Shimonek guides Texas Tech to close win over Houston
Senior Nic Shimonek passed for 321 yards and two touchdowns to help Texas Tech produce a 27-24 victory over host Houston in Saturday’s nonconference game at TDECU Stadium.
Junior Keke Coutee recorded 11 catches for 161 yards, including a key 77-yard scoring play in the third quarter for the Red Raiders (3-0). Coutee entered the contest as the national leader in receiving yardage per game and rose his average to 148.7 with his latest strong effort.
Junior Kyle Allen was intercepted twice for the Cougars (2-1) and passed for 217 yards and one touchdown before being removed. Senior Kyle Postma ran for a score and pass for another in relief as Houston saw its 16-game home winning streak halted.
Texas Tech forced five turnovers and rolled up 521 yards.
The Red Raiders led by three points at the half and stretched out the advantage while Houston star defensive tackle Ed Oliver was out of the game dealing with leg cramps. The Cougars appeared to have trouble lining up, and Coutee ran free in the secondary and hauled in the catch and outraced the secondary on the 77-yard play to give Texas Tech a 20-10 edge with 4:48 remaining in the third quarter.
The Red Raiders increased the lead to 17 when Shimonek tossed a 20-yard scoring pass to senior running back Justin Stockton with 7:28 left. Stockton also rushed for 102 yards on 10 carries.
Postma energized the Cougars upon entering, scoring on a 9-yard keeper to move Houston within 27-17 with 4:29 remaining. He tossed a 4-yard score to senior wideout Linell Bonner with 15 seconds left but the ensuing onside kick was unsuccessful.
Texas Tech built a 13-0 lead over the first 19 minutes of the game on two field goals and a 3-yard run by junior Desmond Nisby. The Cougars responded with the next 10 points, and Allen’s 18-yard scoring pass to sophomore D’Eriq King pulled Houston within 13-10 with 4:41 left in the half.
Red Raiders junior Vaughnte Dorsey was carted off on a stretcher and taken to a local hospital after making a diving hit on King during a fourth-quarter kickoff return. Dorsey dove head first for the tackle, and his head hit King’s right knee. He displayed movement while being taken off the field.