LUBBOCK, Texas —
Texas coach Mack Brown finally got a glimpse of the team he's looked for all season.
"I thought it was the best team win we've had all year," Brown said. "Defense played so hard and so well and came up with the blocked field goal at the end."
David Ash threw for three touchdowns and 264 yards to lead Texas to its fourth road win of the season, 31-22 against No. 20 Texas Tech on Saturday.
"I'm really proud of David today," Brown said. "He came back and played a really good football game. No turnovers on offense, again."
Mike Davis had a career-high 165 yards and a career-best two touchdowns on four catches, one a 75-yarder from Ash in the second quarter for the Longhorns (7-2, 4-2 Big 12). It was the third straight win for the Longhorns and keeps them alive in the Big 12 race.
""If you look back Mike makes the big catch at Oklahoma State, Kansas last week and then he makes the big catch today," Brown said. "I think we're seeing him do this week-in and week-out."
Ash agreed with Brown on the team coming together in the win.
"Each win gets us in a better bowl and really, the goal is `every week get better,"' he said. "If we keep improving we've got a chance."
Seth Doege completed 26 of 44 passes for 329 yards for one touchdown for Texas Tech (6-3, 3-3).
Freshman Johnathan Gray got his second straight 100-yard rushing game for Texas, with 106 yards on 20 carries.
Penalties hurt Texas Tech, including a touchdown being called back in the fourth quarter for holding.
Once in the red zone, the Red Raiders had trouble getting touchdowns. They settled for field goals tries four times.
Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said the Red Raiders got in their own way.
"We shot ourselves in the foot," he said. "Made too many mistakes against a good football team. The last two weeks we've done that, so hopefully we can correct that."
Ash found Davis twice for big gains in the first half, once on a deep post route for a 54-yard gain to the Red Raiders 2. Joe Bergeron scored on the next play from 2 yards out to put the Longhorns up 14-7.
On the first play of the `Horns next possession, Ash hit Davis again on a deep route over the middle and he ran it in for a 75-yard touchdown to put Texas up 21-10.
Texas Tech was down three defensive backs to injuries - Cornelius Douglas, Tre' Porter and Jarvis Phillips - and Ash didn't let up on their backups. He completed 11 of 19 passes.
Ash had better numbers than Doege going into halftime. He was averaging 22.7 yards per pass attempt. It was a huge improvement his numbers in the Longhorns 21-17 comeback win at Kansas last week. His per-attempt average then was 3.9 yards.
Down 31-22 the Red Raiders looked like they scored a touchdown when Kenny Williams ran it in from the 2. But offensive lineman Deveric Gallington was called for holding and the score didn't count.
The Longhorns kept Texas Tech from getting a first down and Carrington Byndom blocked Ryan Bustin's 23-yard field goal try to seal the win for Texas.
"I thought he played really, really well throughout the game," Brown said of Byndom. "He nearly blocked the first field goal. He gets his hand on another field goal and then blocks the last one, which was just a game saver."
Doege was glum at the loss because it was the senior's last chance to beat Texas Tech's in-state rival.
"It hurts to know that the goals you were after and you set for your team going into the season kind of went out the door with this loss."
Texas Tech scored late in the third quarter to make it 24-22 after going for it on fourth-and-1 from UT's 32. Eric Stephens took the snap as the wildcat and ran toward the near side of the field and handed the ball off to SaDale Foster who went around end on the other side of the line, picking up 15 yards to the Texas 17.
Doege followed with a 10-yard TD pass to Stephens.
The Red Raiders went for 2 but Byndom broke up Doege's fade pass to the corner of the end zone intended for Marcus Kennard.
The Red Raiders offense sputtered in red zone offense throughout the game. In their first possession of the second half they got the ball down to UT's 15-yard line but came away with a field goal to pull within 24-16
Twice in the first half they had to settle for field goals after moving the ball inside Texas' 20-yard line. Before Ryan Bustin hit a 41-yard field goal in the second quarter to pull the Red Raiders within 14-10 they would have had a second-and-1 from near the 5. Instead, Le'Raven Clark got called for an illegal block and Texas Tech faced a first-and-30 from UT's 35.