Missouri offense fades in loss to Texas Tech

Saturday, November 6, 2010 | 10:45 p.m. CDT; updated 11:32 p.m. CDT, Saturday, November 6, 2010
Texas Tech running back Aaron Crawford runs past MU linebacker Andrew Gachkar, right, and defensive end Aldon Smith as they go in for a tackle during the third quarter of the Missouri vs. Texas Tech game on Saturday at Jones AT&T Stadium.

LUBBOCK, Texas — After seven Texas Tech drives resulting in only three points, coach Tommy Tubberville made a switch. Taylor Potts came in at quarterback, replacing an ineffective Steven Sheffield. 

Texas Tech didn't look back.

Potts rallied Texas Tech to 21 unanswered points, bringing the Red Raiders back from a 17-3 deficit to win 24-17.

Just like Nebraska, which ran to a 24-0 first-quarter lead against the Tigers in Lincoln, Neb., last week, Missouri ran to a quick 14-0 lead against Texas Tech.

On the third play of the game, freshman running back Marcus Murphy ran 69 yards for a touchdown. The run was Missouri's longest of the season, and a mark that would be broken five plays later.

Before Saturday, Kendial Lawrence had not rushed for more than 77 yards in a game. In his first two carries against Texas Tech, he gained 80 yards.

Lawrence's first run came on Missouri's third drive of the game. He ran for an unspectacular nine yards. The next play was another handoff to Lawrence. This time, Lawrence made it a bit more exciting. Lawrence took the handoff, made a cut to the sideline and ran 71 yards for a touchdown.

Missouri held a 14-0 lead before quarterback Blaine Gabbert gained a single passing yard. He would only obtain 95 more, completing 12-of-30 pass attempts. 

Potts entered the game with 5 minutes left in the first half and led Texas Tech on a 16-play touchdown drive. With only 15 seconds left in the half, the 8-yard touchdown pass from Potts to Detron Lewis put Texas Tech seven points behind Missouri.

Missouri took a knee to end the first half, and Tech received the ball to start the third quarter. Potts led Tech to a touchdown to start the third quarter. He found Kyle Leong on a 36-yard pass play over the middle and then on a 16-yard pass for a touchdown. 

On the third Potts-led possession, Texas Tech drove 92 yards on 12 plays, closing the series with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Leong.

Missouri went three-and-out on its subsequent possession, giving Potts the ball on the Texas Tech 8-yard line.

Even after starting the drive a stride from his own end zone, Potts looked determined to make his fourth drive end in another touchdown. Pushing the ball up to the Missouri five yard line, Potts' third-down throw was tipped at the line by Missouri defensive end Jacquies Smith and intercepted by Zaviar Gooden. 

Missouri mustered two first downs after the turnover. Even with the offensive outburst, the Tigers punted.

The Missouri offense was given three opportunities in the fourth quarter to tie the score, but two dropped passes in the end zone — the first by Wes Kemp and the second by Jerrell Jackson on fourth down — turned the ball over and kept Missouri behind.

Jackson had two offensive pass interference penalties, four drops and only one reception for 10 yards in the game.

Texas Tech took over on downs and gained two first downs to run out the clock, bringing a small, but earnest contingent of Texas Tech fans onto the field.

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