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Fans on field troubles Texas coach

Monday, November 3, 2008 | 7:12 p.m. CST; updated 11:42 p.m. CST, Monday, November 3, 2008

After Michael Crabtree caught a 28-yard touchdown pass to put Red Raiders ahead of Texas with one second left on the clock, but before the point-after kick or the Longhorns' final play of the game, Texas Tech football fans swarmed the field.

Dressed in black, they jumped from the stands onto the grass, forcing officials to put down the goal posts while the touchdown was reviewed. Fans were corralled on the sidelines so the game could resume, but when Texas' last effort failed, even more Red Raider fans stormed the field.

Texas coach Mack Brown said in Monday's Big 12 Conference coaches teleconference he didn't think the fans on the field affected the outcome of the game Saturday, but he worried about the safety of fans, players and others.

"The whole game we limit who's on the sidelines, and then at the end of the game, we let everybody run out," Brown said, adding this trend is not limited to Lubbock, Texas, but doesn't happen in Austin.

After time expired and the field filled again, security had to push through the crowd to escort Brown from the field. The coach said he was proud of his players "for having class as disappointed as they were," and avoiding fights with any of the opposing fans.

Brown said security needs to do better at keeping people from rushing the field before someone gets seriously hurt.

"I just think one day we're all going to look up and be really, really sad," he said. "We're headed for a tragedy."

COACHES LAUD HARRELL: Texas Tech's victory put quarterback Graham Harrell at the forefront of Heisman Trophy discussions this week, outperforming earlier favorite, Colt McCoy of Texas.

Big 12 coaches, many who have their own top quarterbacks, said they were impressed by Harrell's effort, a 474-yard, two-touchdown performance in his team's upset of the then-No. 1 team in the country.

"He's a lot like the other great quarterbacks in the league," said Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy whose team travels to Texas Tech this weekend. "It seems like he understands the game really well."

Though Kansas State couldn't stop Texas Tech from scoring 58 points when they lost to the Red Raiders on Oct. 4, Wildcats coach Ron Prince said he knew what sort of quarterback his team was up against.

"I can tell you, he wasn't overlooked in this building," Prince said.

Prince cited Harrell's ability to throw to open space instead of directly where receivers are as Harrell's best attribute as quarterback.

Kansas coach Mark Mangino also admires Texas Tech's quarterback, even after the team pounded the Jayhawks with 63 points on Oct. 25.

"It's hard not to like Graham Harrell," Mangino said. "I bet he's a guy who watches a lot of tape. He looks like he's slowing the game down."

64 YEARS, REALLY?: The Cowboys have a high hurdle ahead as BCS No. 9 Oklahoma State faces now No. 2 Texas Tech in Red Raider territory.

Oklahoma State has not won in Lubbock since 1944, but don't expect Gundy to use that as inspiration for his team.

"I wasn't even aware of that," Gundy said after a reporter pointed out the historical note. "1944? Hmm."

 


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