Houston, TX—Texas Tech resorted to a old barn butt kicking against Ole Miss, it wasn’t even close.
Red Raiders quarterback Tyler Shough threw for 242 yards and a touchdown and ran for two more scores as Texas Tech beat Ole Miss 42-25 in the TexAct Bowl On Wednesday night in front of a crowd of 53,251.
Shough, who finished the game with a career-high 111 yards rushing, accounted for three TDs in the first two quarters to help the Red Raiders (8-5) to a 26-7 halftime lead.
Three early turnovers were the demise of the Rebels and the difference of the game.
The victory gives the Red Raiders its first eight-win season since 2013 and caps a successful initial season for first-year coach Joey McGuire, who was given a new six -year, 26.6 million contract earlier in the day.
Shough was intercepted in the end zone on Tech’s first possession. Texas Tech took a 7-0 lead when Shough ran for 2- yards for a score on their next drive.
Ole Miss tied it when Zach Evans ran 8-yards for a score with more than five minutes left in the first quarter.
The Red Raiders were up 10-7 after a field goal when Dart was intercepted by Dadrion Taylor-Demerson. Texas Tech came away with no points when Shough threw an incomplete pass on fourth-and-goal from the Ole Miss 3-yard line.
Rebels quarterback Jaxson Dart three for 361 yards with two TD passes and a scoring run. But, he also threw two of his three picks and lost a fumble in the first half to put Ole Miss in a huge hole and had two defenders ejected for targeting.
The loss was terrible loss for Ole Miss (8-5), which dropped its final four games, and five of its last six, after opening the season 7-0.
Ole Miss finished with 197 yards rushing, led by freshman Quinshon Judkins, who had 91. Judkins finishes the season with 1,567 yards rushing, which is the second-most by a freshman in SEC history behind Hershel Walker, who had 1,616.
The Rebels scored consecutive touchdowns to get within 35-25 with three minutes to go. But Ole Miss attempted an onside kick after that, Texas Tech’s Loic Fouonji scooped it and returned it 44 yards to extend the lead to 42-25.
The Fouonji return knocked all the air and hopes of a possible comeback for Ole Miss.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders look to be headed in the right direction under first year head coach McGuire. Texas Tech finished the season with four consecutive wins.
Ole Miss: The Rebels showed so much promise for most of the season but will need to regroup and play more discipline if they hope to come back from their struggles to end the year next season.
The Red Raiders used their first offensive play to pay tribute to former coach Mike Leach, who died Dec. 12 at 61. Texas Tech Lined up in Leach’s famous “Air Raid” formation with the lineman spread far apart and four receivers out wide and simply stood there until a flag was thrown for delay of game.
Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin declined the penalty, and the Red Raiders then ran their first play.
Both teams also remembered Leach, who coached at Texas Tech from 2000-09 and was the coach at Mississippi State when he died, with helmet decals. Texas Tech’s looked like pirate flags as a nod to his fascination with pirates, and the Rebels’ decals said ‘Mike’ with the ‘I’ in the shape of a cowbell for Mississippi State’s tradition of using them at games.