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Welcome to Lubbock; Were No. 2 in the nation, yall

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The Ellis Couty Press

You would think at 5 a.m. on a Saturday morning with the thermometer reading 36 degrees that there would not be a whole lot of activity going on outside, but you would be wrong.  The time and temperature means very little to the loyal fans and students of Texas Tech University. 

For many supporters, 5 a.m. on a Saturday morning is late, especially since most, if not all, have never hit the sack the night before.   

Welcome to Lubbock, Texas, home of Texas Tech University and the famous, if not infamous, Raidergate.  Fans start early and they do it big.  

As far as one can see, and then a little past that, tent after tent is squeezed side by side covering everything from mounds of food and coolers of beverages, to various games, chairs, and even an occasional HDTV. 

The tried and true even pitch tents and bring heaters to spend the night outside of Jones AT&T Stadium. 

Soon after the sun comes up on game day, the cookers start warming up and the grounds around the stadium become a sea of red and black. 

By kick-off time everyone is so pumped up and rearing to go the energy is absolutely palpable.

Any game is cause for celebration in Lubbock, but the 2008-2009 season has already topped all memorable seasons in recent time. 

Coming off of a historical upset of then No.1 Texas last weekend, the Raiders found themselves sitting in the No. 2 spot in the Nation, the highest ranking in Texas Tech Football history.  

As determined as the Raiders were to reach No. 1 and make history again for the Tech football program, the Cowboys of Oklahoma State University, ranked #9 going into Saturday night’s game, were equally determined to make their bid to climb the standings’ ladder by defeating Tech. 

With the temperature at game time at 54 degrees, a crowd of 55,663, the third largest in school history, packed themselves into Jones AT&T Stadium.

In the first 2:30 minutes of play, the Raiders watched as OSU, on a fumble recovery, was able to take the ball down the field to score a touchdown and go up 7-0.

As the Raider offense took the field for the second time, Quarterback Graham Harrell (Ennis) looked a little caught off-guard at his earlier fumble, but being the athlete and leader that he is, he soon recovered from the shock and got to work.

The Red Raiders scored two touchdowns in the first quarter to take the lead at 14-7.

With 10:56 left in the second quarter, Tech scored their third touchdown of the night after having walked 97 yards down the field in 14 plays after starting at their own three yard line.

The scoring drive was the second longest of the season for the Raiders with the longest coming against SMU on a 6-play 98 yard drive. Tech would score again with less than a minute left in the first half to up their lead to 28-14 at half time.

The Raiders quickly added to their lead in the third quarter with an eight yard pass from Harrell to fellow Heisman Trophy hopeful Michael Crabtree. OSU would score only once more. Tech then added another touchdown in the third and then two more in the fourth.

The 56-20 victory gives Tech a 10-0 record so far on the season, 6-0 at home.

Although the win over OSU means a lot to the Raiders and their fans, it was not enough to bump Alabama out of the No.1 spot on the BCS standings.

After a bye this week, the Raiders will take their so-far perfect record across the Red River to #5 Oklahoma on November 22.

A win at Norman and then one more over Baylor at home on Nov. 29 would mean three things: 1) a perfect 12-0 season, 2) a perfect 7-0 record at home, tying the 7-0 season of the 2005 squad and 3) a chance at the National Championship. Not bad for the boys from West Texas.

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