Murray State vs. Texas Tech – Game Summary – September 3, 2022

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LUBBOCK, Texas — Donovan Smith came off the bench to throw four touchdown passes, Tahj Brooks ran for three scores and Texas Tech beat low-division Murray State 63-10 in coach Joey McGuire’s first Saturday night.

Smith scored on his first two passes after replacing Tyler Shaw in the first half. McGuire indicated he planned to play both, but said he was injured during the halftime show and probably won’t be back.

Shaw, who suffered a broken left collarbone four games into the 2021 season, was sidelined in the second half in a sling on the same non-throwing shoulder. McGuire said the team will know more about the injury Sunday.

“I hate it for the kid,” McGuire said. “Whatever, I told him, the good thing is it’s the third of September, not October.”

Smith replaced Shough late on the first drive that included the rookie’s 17-yard run, and Smith’s first pass was a 30-yard score to Jerond Bradley.

“We always preach that you don’t prepare,” said Smith, who was 14-of-16 passing for 221 yards without an interception. “Every time we’re in the film room, every time we practice, we’re always going to take an answer from the back.”

Brooks finished with 50 yards and scores of 14, 3 and 23 yards, the last of which gave the Red Raiders a 42-10 lead in the first half in the home opener for their 23rd straight win.

Texas Tech’s first meeting against Murray State and its 20th straight victory over an FCS opponent was the same as the 2010-19 low division matchups, where the average margin of victory was 40 points.

Under former coach Matt Wells — wins over Houston Baptist and Stephen F. Austin — the Red Raiders were coming off back-to-back FCS openers before Wells was fired midway through last year, scoring TDs on their first eight possessions.

After winning three Texas high school championships, McGuire, a Baylor assistant for the past five years, is less concerned about becoming the fifth consecutive Texas Tech coach since 2000 to win the inaugural Texas Open.

Last season, Murray State quarterback DJ Williams suffered a right leg injury on the final play of the first half of the Ohio Valley Conference.

Williams was scrambling with the Racers as time expired before halftime when he lost control of the ball and fell to the field, clutching his right leg. Unable to put any pressure on his right leg, Williams was helped off the field.

Bradley and Loic Fuongi each had two touchdown passes. Fuonji opened the scoring on a 30-yard catch from Shaw before Smith’s first TD was thrown to Bradley.

Fuongji’s 39-yard scoring run on Smith’s second pass gave Texas Tech a 28-10 lead early in the second quarter, and Bradley’s 14-yard scoring run made it 56-10 early in the third.

Bradley, a sophomore, had his first career 100-yard game with 108 yards on six carries, while Fuongji finished with four catches for 77 yards.

Smith led two quick scoring drives before being replaced by Beren Morton, a 21-yard pass to Mason Tharp to cap the scoring early in the fourth. Shough was 6 of 10 for 154 yards as Texas Tech finished with 472 yards passing and 605 total.

The taken

Murray State: The Razors’ hopes moving forward hinge on the health of dual-threat Williams. Before the injury, he had 207 yards with a 54-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Bell. Murray State gained just 35 yards in the second half without Williams. Lucas Mau was 1-of-7 passing for 1 yard.

Texas Tech: Shaw was the starter for the second straight opener, but Smith was probably going to play regardless. The sophomore played nine games last year due to Shaw’s injury and looks poised to become a full-time starter if Shaw faces another extended layoff.

Sharing the wealth

If the opener is any indication, Brooks and Sarodoric Thompson will carry the same carries at running back as they did late last season. Brooks had six carries to seven for Thompson, whose 48 yards pushed him to 2,000 for his career. Thompson caught a 30-yard TD from Smith.

Next

Murray State: The Racers’ home opener is next Saturday against Jacksonville State.

Texas Tech: Visits the No. 24 Houston Red Raiders next Saturday against the Cougars after a 37-35 victory at UTSA in triple overtime.

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