ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) -- Kliff Kingsbury went out in style.
The senior quarterback passed for 375 yards and three touchdowns in his final appearance for Texas Tech as the Red Raiders routed Clemson, 55-15, in the Tangerine Bowl.
"I was really proud of our effort by our team and players," Texas Tech coach Mike Leach said. "We went out there and played with a good tempo and I think that everyone fed off one another, which allowed a whole lot of things to go our way."
Kingsbury suffered a sprained right ankle early in the third quarter when defensive end Dekhaleed Vaughn rolled on his leg. The quarterback limped noticably and had to be helped off the field but got his ankle taped and returned after missing just one series.
"I was going to get back out there," Kingsbury said. "He (the trainer) wasn't keeping me off the field. The offensive line didn't give up any pressure after that. I told them they couldn't move around and they did a great job blocking."
Kingsbury ended his career ranked fourth on the NCAA's all-time passing list with 12,429 yards, trailing only Ty Detmer, Tim Rattay and Chris Redman.
Kingsbury's Texas Tech career officially ended when he tossed a 19-yard pass to Carlos Francis with 6:13 remaining. The completion enabled him to join Detmer and David Klingler as the only quarterbacks in NCAA history to pass for than 5,000 yards in a season.
The native of New Braunfels, Texas completed 32-of-43 passes to end the year 479-of-712 for 5,017 yards and 45 touchdowns. His final TD pass, the 95th of his career, was a nine-yard strike to Wes Walker with 9:18 remaining in the fourth quarter.
"Yes, 5,000 in a big number," Kingsbury said. "The offensive line played so well and the receivers made big plays. Everybody's going to be back next year on that offense, so I look for them to be really good."
Kingsbury also earned his first bowl victory, having lost to East Carolina in the 2000 Galleryfurniture.com Bowl and to Iowa in last year's Alamo Bowl.
Texas Tech (9-5) recorded its first postseason win since beating Air Force in the Copper Bowl in 1995, which also was the last time the Red Raiders won nine games. They are 6-18-1 all-time in bowl play.
"Coming into this game, we heard a lot of hype about how both teams were supposed to put up a lot of points and how it was going to be an offensive shootout," said Texas Tech defensive end Aaron Hunt, the Big 12 Conference's all-time sack leader. "I'm just glad that we showed there are two sides to this team - offense and defense."
Texas Tech wasted no time taking control, opening a 24-0 lead early in the second quarter and stretching its advantage to 34-2 at halftime. The Tigers (7-6) got their only points of the half when a punt was blocked through the end zone.
Kingsbury left with 10:12 to go in the third quarter. Backup B.J. Symons led Texas Tech to a score, tossing a two-yard TD strike to Francis that made it 41-9 with 6:12 left in the period.
Kingsbury left for good with about six minutes remaining and Symons threw a second TD, a 26-yard shovel pass to Taurean Henderson that completed the scoring with 5:32 left.
The 55 points matched an all-time bowl high for Texas Tech, equaling their total in the Copper Bowl seven years ago. Clemson surrendered its most points in a bowl game.
The Tigers were forced to play from behind virtually from the outset as Robert Treece opened the scoring with a 29-yard field goal 4:49 into the contest.
Kingsbury followed with TD passes of 46 yards to Nehemiah Glover and 19 yards to Mickey Peters to make it 17-0. The Red Raiders extended their lead on Henderson's 11-yard TD run 2:51 into the second quarter.
"Their quarterback is everything they say he is," Clemson coach Tommy Bowden said. "He is very composed, you can't hardly rattle him, and he is very accurate on his throws."
Texas Tech made it 31-2 on Walker's 59-yard punt return with 3:52 left in priod. The Red Raiders tacked on three more points on Treece's 40-yard field as time expired in the first half.
"I thought it would been a closer game, I really did," Bowden said. "I knew it was going to be high scoring, but I didn't think they would get as many and we would get more."
The Red Raiders held a 555-360 edge in total offense. Charlie Whitehurst completed 20-of48 passes for 263 yards with a TD for Clemson, but threw four interceptions.