LUBBOCK, Texas -- Texas Tech's Michael Crabtree set an NCAA record for receiving touchdowns by a freshman in his sixth straight multiple-TD game, a 42-17 victory against Iowa State on Saturday night.
Crabtree scored three times against the Cyclones, giving him 17 for the season. The redshirt freshman got No. 15 and the record on his second catch of the day when Graham Harrell hit him on a slant across the middle and Crabtree ran 20 yards to put Tech (4-1, 1-1 Big 12) up 7-0 midway through the first quarter.
The Red Raiders' receiver broke the freshman record of 14 TD catches by Jabar Gaffney (Florida in 2000), Mike Williams (Southern California in 2002) and Davone Bess (Hawaii in 2005).
It was Crabtree's fifth three-touchdown game this season. He had two TDs in a 45-31 win over Texas-El Paso.
Harrell, who entered the game leading the nation in passing, was 36-of-43 for 425 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran for a 1-yard score.
Both were pulled with about 9 1/2 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
Crabtree's 17 TDs also ties the Big 12 season record set by Rashaun Woods at Oklahoma State in 2002.
Coming into the game, Crabtree led the nation in receptions (60), receiving yards (920) and touchdowns (14). He added 10 more catches and 154 yards against the Cyclones.
Crabtree is well on his way to the Division I record of 27 TDs shared by Jerry Rice (Mississippi Valley, 1984) and Troy Edwards (Louisiana Tech, 1998).
After Tech failed to score on an opening drive for the first time this season, the Red Raiders needed only four plays on each of the next three drives to lead 21-0.
Tech's re-energized defense kept the Cyclones (1-5, 0-2) from crossing midfield on their first eight possessions. Iowa State averaged 8.8 yards per drive on its first six drives. The Tech defense even scored when Darcel McBath scooped up a fumble at the Iowa State 16 yard line for a 28-0 lead late in the second quarter.
Dropped passes and a straight-ahead rushing game stymied Iowa State's offense throughout the first half.
Even after Cyclones safety James Smith intercepted a pass intended for Crabtree and returned it to the Tech 20 late in the first half, Iowa State couldn't get in the end zone. The Cyclones, who had just two first downs at halftime, had to settle for a field goal and a 28-3 deficit.
Iowa State awakened some in the second half, getting 203 of its 287 total yards. Cyclones quarterback Bret Meyer ran 5 yards for a touchdown and threw a 38-yard TD pass to Todd Blythe, both in the fourth quarter.
The total yardage for the Cyclones was a season low. Their previous low (300 yards) came in a 15-13 win over Iowa last month.