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Texas Tech Slams Mississippi St. In Liberty Bowl, 34-7; SEC 0-for-4

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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.

Written by Glenn Guilbeau

Guilbeau has been on the LSU beat since 1998 with multiple outlets in Louisiana, prior to that he had covered both Auburn and Alabama. He won first place for his game feature on LSU's upset at Florida last season from the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). He was also named Beat Writer of Year, by Louisiana Sports Writers Association in July; placed in three Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) categories – Beat Writer, Explanatory, Game Coverage – last spring. Guilbeau was also the FWAA first-place winner for columns in 2017 and was also the top overall winner in 2016 FWAA placing first for his game story, second in columns, and receiving honorable mention for features.

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  1. The next to last place team in the Big 12 [Tech], and two soon to be Big 12 teams from the American [UCF and Houston] have smoked the SEC so far.

    And lest we forget Missouri’s face plant to historic postseason juggernaut…Army.

    The SEC chest thumpers need to give it a rest.

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