College Football

Shough, Brooks Lead Texas Tech to 38-21 Win Over Houston

Texas Tech Red Raiders running back Tahj Brooks (28) breaks loose on a long rushing touchdown during first half action during the football game between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and University of Houston Cougars at NRG Stadium on Sept. 4, 2021 in Houston, Texas.
Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tyler Shough accounted for two touchdowns, Tahj Brooks rushed for 134 yards and two touchdowns, and Texas Tech beat Houston 38-21 in the season opener for both teams on Saturday night.

Shough finished 17 of 24 for 231 yards passing with a touchdown and ran for another score in his debut for the Red Raiders. The Oregon transfer scored on an 8-yard touchdown run with eight minutes left in the third quarter to start a streak of 31-unanswered points for Texas Tech.

Erik Ezukanma had seven catches for 179 yards for Texas Tech, which outgained Houston 376-251.

Houston's Clayton Tune finished 27-of-38 passing for 174 yards and two touchdowns but was intercepted four times. Nathaniel Dell caught seven passes for 80 yards and a touchdown.

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Texas Tech tied it at 21 with 7:20 remaining in the third quarter when Riko Jeffers scored a touchdown on a 13-yard interception return. Jonathan Garibay hit a 34-yard field goal to give the Red Raiders a 24-21 lead with 36 seconds left in the third.

Xavier White caught a 3-yard TD pass from Shough, and Brooks, who had a 41-yard score in the second quarter, rushed for a 44-yard TD with a minute remaining to ice it.

Tune capped a 16-play, 75-yard drive with a 1-yard quarterback sneak to give Houston a 7-0 lead with 6:30 remaining in the first quarter. After the Cougars recovered an onside kick, Tune found Dell wide open in the end zone for a 23-yard touchdown to expand Houston's lead to 14-0 with two minutes left in the first.

Tune connected with Seth Green for a 9-yard TD pass with 23 seconds left in the second quarter to give the Cougars a 21-7 halftime lead.

THE TAKEAWAY
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders won their fourth straight over Houston. Texas Tech's defense dominated Houston in the second half, holding the Cougars to 53 yards and forcing four punts and three turnovers. Texas Tech finished 17 points off turnovers.

Houston: The Cougars struggled in the run game, with 87 yards rushing, but 49 of it coming from their running backs. Houston went 5 of 15 on third downs, including 1 of 7 in the second half.

FIRST QUARTER AGGRESSIVENESS
Houston went for it three times on fourth down in its first drive, converting each time. Each of the fourth-and-1 plays were runs, with Tune converting twice and Mulbah Car converting the third. Houston used that aggressiveness and the ensuing onside kick to hold the ball for the first 13 minutes of the game. Texas Tech took its first snap with 2:04 remaining in the quarter.

UP NEXT
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders will host FCS Stephen F. Austin on Saturday.

Houston: The Cougars will travel across town to face rival Rice on Saturday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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