By Chois Woodman
No. 20 Texas Tech earned bowl eligibility for the 20th time in the last 21 years after defeating Iowa State 42-35 on Saturday afternoon at Jones Stadium.
The Red Raiders dominated on offense and defense, but it was the special teams play that kept Iowa State close for the majority of the game.
Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury said he was happy to get the win when his team did not play as well as it could have.
"I was just excited about the win," Kingsbury said. "Any time you lose a turnover battle three to zero and pretty much get dominated on special teams and still win the game by two touchdowns, you've got a chance to have a pretty good team. That was exciting that they found a way to win, but lots of areas to improve upon."
Jarvis West returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, and an Iowa State punt hit a Red Raider in the back to set up another touchdown for the Cyclones. There were other special teams problems including a missed 34-yard field goal by Ryan Bustin.
Tech gained 666 yards of total offense while holding the Cyclones to 311 yards in the game.
The Red Raider rushing attack had its best game of the season rushing for 251 yards and three scores in the contest. DeAndre Washington led Tech with 88 yards and a touchdown.
Kingsbury said he was pleased with the performance from his running backs in the win.
"They were giving us some runs," Kingsbury said. "Keeping two high a bunch of the game and gave us numbers in the run game. And our O-line did a great job moving bodies, and our back - as I've said all along - are very talented, all three of those guys that got touches today."
Sadale Foster had 87 yards and a touchdown and Kenny Williams added 80 yards of his own while also finding the end zone once in the game.
True freshman quarterback Davis Webb started for the first time this season after Baker Mayfield injured his knee against Kansas last Saturday. Webb went 35 of 56 for 415 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
Kingsbury said Webb did a good job in his first career start.
"He played well," Kingsbury said. "He had some throws on there that he would like to have back and some things we could have hit, but I liked the way he handled himself and stayed composed. When we needed a drive he made 'em, and that's what I like to see."
Jace Amaro was one of the most reliable targets for the young quarterback. Amaro had nine catches for 143 yards.
Kerry Hyder led the Red Raider defense with nine tackles in the game.
Despite the strong defensive effort, Hyder said there is still plenty of room for the team to get better.
"We've still got some room for improvement," he said, "especially in the red zone. We usually get the ball stopped and get a field goal in the red zone. We've got some work to do in that area this week."
Following the win, Kingsbury became the first Texas Tech coach to have a 6-0 start to his career in school history.
The Red Raiders improved to 6-0 (3-0), and are still tied for the lead in the Big 12 Conference standings.
The Red Raiders get ready to head to West Virginia next Saturday for their 11 am game against the Mountaineers.