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Red Raiders Trail Longhorns 24-14 at Half

The Red Raiders open Big 12 play against the Longhorns in Lubbock on Saturday.
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It's the Big 12 opener for both the Texas Longhorns and Texas Tech Red Raiders, as they open the conference schedule against each other for the third year in a row.

On Saturday it's from Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock.

Both teams started backup quarterbacks, with Tech's opening day starter Tyler Shough and Texas' starting signal-caller Quinn Ewers both nursing shoulder injuries.

The Longhorns got the ball first and in great field position after a 31-yard return of the opening kickoff by Keilan Robinson to the Longhorns' 38. It took three plays to go 62 yards for Texas to get on the board first.

Red Raiders coach Joey McGuire decided to gamble early, playing from behind, with a conversion attempt on a 4th and 7 from the Texas 42, and the gamble paid off to extend the drive. 

Later in the same possession, McGuire and the offense gambled again on a 4th and Goal from the Longhorns 4, and quarterback Donovan Smith punched it in with a run to the right side to tie the game.

Smith, after struggling much of the season, went 9-of-10 for 53 yards on the initial Red Raiders drive of the game. He also carried the ball twice for 14 yards, including the touchdown.

The Tech defense stepped it up on Texas' next possession. On a 3rd and 9 from the Tech 16, a 3-man Red Raiders rush beat five Longhorns blockers for a sack of Card for six yards. That forced a Texas 40-yard field goal as the Longhorns regained the lead.

That defensive hold was huge, as on its first possession of the second quarter, the Red Raiders marched 83 yards in 13 plays for a Smith touchdown pass to running back Tahj Brooks for 17 yards as Texas Tech took the lead.

The Red Raiders defense stepped up even more on the Longhorns' next possession with an interception of Card by defensive back Reggie Pearson Jr., But that Tech drive would be the first one of the day to stall and end with a punt.

Texas found its offense again with 6:07 left in the half with a Card 39-yard touchdown pass to wideout Xavier Worthy - the first touchdown catch by a Longhorns wide receiver all year. That put the Longhorns back out in front at 17-14.

Texas had the ball with time running down in the first half and was able to move inside the Red Raiders 10 yard line for a 1st and Goal with 29 seconds left.

Running back Bijan Robinson scored easily, walking into the endzone for a 7-yard touchdown, increasing the Longhorns lead to 24-14.

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