A record season-opening crowd of 60,778 got more than they bargained for Saturday night, as Texas Tech barely slipped by FCS opponent Central Arkansas, 42-35.
The Red Raiders finished with 636 total yards including 452 through the air from Davis Webb, but 114 yards worth of penalties and two Webb interceptions allowed the Bears to keep things interesting all game long.
"They just got their players ready to go and we didn't," Kingsbury said. "That's on me. I'll take that one. I thought we had good practices. It was a great atmosphere, lots of fans, we just didn't show up."
The sloppiness proved even more disappointing for Coach Kingsbury, because his goal coming into the game was for his team to cut penalties and turnovers - two things that didn't happen Saturday night.
"Just disappointed because I know how good they can be and to come out and play like that," Kingsbury said. "I've got to give Central Arkansas all the credit in the world. They played hard. They had a plan. They expected to win the game. But to come out and have that many undisciplined penalties and turn the ball over twice and take a safety on the other one which counts as a turnover, it was pretty embarrassing to be honest."
The Red Raiders did have some bright spots in the win, however. DeAndre Washington ran for a career-high 104 yards on 20 carries including a 1-yard touchdown run that gave Tech a 7-3 first quarter lead. The next two Tech drives ended with Webb interceptions as Central Arkansas lead 16-7.
"He was shaky early, just trying to do too much, trying to make every play," Kingsbury said. "But I thought he hung in there and bounced back well, but not his best night."
Webb bounced back immediately the following drive with a six-yard touchdown pass to senior Jordan Davis. The next drive ended with a six-yard touchdown run from freshman Justin Stockton and the Red Raiders went into the break leading 21-16.
After halftime Texas Tech appeared to be getting some separation after a five-yard touchdown connection from Webb to sophomore Reginald Davis made the score 28-16. But the Bears used a field goal and safety to cut the Red Raiders lead to 28-21.
That's when senior Bradley Marquez took over. The senior wide receiver hauled in a 70-yard touchdown - his first of two 4th quarter scores - to give Tech a 35-21 lead. The gap was short-lived however, as Central Arkansas scored on the next possession to once again pull within a single score, 35-28 with 7:47 remaining.
Webb looked Marquez's way again on the next Tech drive, hooking up for a 27-yard score. Marquez's touchdown proved to be the game-winner as Central Arkansas' final touchdown was too little too late.
"He stepped up and made great plays," Kingsbury said. "He's a guy we're going to lean on. In tough times he's one of the few seniors on that offense, so I was proud of the way he responded."
Next up for the Red Raiders is a road test in El Paso against UTEP next Saturday night. Kickoff is 10 p.m.
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