Shimonek helps Texas Tech rout Eastern Washington
Quarterback Nic Shimonek passed for three touchdowns as Texas Tech ran away from FCS opponent Eastern Washington 56-10 on Saturday at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas.
Eastern Washington, in last season’s opener, defeated former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach and his Washington State Cougars. But the Red Raiders didn’t leave any room for doubt as they pounded the Eagles.
Shimonek, making his first start after Patrick Mahomes II entered the NFL Draft following his junior season, completed 26 of 30 passes for 384 yards and three touchdowns.
The Red Raiders defense, which gave up 554 yards per game last season, showed improvement against an Eastern Washington team that led the FCS in total offense last season. Texas Tech held the Eagles to 301 yards and created three turnovers, including defensive back Willie Sykes’ 33-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Texas Tech gained some separation from Eastern Washington as Shimonek passed the Red Raiders to a couple of big plays in the second quarter.
Leading 7-3, Shimonek went over the top of the Eagles defense to a wide-open Derrick Willies for a 75-yard touchdown.
After Texas Tech stopped an Eastern Washington drive on fourth-and-1 in Red Raider territory, Shimonek responded by orchestrating a three-play scoring drive.
Shimonek hit wide receiver Keke Coutee on a 10-yard crossing route, then Coutee bounced out of a tackle and sprinted the rest of the way for a 68-yard touchdown.
Eastern Washington stopped the barrage of Texas Tech points as the Eagles put together a five-play, 60-yard scoring drive. Eastern Washington quarterback Gage Gubrud threw to wide receiver Terence Grady for a 22-yard touchdown to cut Texas Tech’s lead to 21-10 with 4:07 remaining until halftime.
The Red Raiders extended the lead before the break when Shimonek connected with Coutee for a 17-yard score with 29 seconds to go in the second quarter.
Texas Tech scored 28 consecutive points in the second half.