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Texas Tech routs Arizona State in Holiday Bowl

The SportsXchange

SAN DIEGO -- Arizona State's school colors are maroon and gold.

On Monday at the National University Holiday Bowl, the shade of red applied to the Sun Devils' faces as well as their uniforms.

Texas Tech defeated the 14th-ranked Sun Devils 37-23 at Qualcomm Stadium.

"I'm very embarrassed for our program," Arizona State coach Todd Graham said. "We didn't have our team prepared to play."

Texas Tech was more than willing to take advantage of Arizona State's blase attitude. The Red Raiders stormed to an early lead, then held the Sun Devils' potent offense to 10 second-half points and skipped away with an easy win.

"That little 'Bottom Line' on ESPN kept saying we were going to lose by 22 points," Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "We saw that all week."

The Sun Devils' defense will see highlights of Texas Tech freshman quarterback Davis Webb well into the offseason.

Webb tied a Holiday Bowl record with four touchdown passes as he completed 28 of 41 passes for 403 yards. The other quarterbacks who threw four touchdown tosses in a Holiday Bowl were BYU's Jim McMahon (1980), Kansas State's Brian Kavanagh (1995) and Texas' Major Applewhite (2001).

"It's pretty exhilarating right now," said Webb, who threw all of his scoring passes before halftime. "I told myself I was going to send the seniors off right."

Red Raiders wide receiver Jakeem Grant made six receptions for 89 yards and two touchdowns. Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro finished with eight catches for 112 yards.

Texas Tech (8-5) scored on four of its first five possessions en route to snapping a five-game losing streak.

Graham kept waiting for his team to snap out of its funk, but it never did.

"It was an ugly game offensively and defensively," he said.

The Red Raiders stymied Arizona State, which was averaging 41 points a game, in the final two quarters after building a 27-13 halftime lead.

"We were ready for this game, but we just didn't execute," said Arizona State junior quarterback Taylor Kelly, who went 16-for-29 for 125 yards with no touchdown passes and one interception. He carried the ball 25 times for 135 yards and a score.

Arizona State (10-4) fell short in its bid to win 11 games for the first time since 1966. The Sun Devils lost to Stanford in the Pac-12 title game.

Zane Gonzalez's fourth-quarter, 33-yard field goal, his third of the game, pulled Arizona State within 37-23.

Texas Tech went ahead 37-20 on Ryan Bustin's 23-yard field goal with 5:28 left in the third quarter.

Reginald Davis' 90-yard scoring kickoff return pushed the Red Raiders ahead 34-20 early in the third quarter. Moments earlier, a 44-yard touchdown run by Kelly pulled the Sun Devils within 27-20.

Sun Devils running back D.J. Foster cut the Red Raiders' lead to 27-13 when he rushed for a 20-yard touchdown in the middle of the second quarter.

Webb threw fourth touchdown pass with 10 minutes to go before halftime, a 21-yard connection with Grant. The touchdown was Grant's second of the season, and it gave the Red Raiders a 27-6 advantage.

Webb's third touchdown pass came when he found wide receiver Bradley Marquez alone in the end zone for a 23-yard completion in the opening minute of the second quarter.

The Sun Devils relied on their kicking game for offense in the first quarter. Gonzalez converted field goals of 44 and 31 yards, slicing the Red Raiders' edge to 13-6.

Gonzalez's second field goal followed a turnover. Grant fumbled a kickoff return, and the ball was recovered by Sun Devils linebacker Steffon Martin.

The Red Raiders extended their first-quarter cushion to 13-0 on a short pass that paid big dividends. Webb pitched the ball in front of him to Grant, and the receiver went 18 yards around the right side for the score.

Texas Tech quickly cranked up its fast-paced offense, scoring on the game's opening possession. Webb passed to running back Rodney Hall for a 1-yard touchdown.

Webb was 19 of 24 for 301 yards in the first half.

NOTES: Arizona State was without its leading rusher, RB Marion Grice, who had an undisclosed injury. ... Sun Devils QB Taylor Kelly began the night with 3,510 passing yards this season, the third-highest total in school history. ... DT Will Sutton was selected a first-team All-American for the second consecutive year, only the 15th Sun Devil to accomplish the feat. ... Texas Tech met Arizona State once before, in the 1999 season opener, a 31-13 Sun Devils win. In that game, current Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury, then a redshirt freshman, made his collegiate debut as a backup quarterback. He completed two passes for 15 yards. ... The Red Raiders scored in their school-record 207th consecutive game.
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