Date: October 8, 2005
Location: Lincoln, NE - Memorial Stadium
Opponent: Nebraska Cornhuskers
Score: Texas Tech 34 Nebraska 31
I kicked off this top 10 writing about a great win in Lincoln. Maybe I give Nebraska too much credit but there is something about our victories in Lincoln that just seem to do more for me than most victories. This was another instant classic.
We came into the game with a couple things going against us despite our #15 ranking. First of all we were in Lincoln playing in one of the toughest environments in college football. Secondly, the Huskers were out for revenge. If you don't recall in 2004 we handed them the WORSE LOSS IN PROGRAM HISTORY when we beat the snot out of them in Lubbock 70-10!
This contest was truly a roller-coaster ride of emotions for Red Raider fans. Tech raced out to a 21 point lead. Red Raider households were witness to an unprecedented amount of high fives and chest bumps. The tides quickly turned however. Excitement turned to concern to downright anger. Tech blew the lead and fell down 31-27 with just a glimpse of hope. Anger turned to optimism back to excitement as Tech drove down the field with under a minute to go in the game. They were on the verge of totally redeeming themselves..and then Hodges threw an interception. For the second consecutive season Nebraska made history. This time it was for the largest comeback in program history. And then they didn't!! It was Le'Kevin Smith, a nose tackle that picked off Hodges. Smith had two choices at the time of the interception. The right decision was to take the knee and go down as the hero who preserved victory and would be forever remembered in Nebraska football lore. Fortunately for Red Raiders the 'college kid' in Smith came out and he made the wrong decision. He attempted to run the ball back 100 yards for a touchdown. He made it about 15 yards before getting stripped and future Super Bowl Champion Danny Amendola was Johnny on the spot recovering the fumble giving the Raiders another 4 downs to get the pigskin across the goal line.
The game came down to one play. On 4th and 2 Cody Hodges took the shotgun snap and scanned the right side of the field. Not only were there no open receivers but he felt pressure up the middle. A QBs worst fear..a collapsed pocket. Hodges retreated back and to his left. With a desperation flick of the wrist from the 21 yard line things didn't look so good. Hodges got absolutely mauled for his efforts but the football gods were good to Raider nation. Joel Filani was streaking across the end zone and his 11th reception, good for his 3rd TD reception of the afternoon also went for the game winning touchdown.
Hodges threw for 4 TD and 368 yards. Filani had 163 yards receiving with the final 10 being the most important. Dwayne Slay got involved on defense with another forced fumble the Red Raiders recovered. What a game! What a win!
Counting Down To #1:
#5 - Tech 34 Nebraska 31 (2005)