LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) – Cody Hodges threw for 454 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another to lead No. 21 Texas Tech past Florida International 56-3 Saturday night.

Hodges showed a running dimension Tech’s two previous quarterbacks – both of whom led the nation in passing – did not. He looked at ease in rushing seven times for 44 yards, including a 17-yard scamper for a score in the second quarter to put Tech up 21-0.

He was no slouch in the air, either. Hodges, the third straight fifth-year senior to start for Tech (1-0), found his rhythm early and connected on TD passes of 47, 39, 38 and 7 yards. He completed 29 of 37 passes.

Hodges’ favorite receiver was Robert Johnson, a junior college transfer who came to Tech last year to be a quarterback. In his first start at receiver, Johnson caught nine passes for 129 yards and a touchdown. He caught a 47-yarder from Hodges that made in 28-3 late in the first half.

The Golden Panthers (0-2) hurt themselves with back-to-back fumbles in the first half, both of which led to Tech scores. The second fumble came on the Tech 3-yard line after Florida International had driven from their own 35.

Tech safety Dwayne Slay stripped the ball from running back Julian Reams’ hands and Chris Hudler recovered it for Tech. The Red Raiders needed just 2:55 to go 97 yards and capitalize on the turnover. Hodges threw passes of 11, 11, 8, 14 and 15 yards before he raced in from the 17 for the score.

On their ensuing possession, the Golden Panthers’ 14-play drive stalled at the 13 and they had to settle for a field goal to trail 21-3 at halftime.

Florida International got inside Tech’s 20 only three times in the first half and twice in the second.

Tech running back Taurean Henderson, who scored a touchdown on a 20-yard run in the first and caught a 38-yarder from Hodges in the third, moved three catches closer to becoming the NCAA leader in receptions for a running back. He now needs 24 to break Mark Templeton’s 262 receptions at Long Beach State.

The Florida school, in its fourth year of football and its first as a Division I-A member, played in front of its largest crowd ever when 50,156 showed up to watch Saturday night’s game.

Hodges threw for more yards and touchdowns in his first outing than did Tech quarterback B.J. Symons two years ago. Symons threw for 297 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in his first start two seasons ago.

He went on to set a NCAA single-season record of 5,833 yards passing.

Sonny Cumbie, who led Tech last year, threw for 470 yards and four touchdowns in his first start.

AP-ES-09-10-05 2246EDT


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