Red Raiders win AutoZone Liberty Bowl 34-7

A totally dominant performance for the Red Raiders as they held Mississippi State to 7 points, the only other team to hold them to 10 points or less… Alabama.


• Today’s weather at kickoff: 68 degrees, 10 mph winds and partly cloudy skies.

• Mississippi State won the coin toss and chose to receive in the second half. Texas Tech started the first half with the ball.

• Today’s game was televised by ESPN. Ten of Tech’s games during the 2021 season were on the ESPN family of networks.

• Today’s game marked the first meeting with Mississippi State in 50 years. Today’s game was the eighth all-time meeting between the two schools with the last being in 1970.

• Texas Tech wore red helmets, white jerseys and red pants against Mississippi State.

• Today’s game captains were Josh Burger, Patrick Curley and Jaylon Hutchings.

• As part of Texas Tech’s pregame entrance, T.J. Storment carried the U.S. flag and Tony Bradford Jr. ran out with the state of Texas flag.

• Today’s attendance: 48,615.


Starters – (Offense) – (LT) T.J. Storment, (LG) Weston Wright, (C) Dawson Deaton, (RG) Josh Burger (RT) Caleb Rogers, (QB) Donovan Smith, (RB) SaRodorick Thompson, (TE) Travis Koontz, (TE) Mason Tharp, (WR) Kaylon Geiger Sr., (WR) Jerand Bradley; (Defense) – (DE) Tyree Wilson, (N) Jaylon Hutchings, (T) Devin Drew (LB) Colin Schooler, (LB) Riko Jeffers, (LB) Krishon Merriweather, (SPUR) Reggie Pearson Jr., (CB) Rayshad Williams, (S) Dadrion Taylor-Demerson, (S) Eric Monroe. (CB) DaMarcus Fields



• Gives Texas Tech a 7-6 overall record in 2021.

• Gives Texas Tech a 3-4-1 all-time record against Mississippi State.

• Gives Texas Tech a 4-8 all-time record against the SEC since joining the Big 12 (1996).

• Gives Texas Tech a 15-23-1 all-time record in bowl games.

• Gives Texas Tech 10 bowl wins in its last 14 contests.

• Gives Texas Tech a 7-5 record against unranked opponents in bowl games since joining the Big 12 (1996).



• Texas Tech earned its third largest bowl victory with its 27 point margin. Tech defeated Duke, 49-21, in the 1989 All-American Bowl and beat Clemson, 55-15, in the 2002 Tangerine Bowl.

• Today’s win over Mississippi State clinched Tech’s first winning season since 2015 when the Red Raiders finished 7-6 overall after a loss in the Texas Bowl.

• Finished the season averaging 30.3 points per game. Tech has averaged better than 30 points per game in 19 of the last 20 seasons.

• Today’s victory marked the fourth road win for Texas Tech in 2021. Its’ most wins away from Lubbock since 2017.

• Texas Tech held a bowl opponent to single digits for points for the first time since the 1974 Peach Bowl (6-6 tie with Vanderbilt) and only the fifth time in its now 39 all-time bowl appearances. Ironically, this is Texas Tech’s first-ever win when holding an opponent to single-digit points as the Red Raiders were previously 0-3-1 historically.

• Texas Tech held its opponent to single digits for the first time since defeating UTEP, 38-3, on Sept. 7, 2019.

• Texas Tech shutout its opponent in the second half for the first time the 2021 season opener versus Houston.

• Texas Tech’s 7-play, 75-yard game-opening drive, every yard came via the ground game.

• Texas Tech scored on its first two possessions for the second time this season.

• Texas Tech recorded a first quarter season-high 169 yards total offense, as well as a first quarter season-high 145 yards rushing offense.

• Second-half adjustments: The Red Raiders have allowed its last seven opponents to score a collective three points with its opening drive of the second half.

• Texas Tech completed its second-longest scoring drive (by yards) of the season in third quarter – 4 plays, 95 yards.

• Texas Tech rushed the ball 44 times – the most attempts in a single game since 45 against Kansas on Oct. 26, 2019.

• Texas Tech recorded 260 rushing yards – the most rushing yards in a single game since 293 against Kansas on Dec. 5, 2020.

• Mississippi State entered the game averaging 449.6 total yards offense per game. Texas Tech held the Bulldogs to 128 yards in the first half, and a total of 344 yards overall.



• Jerand Bradley picked up his first career start.

– logged a season-long 52-yard reception

– logged a season-high 64 receiving yards.

• Jonathan Garibay

– improved to 15-of-16 (93.75%) after going 2-for-2 in the Liberty Bowl. His sole miss in 2021 was a 53-yard try.

– his 15 makes tied for the 10th-most in single season history by a Red Raider.

• Austin McNamara

– logged his 48th career punt of 50 yards or more, and increased his career single season high 19th. (2019-17, 2020-12, 2021-19).

– finished the 2021 season averaging 48.2 yards per punt, besting the previous school record of 46.8 set by Mark Bounds in 1991.

• Tahj Brooks

– eclipsed 100 yards rushing for the third time in his career.

– scored his seventh rushing touchdown of the season, and found the end zone for the third game of the last four. It was his 11th career rushing score.

• Donovan Smith

– second Red Raider to be named bowl game MVP, in addition to Davis Webb in 2013 at the Holiday Bowl.

– was 8-for-12 for 192 yards in the second half. He finished 15-of-28 for 252 yards and one passing touchdown.

– recorded third rushing touchdown of the season.

• SaRodorick Thompson

– recorded 33rd career touchdown. Moving to a tie for fifth all-time alongside Shannon Woods (2005-08)

• Tyree Wilson

– recorded back-to-back sacks in the third quarter

– finished the season with a team-lead 7.0 TFLs and a team-lead 13.5 TFLs.

• Eric Monroe:

– recorded his second interception of the season

• Colin Schooler:

– added 2.0 TFLs to his resume -completing his career with 58.5 TFLs for his career.

– finished T-20th all-time in total TFLs with 58.5

– his eight solo tackles pushed him into the all-time FBS Top Five in solo tackles, finishing No. 4 with 315.

• J.J. Sparkman recorded his second career touchdown reception.

• Tyrique Matthews recorded his first career fumble (via a second quarter muffed punt).




Release provided by Matt Dowdy Texas Tech Athletics

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