LUBBOCK, Texas: The Texas Tech football team played its first home game of the season tonight in front of 52,403 fans, marking the second largest home opening crowd in school history. The largest occurred in 1979 when the Red Raiders faced No. 1 USC.
Tonight's crowd helped root on Tech to a 45 - 31 come-from-behind victory over the Miners from UTEP. Tech is now a perfect 8-0 in home openers during the Mike Leach era.
Senior mike linebacker Kellen Tillman said the home crowd was a big factor in helping the team make up a 14-point deficit and getting the win.
"I thought the atmosphere and the fans were great," Tillman said after the game. "As a defense and a team, we fed off them all game. We were able to come out the second half and fight off the first half and really feed off the crowd. They really never gave up on us when we got down, so it was a great atmosphere to play in."
Junior quarterback Graham Harrell said even though he enjoys breaking the hearts of opposing teams' fans while playing on the road, he was glad to put on a show at home for the first time this season.
"I've said before I enjoy beating teams at their field because it's fun to beat them in front of their crowd," Harrell said. "But it's just as fun to beat them in front of our crowd. I thought our crowd did a really good job. When we got going, they got excited. I thought they (the crowd) really got us excited."
Tech must again leave the friendly confines of Jones AT&T stadium next Saturday as they travel to Houston to face the Rice Owls. The Red Raiders will not play another home game until Sept. 29 against Northwestern State.(courtesy: Wes Skipwith/texastech.com)
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