back on the attack to score touchdowns on their next six drives to put the game out of reach.
For the game, the Huskers produced 292 yards of total offense, including 199 passing yards and 93 yards rushing. Dailey completed 14-of-34 passes for 187 yards with one touchdown and one interception, before true freshman quarterback Beau Davis made the first appearance of his career late in the third quarter.
Defensively, Nebraska senior linebacker Barrett Ruud reach a milestone with nine total tackles on the night to break the previous school record of 342 career tackles held by Jerry Murtaugh. Ruud finished the night with 344 career tackles.
The Huskers return to Big 12 home action next Saturday when they take on Baylor at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln with kickoff scheduled for 1:05 p.m.
Nebraska 0 3 7 0-10
Texas Tech 7 14 21 28-70
TT-Hicks 22 pass from Cumbie (Trlica kick), 6:23.
TT-Henderson 3 run (Trlica kick), 10:35.
NE-FG Dyches 45, 4:53
TT-Hicks 80 pass from Cumbie (Trlica kick), 1:14.
NE-LeFlore 74 pass from Dailey (DeAngelis kick), 14:07.
TT-Mack 6 pass from Cumbie (Trlica kick), 4:16.
TT-Olomua 3 pass from Cumbie (Trlica kick), 2:24.
TT-Mack 14 run (Trlica kick), 2:03.
TT-Henderson 1 run (Trlica kick), 11:16.
TT-Glover 2 pass from Cumbie (Trlica kick), 9:36.
TT-Mack 6 run (Trlica kick), 9:05.
TT-Henderson 6 pass from Hodges (Trlica kick), 7:14.
First downs 19 25
Rushes-yards 37-93 15-72
Passing 199 451
Comp-Att-Int 15-42-5 47-61-1
Return Yards 50 126
Punts-Avg. 5-42 4-42
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 3-0
Penalties-Yards 5-36 10-121
Time of Possession 30:42 29:18---
RUSHING-Nebraska, Ross 15-49, Jackson 12-42, Horne 2-9, Green 2-4, Dailey 5-(minus 5), Team 1-(minus 6). Texas Tech, Henderson 7-38, Mack 3-24, Filani 2-13, Rawls 1-0, Cumbie 2-(minus 3).
PASSING-Nebraska, Dailey 14-34-1-187, Davis 1-7-3-12, LeFlore 0-1-1-0. Texas Tech, Cumbie 44-56-1-436, Hodges 3-5-0-15.
RECEIVING-Nebraska, LeFlore 5-110, Herian 3-39, Pilkington 3-22, Horne 1-12, Keiser 1-12, Mulkey 1-9, Ross 1-(minus 5). Texas Tech, Glover 12-74, Haverty 7-64, Henderson 7-39, Olomua 6-41, Mack 5-73, Hicks 3-107, Fuller 3-37, Filani 2-7, Hodges 1-6, Amendola 1-3.