September 6, 2003
By BETSY BLANEY
Associated Press Writer
LUBBOCK, Texas - B.J. Symons threw for five touchdowns and ran for another as Texas Tech beat New Mexico 42-28 Saturday night.
After D.D. Cox's 3-yard touchdown run pulled New Mexico within 35-28 in the fourth quarter, Symons engineered one last drive. He took the Red Raiders (2-0) 66 yards in 12 plays and took the ball in from the 1 on a quarterback sneak with 2:43 left.
He finished 37-of-54 for 418 yards.
The Lobos (1-1) turned the ball over four times in the game. Casey Kelly was intercepted three times, but Tech only turned one of those into a score.
Symons' performance in his first two starts for Tech has already brought him more yards (715) and passing touchdowns (eight) than he compiled during his three years as a backup (545 yards and seven touchdowns) to record-setting quarterback Kliff Kingsbury.
Three of Symons' touchdowns went to Mickey Peters, two for 8 yards and one for 52. Peters, who finished with 121 yards on eight receptions, has already tallied half as many TD passes this year (four) as he had all of last season.
Tech safety Ryan Aycock intercepted two passes, giving him three for the season. He had one all of last season.
The only time New Mexico got inside Tech's 15 in the first half, Kelly threw into double coverage and safety Vincent Meeks came out with the ball.
Defense and special teams set up Tech's first two scores, both 8-yard touchdown passes from Symons to Peters.
Early in the first quarter, Aycock intercepted his first pass of the night when Tech lineman Fred Thrweatt tipped a pass by Kelly. Aycock pulled it in and returned 14 yards.
Symons then connected on four straight passes, the last one for an 8-yard score to Peters to put Tech up 7-0.
The Lobos failed to get a first down on their ensuing possession, and Tech's Wes Welker returned the punt 31 yards to New Mexico's 31. Welker's return made him the school's punt return yardage leader with 1,470 yards.
A short time later, Symons lobbed an 8-yard pass to Peters in the corner of the end zone for a 14-0 lead.
Until the Lobos opening drive of the second half, it looked like Tech might hold them scoreless for a second consecutive year. But New Mexico drove 80 yards in 12 plays with Cox scoring on a 2-yard run to make it 21-7.