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Freshman Mason Tharp from Klein scores a touchdown on Sept. 18, 2021, at Jones AT&T Stadium.

The Texas Tech football team defeated Florida International 54-21 to end their non-conference schedule undefeated. 

The second quarter stood out for the Red Raiders, with Tech scoring 28 points in the frame alone, and ultimately going into halftime with a 21-point lead. 

This was the first time this season Tech went into the halftime break with a lead. 

"You know we talked all week about starting strong on both sides of the ball," head coach Matt Wells said. "It was the vibe of starting strong and a sort of a big we did that was a really good second quarter." 

Last game against SFA, Tech had five players on the receiving end of the ball, but this game there were 11. 

"Guys were getting open and traditionally in the past couple of games, (Ezukanma) was getting open and sometimes he was the first reach and I’m not going to pass him up so all wide receivers and tight ends, like Koontz and Mason, (Geiger), they’re all getting open and doing a great job," junior quarterback Tyler Shough said. 

Kaylon Geiger lead in receiving yards with 121 yards and Mason Tharp followed with 61 yards. 

In the first quarter, Florida International had the momentum when their running back D'vonte Price scored on a 72-yard rushing touchdown.  

Tech nearly failed to respond when senior defensive back Adrian Frye fumbled on a punt return to give the Panthers the ball back. However, senior defensive back Marquis Waters intercepted an FIU pass and brought the ball back for a pick-6.

With a successful extra point, Tech was able to tie the quarter 7-7. 

Tyler Shough began the second quarter with a 52-yard completed pass to Geiger. 

Senior tight end Travis Koontz was the next Red Raider to get his hands on the ball and scored on a 4-yard reception. With a successful PAT, Tech took the lead 14-7. 

Senior wide receiver Dalton Rigdon caught a pass from junior quarterback Tyler Shough and ran 59 yards. This gave returning player and junior running back SaRodrick Thompson the opportunity to score from the 3-yard line and gave Tech a 21-14 lead. 

A 28-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Trey Cleveland put him in the end zone to score the third touchdown of the second quarter. Tech had a 27- 14 lead.

With nine seconds left in the half, Tech was on the 1-yard line when Koontz scored. The 35-14 lead was the first time Tech went into the half with an advantage over its opponents.

The Panthers scored in the third quarter to make the score 44 -21, but Tech continued to have the momentum. 

Jonathan Garibay scored a lone 28-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to further the Red Raider lead 47-21 

Henry Colombi entered the game and produced results for the scarlet and black in the fourth quarter. Colombi ran 19 yards and scored his first touchdown of the season. This advanced the lead to 54- 21. 

In the end, Florida International did not come back from the deficit. The Red Raiders concluded their non-conference slate with a 3-0 record. 

"Big goal for us, was to go undefeated in the non-league and we accomplished that, 3-0. Now you get into a one-week, big time game, every single week in the Big 12, and we go to Texas this week and we’re certainly excited to do that,” Wells said. 

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