Texas Tech 52, Iowa St. 21
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP)—B.J. Symons fell a little short of what seemed almost routine for him—500 yards passing.
He still did more than enough to lift Texas Tech past Iowa State, completing 45 of 65 passes for 487 yards and three touchdowns in the Red Raiders’ 52-21 victory Saturday night.
Symons, who was not available for interviews following the game, appeared to injure his left knee while skipping toward the end zone to greet Wes Welker after a touchdown pass completion in the third quarter. Symons grimaced and used his hands to cover his face as trainers worked on the knee on the Tech sideline.
“I don’t think he really got hurt,” Tech coach Mike Leach said. “They stuck a brace on him as a precautionary thing. “He does that little skip that you’ve seen him do, and he stepped a little differently this time than before.”
He returned on the next possession for Tech (5-1, 2-0 Big 12) and appeared slightly hobbled by either the pain or the brace. The first two plays were shovel passes. He left the game with 8:30 remaining.
Symons threw three touchdowns passes and ran for two more scores. Last week he set a Big 12 record and school record with eight TD passes against Texas A&M.
Symons also committed all four of the Red Raiders’ turnovers. Two of the turnovers led to Iowa State touchdowns.
“We could have been sharper,” Leach said. “We were a little sloppy.”
Symons threw TD passes for 24, 9 and 6 yards. It was the first time in four games that Symons did not get at least 500 passing yards.
Tech increased its winning streak to three games, while the Cyclones (2-4, 0-2) have lost four in a row.
The 775 total yards Tech amassed was a modern-era school record. A Red Raider team in 1926 got more than 1,200 total yards against Wayland Baptist University.
Symons spread his passes around, hitting nine receivers. Taurean Henderson caught nine passes for 52 yards, Wes Welker had eight for 76 yards and Carlos Francis had seven for 118 yards.
Cyclone coach Dan McCarney said Symons “is a really special player who is making the most of his one year as a starter.”
“Symons just gets back there and ducks it and chunks,” McCarney said. “I’m just glad he’s not coming back.”
Henderson also ran for one touchdown and finished with 113 yards on 13 carries.
“The way their defense played, every time I got the ball, I was able to hit the seam,” Henderson said.
Symons’ performance broke an NCAA record for total offense in a four-game span set by Houston’s David Klingler (2,276 yards) in 1990. Symons finished with 529 total yards Saturday night to set the record at 2,328.
With the 487 yards passing against the Cyclones, Symons also topped the NCAA record (2,170) for passing yards over a four-game stretch that he set last week.
He has 2,239 yards passing in the past four games. He got 505 in Tech’s 59-28 win over Texas A&M last week, 661 yards in Tech’s 49-45 win at Mississippi and 586 in the 49-21 loss at North Carolina State.
By halftime Symons had 308 yards on 28-of-39 passing. He fumbled twice and had a pair of passes intercepted—all in the first half.
Cyclone tailback Michael Wagner scored on a 25-yard run late in the first quarter to make it 7-7 after the first of Symons’ fumbles, this one at Iowa State’s 36.
Late in the first half, Joe Woodley intercepted Symons’ pass at the Cyclones 49. Seven plays later, Cris Love threw a 21-yard score to Lance Young to pull Iowa State to 21-14.
Iowa State almost got a third score off a second fumble by Symons but a holding penalty nullified a touchdown pass to Lane Danielsen. Symons lost the ball at Iowa State’s 12 and Ellis Hobbs III returned it 53 yards to the Tech 35.
The Cyclones tied it at 21 on their first play from scrimmage in the second half when Love hit Lane Danielsen on an 80-yard pass.
Tech went ahead for good on its next drive when Symons ran in from the 1 to cap a 12-play drive for 28-21 lead.