The Comeback Kid

Come inside to read analyst Mitchell Fish's take on Graham Harrell and his leading of two come from behind victories at the end of the 2006 season. Both victories helped bolster the young quarterbacks confidence and helped to show the Big XII and the entire country what Graham Harrell could do. So come inside for insight and analysis of Harrell and the beginning of his time as the "Comeback Kid".

Name something that Graham Harrell has done that Cody Hodges never did and Sonny Cumbie only did once. No, it isn't throwing an interception return for touchdown, not scoring a rushing touchdown, not throwing more than 30 touchdowns.

Instead, Graham Harrell was the first Texas Tech quarterback since Sonny Cumbie's comeback against Kansas, to lead a come from behind victory when his team was down at halftime. Harrell actually managed to accomplish this two times in a row, leading come from behind victories against both Oklahoma State and the University of Minnesota. And while the victories themselves were impressive, perhaps what was more impressive was the way that Harrell lead these comebacks.

Against Oklahoma State, the entire Texas Tech team came out flat after having been abused up and down the field by the University of Oklahoma the week before. Oklahoma State took a commanding lead at 17-0 but this was the motivation that Harrell needed as the Red Raiders went on to win the game 30-24, including two touchdowns from Graham Harrell to Robert Johnson.

Yet, the biggest comeback that Harrell lead also has another distinction, since it is the largest comeback in NCAA Division 1 Bowl History as well. Texas Tech walked onto the field at the start of the Insight Bowl and was then driven, tail between their legs, back to the locker room for half time. But then it started as Graham Harrell began to lead the Red Raiders to score 31 unanswered points en-route to a 44-41 victory over the Golden Gophers.

Harrell showed in almost ever start during the 2006 season that he had the arm strength to make all of the throws, but at times he seemed to be missing the confidence to lead a team from behind, or from the front that matter as he became the first Mike Leach quarterback to lose two halftime leads and go on to lose the game.

But in the waning moments of the 2006 Texas Tech football season, fans saw a different player. A poised and confident quarterback, one who scored a touchdown and then headed to the sideline, calm and collected, one who didn't let a bad pass rattle him but instead took everything in stride and made plays.

While Graham Harrell wasn't the best quarterback in the Big XII at the beginning of the 2006 season, by the end he had started to change from the player that lost halftime leads to the player who decimated opponents halftime leads.

While fans prefer that their team isn't having to make a come from behind victory every week, it is important that players, and especially the quarterback, are comfortable in that type of situation and are capable of responding, much like Mr. Harrell did at the end of the 2006 season.


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