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Texas Tech foils UNR upset bid with last-minute TD

LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville could tell his team was a “little shell shocked” at halftime.

The Red Raiders were trailing UNR 14-7 and struggling to move the ball, but Tuberville said there was always belief.

His confidence proved justified, as Seth Doege threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Eric Ward on fourth down with 44 seconds to play, leading Texas Tech to a 35-34 victory over the Wolf Pack.

“Deep down, I think everybody on the sideline felt like we can win this game — we will win this game — if somebody would just step up and make a play,” Tuberville said.

That play, to Tuberville, was Jarvis Phillips knocking down a pass to UNR’s Richard Matthews in the end zone as the Wolf Pack were threatening to go ahead 35-21 in the third quarter. Instead, Nevada settled for Anthony Martinez’s 25-yard field goal.

“I thought that was a huge play,” Tuberville said.

On fourth-and-3 in the final minute, Doege scrambled, looked right and found Ward wide open. Donnie Carona’s fifth conversion kick accounted for the winning point.

Doege had touchdown passes of 4, 8 and 2 yards for the Red Raiders (3-0), who came back from a 28-14 deficit in the third quarter. Doege finished 26 of 38 for 222 yards.

UNR (1-2) compiled 562 yards. Redshirt freshman Cody Fajardo rushed for touchdowns of 56 and 6 yards and threw a 16-yard scoring pass to Kolby Arendse. Mike Ball had 139 yards on 27 carries.

Fajardo and Tyler Lantrip shared quarterback duties for the Wolf Pack, but it was Fajardo who provided the spark. He put them up 28-14 when he faked a handoff to Ball and ran along the right sideline for his 56-yard score.

UNR coach Chris Ault was not available for comment after the game because of illness.

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