Seth Doege is doing his part in Texas Tech’s plan to get backup quarterback Michael Brewer some playing time early this season.
After all, what’s left for the starter to do after he passes for 302 yards and five touchdowns — in the first half?
That’s what Doege did Saturday against New Mexico at Jones AT&T Stadium, part of the all-out clinic of offensive football the Red Raiders displayed in a 49-14 win.
The senior quarterback added a career-best sixth touchdown pass on the first drive of the second half before ending his night and giving way to the redshirt freshman Brewer.
"He's a tremendous leader," Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said of Doege. "Players respect him, and that's the main thing."
Doege exited having completed 27 of 35 passes for 340 yards. Add that to an eye-popping 325 yards rushing, and Tech's offense was virtually unstoppable in front of a crowd of 58,955, the fourth largest in Tech history.
"We pretty much dominated on both sides of the ball," Tuberville said.
The first three of Doege’s scoring tosses went to split end Eric Ward, who missed Tech’s game against Texas State last week after suffering a concussion.
"It's like coach (Neal) Brown says, just run your route as hard as you can and expect the ball," Ward said. "When your quarterback is doing good, it's easy for everyone else to follow his lead."
Doege also threw a pair of touchdowns to tight end Jace Amaro and another one to Darrin Moore with just five seconds left in the first half.
The Red Raiders had a 42-14 lead at halftime, and by that time already had racked up 25 first downs. They finished with 38.
Tech scored touchdowns on six of its seven first-half drives — Eric Stephens had a 21-yard rushing touchdown to go along with Doege’s scores — and likely would have been perfect if not for a Kenny Williams fumble deep in New Mexico territory in the second quarter.
With the win, the Red Raiders wrapped up a 3-0 record during non-conference play that was every bit as dominating as the 149-30 scoring advantage in those games would suggest. The real test, of course, begins in two weeks, when Tech opens up Big 12 Conference play at undefeated Iowa State.
For at least another day, though, Tech can revel in another lopsided victory that featured no shortage of contributors behind Doege.
Outside of one drive in which New Mexico (1-2) marched 79 yards in 17 plays for its only offensive touchdown of the game, Tech’s defense turned in its third solid performance in as many weeks. The Red Raiders surrendered only 127 total yards, most of that coming on one drive. Tech yielded only 2.7 yards per play.
"I thought our guys did a good job of making game-time adjustments," defensive coordinator Art Kaufman said. "I was pleased with the way we hustled."
New Mexico’s only other score came on Chase Clayton’s 98-yard kickoff return late in the second quarter.
While Doege’s arm stole the show on offense, Tech benefitted once again from a strong rushing attack, which averaged 7.2 yards per carry. The offensive line was stellar, often giving Tech running backs Mack Truck-sized holes to power through.
Senior Eric Stephens took advantage, rushing for 118 yards on just 12 carries. He became the seventh player in Tech history to accumulate 4,000 career all-purpose yards.
"You rush for 300 yards and throw for 400," Tuberville said, "that's pretty good."
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