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Young guns continue to deliver for Red Raiders

The SportsXchange

LUBBOCK, Texas -- The Texas Tech Red Raiders continue to put their season on freshmen quarterbacks and the young guns continue to deliver.

Red Raiders quarterback Davis Webb, making his first collegiate start, threw three touchdown passes in leading 20th-ranked Texas Tech past Iowa State 42-35 on Saturday at Jones AT&T Stadium.

Webb started in place of injured freshman Baker Mayfield, who started the Red Raiders' previous five games this season. Webb completed 35 of 56 passes for 415 yards.

"He played well," Texas Tech first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "He had some throws he would like to have back. But I liked the way he handled himself, stayed composed and when we needed a drive he made them. That was good to see."

Texas Tech also churned out yards on the ground as running back Kenny Williams rushed for 80 yards and a touchdown, SaDale Foster ran for 87 yards and a vital fourth-quarter, 38-yard score and DeAndre Washington ran for 88 yards and a touchdown.

"We get excited when coach wants to put the ball in our hands," Williams said. "We take it as a challenge to step up as a group."

The Red Raiders (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) won despite losing the turnover battle 3-0. However, Texas Tech piled up 666 yards -- including 251 on the ground -- of total offense and held the Cyclones to 311.

Webb threw an interception and the Red Raiders gave up two fumbles along with Iowa State kick returner Jarvis Webb's 95-yard touchdown return.

"Any time you lose the turnover battle 3-0 and pretty much get dominated on special teams and still win the game you've got a chance to have a pretty good team," Kingsbury said. "That was exciting that they found a way to win."

Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads was looking at his team's turnover win from a different angle after the Cyclones couldn't make enough plays in other facets.

"Turnovers give you an opportunity to win any game," Rhoads said. "We certainly were positive on that end today. But you're not going to win football games giving up 666 yards."

Texas Tech finished the third quarter already with a massive lead in offensive yards, but the Red Raiders' dominance equaled just a seven-point lead on the scoreboard.

The Red Raiders changed that by going 69 yards in five plays for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to extend their lead to 35-21. Webb hit Jace Amaro for a 39-yard gain to the Iowa State 13 and two plays later DeAndre Washington scored on a 12-yard run.

"We moved the ball very well," Amaro said. "We had little things here and there that held us back that we have to fix."

Meanwhile, Texas Tech's defense forced the Cyclones to go three-and-out on four straight series in the third and fourth quarters.

But the 14-point lead was short-lived as Webb was picked off by Iowa State linebacker Jeremiah George at the Texas Tech 20. That set up Shontrelle Johnson's 2-yard touchdown run to cut the Red Raiders' lead to 35-28 with 10:40 left.

Texas Tech fended off an Iowa State comeback, though, with two things that don't always fit in the Red Raiders' vocabulary: rushing attack and defense.

After the Texas Tech defense registered another three-and-out, Foster ran 38 yards for a touchdown. Foster's score capped a drive that featured five runs in six plays to go 80 yards. The score put the game out of reach.

Webb was effective from the beginning, throwing a pair of first-quarter touchdown passes to Jakeem Grant and Eric Ward.

But Iowa State was able to tie it at 14 by beating the Red Raiders in the special-teams department.

Cyclones kick returner Jarvis West answered Texas Tech's first touchdown with a 95-yard return for a touchdown.

"Once I caught the ball, I just realized that I had to make the right reads and Albert Gary led me through the hole and it opened up," West said. "I was down to one person and I knew I could make him miss."

Then Iowa State capitalized on a bad bounce for the Red Raiders. Cyclones punter Kirby Van Der Kamp's punt glanced off of Texas Tech's Keenon Ward as he was tied up in a block. Levi Peters recovered the muffed punt for Iowa State, giving the Cyclones the ball at the Texas Tech 33.

Iowa State converted the turnover into points when Aaron Wimberly ran 4 yards for a touchdown.

The Red Raiders and Cyclones exchanged long touchdown drives -- the Red Raiders went 86 yards for a touchdown capped by Kenny Williams' 1-yard run; Iowa State drove 75 yards to set up Jeff Woody's 3-yard scoring run -- and the teams went halftime tied at 21.

Texas Tech outgained Iowa State 354 to 139 in the first half, but Iowa State made the most of the Red Raiders' mistakes. Texas Tech gave up two fumbles, the kickoff-return touchdown and kicker Ryan Bustin missed a 34-yard field goal.

NOTES: Texas Tech wide receiver Eric Ward's reception on the Red Raiders' opening drive made him the eighth player in school history to reach 200 catches for his career. ... Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury lost at Iowa State 31-17 as the Red Raiders' quarterback in 2002. ... Iowa State's 41-7 win in its previous trip to Texas Tech in 2011 was the school's largest margin of victory against a ranked team. ... Iowa State kick returner Jarvis West's 95-yard kick return touchdown was the Cylcones' first non-onside-kick kickoff return touchdown since Troy Davis returned a kick 99 yards for a touchdown vs. Colorado in 1994.
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