Harrell throws 4 picks in Red Raider loss

LUBBOCK, Texas -- Cody Hawkins threw for 123 yards and two touchdowns and Colorado intercepted Graham Harrell four times, returning one for a score in a 31-26 victory over Texas Tech on Saturday.

Buffaloes cornerback Terrence Wheatley made three of the interceptions, two on back-to-back Tech possessions in the fourth quarter with Colorado leading 31-19.

Colorado got up early and stayed ahead. Its defense held Tech to 470 yards of total offense, 87 below the Red Raiders' average.

The Buffs (5-4, 3-2 Big 12) went up 24-6 early in the third quarter when Jordon Dizon, the nation's leading tackler, intercepted Harrell and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown.

Colorado beat Tech for the second straight year. The Red Raiders have lost to Missouri and Colorado in successive games two seasons in a row.

Hawkins was 15-of-26, while Harrell completed 46 of 62 passes for 431 yards and three touchdowns. Tech's Michael Crabtree got his first TD catch in three games, but it was too little too late for the Red Raiders (6-3, 2-3), who pulled within 31-26 in the final minutes.

The loss was the second straight for Tech and the second game in a row in which Harrell threw four interceptions.

Colorado kept the ball on the ground and wore down Tech's defense for most of the game. The Buffs ran the ball 44 of 71 plays.

Colorado could have been up 21-0 but squandered a turnover deep in Tech's territory early in the second quarter. Harrell notched his eighth interception of the season when a pass went through Crabtree's hands and into the arms of Wheatley.

But the Buffs couldn't get into the end zone after taking over at Tech's 20, and Kevin Eberhart missed to the left on a 25-yard field goal attempt.