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COLLEGE FOOTBALL SPOTLIGHT

Red Raiders can't stop the bleeding

Texas Tech is pounded by Oklahoma State, 66-6, its third one-sided defeat since an upset of Oklahoma.

November 12, 2011|By Mike Hiserman
  • Oklahoma State's Isaiah Anderson pulls in a touchdown catch against Texas Tech's D.J. Johnson during the Cowboys' 66-6 victory on Saturday.
Oklahoma State's Isaiah Anderson pulls in a touchdown catch against… (Ronald Martinez / Getty…)

Four weeks later, that Texas Tech upset over then-No. 3 Oklahoma seems stranger than ever.

Texas Tech ended the nation's longest home winning streak, 39 games, with that upset.

Since then? The Red Raiders are 0-3 and have been outscored 159-33.

Oklahoma State delivered a 66-6 mauling Saturday, with Brandon Weedon passing for 423 yards and five touchdowns in less than three full quarters. And the game was at Lubbock, Texas, where the Cowboys had lost nine of their previous 10 games.

Texas Tech Coach Tommy Tuberville didn't offer an explanation for his team's nose dive, saying "we thought we were playing pretty good" after the Oklahoma game, but the next week, "we played flat and we just never recouped."

The final tally was the most points ever surrendered by Texas Tech, and the margin of victory marked the program's worst Big 12 Conference loss, surpassing a 56-3 loss to Nebraska in 2000.

In its previous two games, Texas Tech was routed 41-7 by Iowa State and 52-20 by Texas.

"We'll find out a lot about ourselves the next two weeks," Tuberville said.

Really, Coach, you want to learn more?

Class test

Saturday's loss was on Texas Tech's Senior Day too, and there was special attention to the reception one player was given.

When Adam James was introduced, the home crowd mostly cheered.

James, a reserve tight end, was at the center of the controversy that led to the firing of Mike Leach in 2009. The popular coach was dismissed after allegations that he mistreated James while the player was recovering from a concussion.

James' father is ESPN analyst Craig James, who was named as a defendant in a wrongful termination lawsuit Leach filed against the school. The former coach also sued ESPN for libel and slander.

Craig James was working another game, but Adam was met on the field Saturday by his mother, two sisters and brother.

Good thing most of the fans held off at that point — because they had plenty to boo later.

Place in history

Joe Paterno no longer has the job he had for 46 years, and if columnist Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel had his way, he would lose his place in history too.

Bianchi started a weekend column this way: "It is time for the NCAA to do the right thing and strip away many of Joe Paterno's victories and restore the great Bobby Bowden as the all-time winningest coach in major-college football history."

Former Florida State coach Bowden finished his career credited with 377 victories. Paterno has 409.

Bianchi's reasoning was this: Take away the 82 victories Paterno accumulated after 2002, when the Penn State coach first learned of former assistant Jerry Sandusky's alleged sexual abuse of children. That would put him 50 wins behind Bowden.

Bowden, you might recall, had 14 victories stripped by the NCAA for an academic cheating scandal in which he was not implicated. In contrast, Bianchi wrote, "Paterno has been implicated in ignoring the most despicable, disgusting and deplorable child sex crimes that you can possibly imagine."

He added, "… even though the Nittany Lyin' program didn't technically break NCAA rules, it shattered common human decency and committed one of the most heinous legal cover-ups in the history of college football."

Bad timing

Just after 8:30 a.m. on the West Coast, ESPN returned from a commercial break showing Penn State players who were chanting and moving ?rhythmically in a large circle, firing themselves up before the game.

Then, from off camera, came the words: "Where's that little kid?" — a comment that combined with the camera shot may have startled fans sensitive to the Penn State scandal who were watching intently.

An ESPN spokesman later explained that the voice was that of Lee Corso, who was with the network's "GameDay" crew at Stanford. But Corso wasn't commenting about the on-camera messages.

He was asking for the whereabouts of a child who was supposed to hand him a prop — in this case a Stanford tree hat — to wear when he announced which team he was picking in ESPN's game of the week, Oregon at Stanford.

Brutal coincidence.

Trend busters

Iowa was 6-0 at home and Michigan State, which lost at Iowa City last year, 37-6, hadn't won there since 1989.

Add to that, both of Michigan State's loses this season were on the road, where it was averaging only 67 yards rushing per game.

So, of course, the Spartans not only beat Iowa, 37-21, they did it while rushing for 155 yards — 112 yards by Le'Veon Bell.

Iowa's Marcus Coker, who came in as the leading rusher in the Big Ten Conference, was held to 57 yards in 21 carries.

Just as expected.

Ball rolling

Monte Ball made his debut as a Wisconsin running back at Minnesota two years ago. His totals: five yards in four carries.

A humble beginning to a spectacular career.

Ball, in his return to TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday, ran for 166 yards in 23 carries and in the process established school and Big Ten scoring records for a season.

Ball ran for two touchdowns and caught a five-yard pass for another, giving him 27 this season. He started the game tied with Brian Calhoun for the school record, set in 2005, and two touchdowns behind Pete Johnson of Ohio State (1975), Anthony Thompson of Indiana (1988) and Ki-Jana Carter of Penn State (1994) for the conference mark.

mike.hiserman@latimes.com

Times wire services contributed to this report.

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