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September 12, 2009

Potts tosses 7 TDs, Raiders rout Rice

LUBBOCK, Texas -- Taylor Potts threw seven touchdowns to lead Texas Tech past Rice 55-10 Saturday.

He threw TD passes of 5, 7, 8, 11, 27, 34 and 30 yards as Texas Tech moved to 2-0 on the season. Potts completed 36 of 57 passes for 456 yards and threw to 13 different receivers.

It marked his second consecutive 400-plus yard performance. Last week, though, Potts threw three interceptions; he had none against the Owls.

Lyle Leong, Potts' teammate at Abilene High, caught three of Potts' scoring strikes. Austin Zouzalik, Edward Britton, Tramain Swindall and Eric Stephens each caught one TD pass from Potts. Swindall caught a 26-yarder from backup Steven Sheffield late in the game.

Rice (0-2) used three quarterbacks, Nick Fanuzzi, John Thomas Shepherd and Ryan Lewis, but none could sustain a potent enough attack to keep up with Texas Tech's offensive.

Potts' seven TD passes fell one short of a school record. B.J. Symons had eight touchdowns against Texas A&M in 2003.

Texas Tech's tempo seemed to have smoothed out since last week. Potts wasn't throwing off his back foot like he did last week.

He left the game midway through the fourth quarter.

Rice struggled early, gaining only 6 total yards in the first quarter with Fanuzzi at quarterback. John Thomas Shepherd came in on the Owls' third possession and led them to a 45-yard field goal to whittle their deficit to 14-3.

Fanuzzi was back after halftime, though. But after three first downs, the Owls turned the ball over on downs.

Shepherd came back in the third quarter but couldn't generate much. The Owls quarterbacks completed 25 of 41 for 197 yards. Tech's defense sacked them six times.

The Owls got their only touchdown when Shepherd found Taylor Dupree on a 3-yard score in the fourth quarter. It was each player's first career score.

Rice finished with 257 total yards, less than half of Tech's 560 total yards.

Tech had two receivers with more than 100 yards.

Swindall, in his first career start, shined early. He had four catches for 67 yards at halftime and finished with 123 yards on six catches. Leong caught nine passes for 117 yards.

But Detron Lewis, one of the Red Raiders' leading receivers, went out with a hurt right leg in the second quarter. Potts handed off to Baron Batch who pitched the ball back to Potts. He heaved the ball deep down the middle to Lewis who couldn't hang onto the ball and laid sprawled on the field after the play. He limped off the field and did not return.

The Red Raiders again fell short of their per-game rushing average from last season (118 yards). In last week's 38-13 win over North Dakota, Texas Tech got only 40 rushing yards. Against the Owls, the Red Raiders ran on just 14 plays for 52 yards.a


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