ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Keke Coutee had Texas Tech's first game-opening kickoff return for a touchdown since 1973, and the Red Raiders went on to end a four-game losing streak with a 38-24 win over Baylor on Saturday.
Texas Tech (5-5, 2-5 Big 12) still needs one more win to get bowl eligible, and there is still plenty of uncertainty about coach Kliff Kingsbury's future at his alma mater. The Red Raiders won their first seven games after the former quarterback became coach in 2013, but are 22-31 since and missed out on bowl games two of the last three seasons.
Coutee took the opening kickoff back 93 yards to start a Tech game with a touchdown return for the first time since Lawrence Williams against New Mexico in 1973. Baylor (1-9, 1-6) got even when Charlie Brewer threw a 4-yard TD to Gavin Holmes on its opening drive, but the Red Raiders went ahead to stay on Tre King's 1-yard TD run that capped their first offensive possession.
Nic Shimonek threw for 246 yards and two touchdowns, the eighth time this season the fifth-year senior had multiple TD passes for Tech. Shimonek completed his first 10 passes for the third time this season, and finished 24-of-29 passing.
Brewer completed 43 of 63 passes for 417 yards and three touchdowns in his second start for the Bears (1-9, 1-6), a week after they beat Kansas in his starting debut. Denzel Mims had 12 catches for 152 yards and a late score.
The game against Texas Tech at AT&T Stadium was where Brewer won a Texas Class 6A state championship game as Austin Lake Travis High's quarterback last December, only weeks before he enrolled at Baylor.
Texas Tech: Coutee entered the game tied for the Big 12 lead with 69 catches, or 7.7 per game. He had only two catches against Baylor, but had the big play to start the game. Dylan Cantrell had 11 catches for the Red Raiders.
Baylor: Brewer and the young Bears had 523 total yards, but also had four turnovers. There were two lost fumbles on quarterback-running back exchanges, one of them inside the 10 when Baylor was down only 14-7 in the first quarter. There was also the interception Brewer threw into the end zone just before halftime. Tech returned a fumble for a touchdown in the fourth when Tony Nicholson was stripped after a catch.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders hosts No. 8 TCU in their last home game of the season next Saturday.
Baylor: The Bears play their home finale next Saturday against No. 24 Iowa State.
© 2018 Associated Press