No. 12 Texas Tech rolls over SMU, 43-7

LUBBOCK, Texas —Graham Harrell threw for 418 yards and five touchdowns, three to Michael Crabtree, to help No. 12 Texas Tech rout SMU 43-7 on Saturday night.

SMU and first-year coach June Jones were overmatched from the outset and turnovers—five interceptions—hurt the Mustangs mightily. Safety Daniel Charbonnet had three interceptions to set a Texas Tech record for a game.

Harrell, coming off his worst game in two years in last week’s 35-19 win over Nevada, completed 31 of 48 passes. He threw TD passes of 23, 47, 50, 7 and 44.

Crabtree had his best game of the season, catching eight passes for 164 yards.

Bo Levi Mitchell drove the Mustangs to the Red Raiders 26 and 1 in the first half, but came away empty. In the second half, the closest SMU got against Tech’s starters was the 31.

Harrell and Crabtree went out with about 12 minutes remaining in the game. Harrell was replaced by Taylor Potts.

Harrell’s five touchdown passes gave him 97 for his career, pushing him past former Red Raiders quarterback Kliff Kingsbury, who had 95 between 1999 and 2002.

Tech (2-0) had its most rushing yards rushing (176 yards) since it ran for 165 yards in a win over Baylor in 2006.

Mitchell, who was 13-of-24 for 155 yards, found his greatest success through the air to Emmanuel Sanders. Mitchell went out midway through the third quarter and was replaced by Logan Turner, who threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Aldrick Robinson late in the fourth quarter for the Mustangs’ lone score.

Sanders caught eight passes for 125 yards. It was his fourth-straight game going back to last season in which he had at least eight catches and 100-plus yards.

The first half ended on an unusual play that nixed an apparent Texas Tech score. Harrell scrambled and when SMU’s Patrick Fleming caught up with him, the Mustangs’ player pulled his helmet off. But Harrell stayed on his feet and continued to look for a receiver. He hit Tramain Swindall for a TD, but officials had called the play dead and took the score away from the Red Raiders.

On the final play of the first half, Crabtree couldn’t hang onto a pass from Harrell in the corner of the end zone.

SMU (1-1) fell behind early after the Mustangs turned the ball over on three of their first four possessions. Charbonnet intercepted two passes and Jamar Wall got a third.

A field goal came from Charbonnet’s first pick before Baron Batch, a backup running back for the Red Raiders, went in motion, took a handoff from Harrell and exploded through a gaping hole in SMU’s line to go nearly untouched for a 43-yard score. It was the Red Raiders’ ninth rushing touchdown of the season, an atypical statistic considering Texas Tech’s penchant for scoring through the air.

About a minute later, Harrell found Crabtree in the end zone for a 23-yard touchdown strike off Wall’s takeaway to put Tech up 15-0 before the end of the first quarter.

The Mustangs got a turnover early in the second quarter just 23 yards from their end zone, but five plays, later Mitchell threw his fourth interception. Mitchell threw the ball to Aldrick Robinson at the 2, but Darcel McBath stepped in front of the pass and got the interception near the goal line.

Six plays later, Crabtree got behind two defenders and was wide open in the end zone when Harrell hit him with a 47-yarder to put the Red Raiders up 22-0 midway through the first half.