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Harrell passes Texas Tech over Eastern Washington

Aug 31, 2008 - 5:32 AM LUBBOCK, Texas (Ticker) -- Graham Harrell threw for 536 yards and two touchdowns as 14th-ranked Texas Tech opened its season with a 49-24 victory Saturday over pesky Eastern Washington.

Harrell, who completed 43-of-58 passes, led the Red Raiders (1-0) to a 20-0 lead after one quarter, but the Eagles battled back with 17 second-quarter points to make it a 28-17 game at halftime.

The teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter, as Harrell found Edward Britton with a 1-yard pass and Matt Nichols found Tony Davis with a 30-yard strike with 21 seconds left in the quarter.

"We battled all game long," said Beau Baldwin, who was making his debut as Eastern Washington head coach. "After being down 21-0, we won the second quarter, 17-7, to put ourselves in a good position at halftime. We kept believing and kept fighting.

Aaron Crawford and Baron Batch added rushing touchdowns in the final quarter to give the Red Raiders some breathing room.

"We were extremely spotty, I think that we played in spurts the whole night and a lot of the credit goes to Eastern Washington," Texas Tech coach Mike Leach said. "I don't think that we played what I consider well, what I consider three series in a row on either side of the ball. A lot of the penalties were incredibly disappointing."

Harrell connected with 10 receivers despite saying he never got into a rhythm. Three Red Raiders - Eric Morris, Detron Lewis and Michael Crabtree - had nine catches apiece. Morris and Lewis cracked the century mark in yardage with 164 and 163 yards, respectively.

"Not really," Harrell said. "We've still got a long ways to go. That was a pretty sloppy game, and offensively we were pretty sloppy. Like you said, we had lots of yards, but we should have scored more than we did, but we did score 50, (49) so those are good things. We've got a long way to go and a lot of room to improve."

Texas Tech added 103 yards rushing and wound up with 639 yards of total offense.

Nichols finished 36-of-61 attempts for 335 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.

The Eagles were ineffective on the ground, rushing for 22 yards on 23 carries.

The game was a flag-filled contest; Texas Tech committed 18 penalties for 169 yards while Eastern Washington drew nine flags for 54 yards.