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Southwest Roundup : Little Guy Plays Big Role as Texas Tech Upsets A&M;, 27-21

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From Times Wire Services

Texas Tech’s little man made the first big play, and the rest of the Red Raiders followed.

Tyrone Thurman returned a punt 74 yards for a touchdown the first time the Red Raiders touched the ball, and Tech upset 14th-ranked Texas A&M;, 27-21, Saturday in a Southwest Conference game at Lubbock, Tex.

“We did some things today that we haven’t been able to do to win football games,” said Tech Coach Spike Dykes, who notched his first SWC victory. “I think the fact that we played with poise and made two key interceptions were big keys.”

Tech (3-2 overall, 1-1 in the SWC) held on for the victory by stopping four A&M; drives in the fourth quarter.

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A&M; (2-2, 0-1) got within 27-21 with 2:17 left in the third quarter on an eight-yard run by Matt Gurley.

Two drives by A&M; in the final quarter ended when passes from Craig Stump were dropped and two ended on interceptions by Michael Johnson and Boyd Cowan in the final minutes.

After Thurman, who at 5 foot 3 inches and 135 pounds is the smallest player in college football, raced for his third career punt return touchdown, Tech got another big play when Billy Joe Tolliver hooked up with Wayne Walker on a 76-yard touchdown pass play.

Tolliver threw interceptions on A&M;’s next two possessions and the Aggies tied the score, 14-14, on a 66-yard run by Keith Woodside and a 19-yard dash by Darren Lewis.

Tech took the lead for good when quarterback Scott Toman, in for the goal-line situation, threw a seven-yard scoring pass to Ervin Farris for a 21-14 lead.

Scott Segrist added a 29-yard field goal with 4:28 left in the half and had a 42-yarder midway through the third quarter for a 27-14 lead. The kick was Segrist’s 10th in a row, tying a school record.

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“We were playing catch-up all day,” Texas A&M; Coach Jackie Sherrill said. “When we tied it up, they came right back and scored.”

Texas 45, Rice 26--Fullback Darron Norris ran 58 and 34 yards for touchdowns and took a screen pass 38 yards for a third score as the Longhorns outgunned the Owls in an SWC opener at Austin, Tex.

Rice (2-3) lost to Texas (2-2) for the 22nd straight time.

Norris, a 195-pound junior, finished with 123 yards in 11 carries, and Eric Metcalf had 157 yards in 17 carries, including a 59-yard touchdown run. Freshman Chris Samuels added a 57-yard scoring run.

Rice led, 17-14, at halftime, but Texas erupted for 31 points in the second half.

Arkansas 20, TCU 10--James Rouse scored two second-half touchdowns and the Razorbacks rallied to open SWC play with a victory over the Horned Frogs at Fort Worth, Tex.

The Razorbacks (3-1), still in shock over a 51-7 loss to Miami last week, fell behind, 10-0, at halftime before Rouse scored on a five-yard run and quarterback Quinn Grovey hit freshman Derek Russell with an 18-yard scoring pass.

TCU (2-2) scored on a 5-yard run by Tony Darthard and a 26-yard field goal by Lee Newman.

Baylor 30, Houston 18--Robert Blackmon returned two interceptions for touchdowns and Brad Goebel passed for two scores as the Bears beat the Cougars at Houston in a game that featured 103 passes.

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Goebel completed 24 of 41 passes for 301 yards, including scoring passes of 30 yards to Charles Perry and 33 yards to Bobby Jack Goforth.

Andre Ware of Houston (1-2, 0-1) was 31 of 62 for 404 yards and was intercepted 3 times. The completions, attempts and yardage set school records. Baylor is 4-1, 2-0.

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