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The Southeastern Conference dropped to 0-4 in the 2021-22 college football bowl season as nine-point favorite Mississippi State fell hard to Texas Tech, 34-7, in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis on Tuesday night.
Previous SEC losers were Auburn, 17-13, to Houston in the Birmingham Bowl in Alabama earlier Tuesday, Florida, 29-17, to Central Florida on Dec. 23 in the Gasparillo Bowl in Tampa and Missouri, 24-22, to Army on Dec. 22 in the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas.
Mississippi State (7-6) cut a 10-0 Texas Tech lead to 10-7 early in the second quarter on a 17-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Will Rogers to Rara Thomas, but the Bulldogs never got closer.
Texas Tech, not known for defense, held Rogers to 285 yards passing on 31 completions in 52 attempts, breaking a string of 10 straight games with 300 passing yards or more by Rogers.
Texas Tech quarterback Donovan Smith completed 15 of 28 passes for 252 yards and rushed five times for 30 yards. Tailback Tahj Brooks gained 107 yards on 16 carries for the Red Raiders, while tailback SaRodorick Thompson added 80 yards on 14 carries.
Tech outgained State 512 yards to 344, stuffing the offense of former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach.
Jonathan Garibay’s 20-yard field goal with 13 seconds left in the first half put the Red Raiders up 13-7. Smith scored on a 1-yard run and threw a 14-yard touchdown to wide receiver J.J. Sparkman for a 27-7 lead in the third quarter. Thompson added a 1-yard touchdown run midway in the fourth quarter for a 34-7 lead.
Texas Tech set the tone with a 75-yard drive in seven plays to open the game with Brooks scoring on a 19-yard run with 12:40 to go in the opening period for a 7-0 lead. Garibay hit a 31-yard field goal for the 10-0 cushion with 3:30 to go in the quarter.