Clinging to a 24-22 lead in the fourth quarter, No. 23 Texas went 59 yards in eight plays, taking a two-score lead when David Ash hit Mike Davis for a 25-yard score and the final 31-22 winning margin.
Tech had a chance to narrow things back on the Red Raiders' next drive, only to have a short touchdown run called back for a holding penalty. The Texas defense held, and cornerback Carrington Byndom blocked the 23-yard field goal. The Longhorn offense then sealed the game by running for three first downs and holding onto the ball for the game's final 5:15.
"Guys have worked hard the last three weeks," said Texas coach Mack Brown. "They didn't like what happened in Dallas, and they've come back and played hard for three weeks in a row. They understand we have to play hard to win. It's something that we've just got to keep working on. Trying to get number eight next week."
The Longhorns came out firing and never trailing in racking up their fourth straight win against the Red Raiders. Texas scored touchdowns on its first three drives, starting with a six-yard touchdown pass from Ash to Jaxon Shipley after the Longhorns held the Red Raiders to a three-and-out on their first drive.
Tech responded on its next drive, capping it with a one-yard touchdown run by Kenny Williams. Then Davis made his first huge play, hauling in a 54-yard pass from Ash to set up a Joe Bergeron touchdown run. After Texas Tech made a field goal, Ash connected with Davis again, this time for a 75-yard touchdown pass, giving the Longhorns a 21-10 lead.
Texas led 24-13 at halftime before Tech came back. The Red Raiders scored twice in the third quarter, first on a 33-yard field goal, then again on Seth Doege's only touchdown pass, a 10-yarder to Eric Stephens. Tech went for two and the tie, but the pass failed and Texas pushed the margin back up with the second Ash-to-Davis score.
Davis had 165 yards and two touchdowns on his four catches. Ash completed 11-of-19 throws for 264 yards and three touchdowns to no interceptions. And Johnathan Gray rushed for 106 yards and caught passes for 41 yards.
The Red Raiders were held to four field goal attempts in the red zone, while only scoring two touchdowns in those situations.
"I thought it was huge," Brown said. "Even [against] Baylor, we gave up so many points. From what we've told them, we're going to quit worrying about how many points you get or give up. We're going to try to get one more than the other team. Any time in this league you can force them to take a field goal if you're scoring touchdowns, it's a win-win.
"We put them down by two scores and really put them in a tough spot there," Brown said. "They came back and caught back up. But we told the guys starting in the fourth quarter, we'd still rather be us at 24 than them at 22. So let's start the game over in the fourth quarter, and we did that."
The Longhorns (7-2, 4-2) will next host Iowa State. The Red Raiders fell to 6-3 and 3-3 with the loss.
Brown called it the best "team win" of the season.
"A ranked team, picked to beat us on the road in Lubbock, a really, really hard place to play, had some adversity," Brown said. "Guys got into little trouble, momentum changed. Loved the way they came back to win. It was a fun game. Fun for me. I really enjoyed it."
TEXAS — Jaxon Shipley 6 pass from David Ash (Anthony Fera kick), 9:02 1Q
Texas Tech — Kenny Williams 1 run (Ryan Bustin kick), 5:52 1Q
TEXAS — Joe Bergeron 2 run (Fera kick), 3:27 1Q
Texas Tech — Bustin 29 FG, 13:56 2Q
TEXAS — Mike Davis 75 pass from Ash (Fera kick), 13:46 2Q
Texas Tech — Bustin 41 FG, 5:03 2Q
TEXAS — Fera 42 FG, 1:09 2Q
Texas Tech — Bustin 33 FG, 6:39 3Q
Texas Tech — Eric Stephens 10 pass from Seth Doege (pass failed), 1:35 3Q
TEXAS — Davis 25 pass from Ash (Fera kick), 9:14 4Q