RENO — UNR suffered two losses Saturday night at Mackay Stadium, but one will have a longer lasting effect on the team.
Star running back Luke Lippincott suffered a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament in the second quarter of the Wolf Pack’s 35-19 loss to No. 12 Texas Tech.
Lippincott, a 6-foot-2-inch senior, had carried eight times for 35 yards when he went down. The Wolf Pack (1-1) plays at UNLV on Sept. 27.
The loss to the Red Raiders became secondary to the Wolf Pack upon learning of the status of Lippincott’s injury.
“Luke is devastated,” UNR coach Chris Ault said. “Forget about a football player; we’re talking about a great person here. He’s a very special kid.”
UNR had held acclaimed Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell without a touchdown pass for three quarters. But when the Wolf Pack defense broke down in the fourth quarter, Harrell broke loose.
He hit Michael Crabtree for an 82-yard touchdown as the Red Raiders pulled away for the victory.
Shannon Woods rushed for two touchdowns for Texas Tech (2-0). About five minutes after Harrell’s touchdown pass, Woods clinched the victory on a 21-yard scoring run with 6:18 left.
Harrell completed 19 of 46 passes for 297 yards. The highly touted senior was intercepted twice.
Wolf Pack quarterback Colin Kaepernick passed for 264 yards and a touchdown and added 92 yards rushing.
Harrell was ineffective early. Texas Tech led 14-9 at the half, scoring on a short run by Woods and an 86-yard punt return by Eric Morris.
Texas Tech coach Mike Leach is known as a gambler, but he looked foolish for taking two chances on fourth-and-1 in his own territory. Both attempts failed miserably.
On the Red Raiders’ first possession of the game, Harrell was stuffed for no gain on a sneak at the 30-yard line.
Leach was undeterred. Midway through the third quarter, with Texas Tech at its 29, Aaron Crawford took a handoff and was stopped for no gain.
The Wolf Pack made Leach pay, pulling within 14-12 on Brett Jaekle’s 31-yard field goal with 6:40 left in the quarter.
The Wolf Pack then tried an onside kick, but the move backfired as the Red Raiders recovered at the Wolf Pack 39, and they quickly scored on Morris’ 13-yard run that made the score 21-12.TEXAS TECH — 35 UNR — 19
KEY: The Red Raiders’ Shannon Woods ran for two touchdowns, including the clincher from 21 yards with 6:18 remaining.