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July 1, 2009

2008 Season in Review: Kansas

The clash with the Kansas Jayhawks was the first of a sinister four-game stretch that also included No. 1 Texas, No. 6 Oklahoma State and No. 4 Oklahoma. If the Red Raiders were to contend for any sort of championship they simply could not afford to nut up in the very first game of the gauntlet. Tech played with the necessary urgency and poise and tossed out the Jayhawks like last week's goulash, winning 63-21. It was a classic statement game.

Courtesy of MyFoxLubbock.com.
RECAP: In the days leading up to the battle between number eight Texas Tech and No. 18 Kansas, there was much discussion over who was the better receiver, Michael Crabtree of the visiting Red Raiders or Dezmon Briscoe of the homestanding Jayhawks. After Tech's 63-21 drubbing of Kansas there was certainly no doubt of which was the better team and any comparisons of Briscoe and Crabtree became irrelevant.

After a deadlocked first quarter, Tech put on a breathtakingly dominant display. The Red Raiders scored 49 straight points en route to snapping KU's 13-game home winning streak. They also handed the favored Jayhawks their worst home defeat since a 64-0 loss to Kansas State in 2002.

STAR OF THE SHOW: It would be easy to go with Graham Harrell here. He completed 34 of 42 passes for 386 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions. Safety Darcel McBath, however, was a monster against Todd Reesing and Kansas' dangerous passing attack. In addition to recording seven tackles, McBath pilfered three of Reesing's first four third-quarter aerials. In doing so he single-handedly slammed the door on any comeback hopes the Jayhawks might have been nursing.

KEY MOMENT: In the first quarter the two teams traded touchdowns and the game looked for all the world like it would be the wild, wooly shootout that most expected. Following suit after a Briscoe touchdown reception late in the first quarter, the Red Raiders scored on a seven-yard grab by Eric Morris early in the second. But instead of surrendering a third touchdown to the Jayhawks, the Tech defense got a stop and the Air Raid responded with yet another touchdown to make the score 28-14 with six minutes to play until halftime. The two touchdown gap was the game's turning point and the Red Raiders never looked back from there.

BIGGEST PLAY: Harrell hit Edward Britton with a perfect strike down the middle of the field, and the El Paso speedster took it to the house for a 55-yard touchdown to give Tech a 7-0 lead early on. It would be a harbinger of things to come as Red Raider receivers ran free all day long and an unhurried Harrell connected with them at will.

STAT OF THE GAME: 154. The Red Raider defense held Heisman Trophy candidate Todd Reesing to only 154 yards passing and tormented him into his worst game since high school. It would prove to be the most impressive performance by the secondary for the entire season.


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