Lubbock Citizens React To Tech/SMU Brawl - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/7/04

Lubbock Citizens React To Tech/SMU Brawl

It was a win for Texas Tech over SMU Saturday night but that night's post-game incident gave for a rocky start to Texas Tech's football season.

On Saturday night, Texas Tech Football Head Coach Mike Leach continued to run his offense until time expired. In essence, that caused SMU Coach Phil Bennett to take offense, generating a scuffle involving both teams - leading to controversy off the field.

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"Coach Bennett and I are friends and it's over with," explains Coach Leach. But Tech fans may not be ready to leave Saturday's post-game occurrence in the past.

Mark Finkner, sports radio host, discusses how Coach Phil Bennett has caused controversy both on and off the field after his charge toward Coach Leach on Saturday, leading to a scuffle between the teams.

"I'm telling you right now, Phil Bennett was out of line," alleges Finkner and listeners agree. "I don't think Phil Bennett should have reacted the way he did, you got to understand that this is the first game of the season," says one caller. A season opener that ended with a 27 to 13 victory over SMU, but some Tech students say the incident overshadows Tech's win. "Had Tech done that, we would have been all over the news," says student Ivan Morales.

"It was all instigated by SMU, they were a little upset because we took it to them, but that's our offense, that's the way leach likes to work," says another student, Matt Rath.

"The way he runs the system is kind of different and a lot of coaches don't really like it but I mean, a win's a win," adds Morales.

"The SMU coach had no right to come after Coach Leach," says Cynthia Barrera, student.

Meanwhile, Texas Tech will face New Mexico this weekend where students say it could happen all over again. "This weekend is probably going to be a battle again so we'll see what happens," says Rath. Coach Leach says the Tech football team will face no punishment for Saturday's fight.

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