Texas Tech Football:
- Lots from the LAJ, including Joshual Hull on the chaos that was Lubbock, Adam Zuvanich on Graham Harrell becoming a legend, Jeff Walker on the big defensive plays, Travis Cram writing that Jordan Shipley had a minimal effect, Jeff Walker on Michael Crabtree's catch sealing the victory, Don Williams Red Raiders Notebook and Williams game story:
Some 84 seasons after E.Y. Freeland sent out the first Texas Tech football team, the Red Raiders staked a first-time claim as kings of college football Saturday night with a 39-33 victory over top-ranked Texas. Yep, around here, they’re royalty, all right.
Royalty? Some might say that’s premature, Tech being only halfway through this four-game meat grinder on the schedule. No. 9 Oklahoma State and No. 4 Oklahoma could end the euphoria – dreams get shattered every week in college football. But it won’t take away, nor ever erase what happened Saturday night and all week leading up to it.
It sure looked like a transformation: The phenomenon of Raiderville, a tiny South Plains community that’s thriving on an economy of barbecue, pizza and video games. An inaugural visit from ESPN’s "College GameDay.’’ And then came a game with an ending too crazy for Hollywood.
The biggest lived up to its billing.
- ESPN's Big 12 blogger Tim Griffin has a ton on the game, including Graham Harrell, Michael Crabtree and Daniel Charbonnet earning Big 12 helmet stickers, Crabtree's dream of catching that last second touchdown pass and Griffin's recap of the game:
Tech was able to consistently run the ball, something that they had struggled with during previous games with Texas. The backfield combination of Shannon Woods and Baron Batch produced 122 yards on 25 carries. It made the Longhorns respect the run, which is something they hadn't done during a five-game winning streak over Tech.
"These contributions show that we're a pretty good football team," McNeill said. "And we can count on each other. These guys don't want to let anybody down and they play like it. They all want to do their best and we saw that tonight."
Tech's collection of talent has pushed them into first place in the Big 12 South. They still have tough games against Oklahoma State and Oklahoma sandwiched around a game against Baylor.
"This win obviously gives us a lot of confidence," Charbonnet said. "We always felt we could play with anybody and beat anybody. But tonight proved that. We have to enjoy it, but also come back and learn from it."
- From the FWST, Dwain Price writes that Texas Tech is now one of the big boys:
The locals who follow Texas Tech football closely must have known something big was about to happen. Why else would more than 2,000 fans start camping out outside of Jones AT&T Stadium on Monday?
The fans’ patience paid off as the sixth-ranked Red Raiders won a wild and dramatic shootout over No. 1 Texas 39-33 on Saturday night.
In knocking off a top-ranked team for the first time in school history, Tech ran its record to 9-0 for the first time since 1938 and also took over sole possession of first place in the Big 12 South with a perfect 5-0 worksheet.
Tech led for the majority of the game, but trailed 33-32 after UT’s Vondrell McGee raced in from the 5 with 1:29 remaining in the game.
Undaunted, the Red Raiders marched 62 yards in just six plays, with Graham Harrell firing a 28-yard TD to Michael Crabtree with 1 second left in the game.
The dream sequence meshed together Saturday night for Texas Tech, triggering a football celebration like no other that has preceded it on the South Plains.
The Red Raiders took down top-ranked Texas 39-33 in front of a stadium-record crowd on a last-second, 28-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Graham Harrell to receiver Michael Crabtree.
By doing so, No. 6 Tech improved to 9-0, its best start to any football season in 70 years, and grabbed sole possession of first place in the Big 12 South Division with a 5-0 league record. Whether that will be good enough for the Red Raiders to replace the Longhorns (8-1, 4-1) as the nation’s No. 1 team in today’s polls is open for discussion.
But to the hordes of Tech fans who rushed the field on three occasions in premature celebration after Crabtree’s game-winning touchdown — before letting the final second expire on a subsequent kickoff so they could party properly — there was no doubt who was No. 1 at Jones AT&T Stadium.
"I don’t know about big-picture questions," said Tech coach Mike Leach. "You just go out and do the best you can for 60 minutes and try to win it. Sometimes, you only have a second left when you do."
- The DMN joins in Kate Hairopoulos recaps last night's win, Bill Nichols writes that Graham Harrell upstaged Colt McCoy, Nichols and Hairopoulos write about Matt "Lynnwood" Willliams and Chuck Carlton says that Texas Tech has staked it's claim to something great:
This one was for the doubters, the skeptics, the ones who saw Texas Tech as a team that would always spontaneous combust in the spotlight.
In one make-or-break play, the 39-33 victory over Texas validated coach Mike Leach and quarterback Graham Harrell, along with the system.
The program's 500th win doubled as its most important and most dramatic.
Harrell's 28-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree with one second remaining ended an improbable Texas comeback and spawned not one, not two, but three premature celebrations from the fans who wanted a party on the field.
They eventually got one, a sea of black at Jones AT&T Stadium that claimed both goal posts.
While trying to congratulate Leach, Texas coach Mack Brown got lost in the humanity.
"I couldn't find him," Brown said. "That's the first time in my life that I didn't shake the other coach's hand, and he sure deserved it."
SI's Steward Mandel says that Texas Tech has legitimized its program with a win over Texas:
After eight years of pirate jokes and "system quarterback" stigmas, of 4-4 conference records and second-tier bowls, Texas Tech will likely find itself in the top three of the BCS standings come Sunday. Whether Saturday's victory was the first milestone of a possible championship run or just another step toward cannibalizing its conference's national title hopes, we'll find out soon enough. Either way, the Red Raiders validated the message that a group of students in the front row had painted on their chests in black-and-white lettering: "We Are No Joke."
Tech has now won in each of its most recent games against Texas and Oklahoma, the two Big 12 titans to which it's long played second fiddle. Harrell put up typical Tech video-game numbers against the 'Horns (36-of-53 for 474 yards and two touchdowns) -- prompting his ever-sardonic coach to note "some of you guys might want to add him to your Heisman lists if you're into that kind of thing" -- but this time he did it against an upper-echelon foe.
With the game on the line, he calmly completed four straight passes for 34 yards, then, after averting a near-disaster (Texas safety Blake Gideon dropped a potential game-sealing interception with eight seconds left), connected with the ever-electrifying Crabtree (10 catches, 127 yards) on the kind of play even some pros can't make. Just as they've practiced nearly every day for two years, Harrell lofted a fade pass just over Texas cornerback Curtis Brown's head that Crabtree hauled in near the sideline five yards shy of the end zone. He promptly shook off Brown's tackle and dashes for the touchdown.
- See generally, The Austin American Statesman, The Houston Chronicle and The San Antonio Express News.