HOUSTON (AP) — The Texas Tech football team suffered its first season-opening loss since 2002 on Saturday, falling to Ole Miss, 47-27, at NRG Stadium in Houston.
Da'Leon Ward's second touchdown on a 9-yard run got Texas Tech within 10 later in the third quarter, but Ta'amu found A.J. Brown for a 34-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the fourth quarter to make it 44-27.
Texas Tech freshman Alan Bowman was 29-of-49 for 273 yards and a touchdown after taking over late in the first quarter when starter McLane Carter was injured.
The Red Raiders evened it up when Ward ran 15 yards for a score on their first possession. That touchdown was set up when T.J. Vasher made an Odell Beckham-esque one-handed catch for a 31-yard gain two plays earlier. Vasher grabbed the ball with his right hand as he leapt above the defender and secured it with both hands before crashing to the turf near the sideline.
The Rebels were up 17-7 when Carter appeared to injure his left ankle when he was tackled by a pair of defenders on a run for no gain. He tried to remain in the game but fell to the ground at the line and was helped off the field and then carted to the locker room.
Bowman made a nice throw under heavy pressure for a 14-yard TD pass to Ja'Deion High to cut the lead to 27-17 about two minutes before halftime.
Bowman handled things pretty well after being thrown into action following Carter's injury. Texas Tech's defense will also have to figure out how to limit big plays after the Rebels exploited it for several on Saturday.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders host Lamar next Saturday in their home opener before the Houston Cougars visit Lubbock on Sept. 15.