Texas Tech 49, Mississippi 45
OXFORD, Miss. (AP)—B.J. Symons threw for 661 yards—a school and Big 12 record—and six touchdowns as Texas Tech beat Mississippi 49-45 on Saturday night.
Symons, who broke both passing records last Saturday against North Carolina State when he threw for 586 yards in a loss, completed a 9-yard touchdown pass to Carlos Francis with 1:04 left to give Texas Tech (3-1) the victory.
Symons was 44-for-64 with one interception for the third-best passing yardage performance in Division I-A history. Symons’ six touchdowns tied a school record set by Kliff Kingsbury in 2002.
Ole Miss (2-2) had one last shot to win, but Eli Manning’s pass was intercepted by Ryan Aycock on a throw intended for Mike Espy near the Texas Tech goal line.
Manning was 29-for-49 for 409 yards and three touchdowns, and Jonathan Nichols kicked a school-record six field goals, but the Rebels allowed Tech to come from behind.
Ole Miss took a 45-34 lead on Nichols’ sixth field goal with 8:01 remaining, but Symons led Texas Tech on a drive highlighted by a 22-yard pass to Wes Welker, who had 10 receptions for 131 yards and a touchdown.
Welker’s catch inside Ole Miss territory led to a 21-yard touchdown pass from Symons to Jarrett Hicks, and the Red Raiders added a 2-point conversion to cut it to 45-42 with 5:01 remaining.
Ole Miss failed to move the ball on its next possession and the Red Raiders took over with about three minutes left. Symons threw a 21-yard pass to Welker with 1:53 left to move the ball to the Ole Miss 24, then threw a 15-yard strike between two defenders to Welker to set up the winning TD.
It was a close game throughout, but Texas Tech had an opportunity to seize control in the first half.
The Red Raiders were leading 21-13 late in the second quarter and threatening to score from the Ole Miss 23 when the Rebels came up with a big play.
Defensive end Charlie Anderson broke through the line to pressure Symons, forcing him to throw a pass to the flat that was picked off by Kelvin Robinson. Robinson ran 80 yards for a touchdown—the first of his career—to cut the lead to 21-19 with 3:28 remaining in the first half.
Ole Miss took the lead after another Texas Tech turnover, Carlos Farcis’ fumble on a handoff on a reverse. Oliver recovered, setting up Nichols’ 33-yard field goal to put Ole Miss ahead 22-21.
Manning threw a 14-yard touchdown to Kerry Johnson with 4:23 left in the third quarter to give Ole Miss a 39-27 lead, but the Rebels managed only two field goals the rest of the way.
Chris Collins broke the Mississippi career reception record on the Rebels’ opening drive. Collins’ catch gave him 143 career receptions.