Erxleben Called His Own Number

Senior punter Ryan Erxleben's decision to pull the ball down on fourth down and run 51 yards for a touchdown ended up being Texas Tech's top play of the night.

AUSTIN – Texas Tech's offense stalled again in the first quarter. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury sent out the punt unit and Longhorn fans were happy to see their team was about to get the ball back.

That was not the case.

Senior punter Ryan Erxleben ran 51 yards into the end zone for a touchdown. It was more around 60 yards, but the statistics only count from the line of scrimmage. The odd thing about the play was Erxleben himself was the play caller.

"The punter actually called that one," Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "He saw something and took off with it."

After the punt was snapped, two Texas players made a B-line for Erxleben, but he noticed the players, made a quick move to his right and ran up the field. Erxleben picked up a few key blocks and was off to the races as he finished the run untouched.

"It gave us momentum," safety Tre Porter said. "As a defense, you know we always like to see points put up on the board."

The touchdown gave Tech a 7-0 lead. Tech's defense made some stops early in the game and it seemed like Tech had opportunities to score early, but mistakes and penalties destroyed the Red Raiders.

Erxleben finished the game as Tech's leading rusher. The fake punt was his only carry of the game. The son of a former Texas punter, Erxleben was on the field seven other times to actually kick the ball away.

It was the brightest spot for Tech, who had a miserable day losing 41-16 to their arch nemesis.

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