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Late comeback lifts Texas Tech over Minnesota

Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl - Minnesota v Texas Tech Getty Images

Six years ago, Texas Tech needed what was the biggest comeback in bowl history to beat Minnesota in the Insight Bowl 44-41 in overtime. The Red Raiders’ rally over Minnesota in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas Friday night wasn’t quite as large, but nevertheless dramatic.

The Gophers led the Red Raiders 31-24 with just over one minute remaining in the game when TTU wide receiver Eric Ward caught a 35-yard pass from quarterback Seth Doege as part of a seven-play, 82-yard drive. Minnesota ran just three plays on its next possession before D.J. Johnson intercepted Philip Nelson and returned the turnover 41 yards to the Gopher 22-yard line. Two plays later, kicker Ryan Bustin made a 28-yard field goal as time expired.

Minnesota had a superb ground game with 222 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns. Nelson wasn’t particularly efficient for the Gophers with just seven completions on 18 attempts for 138 yards, but he had a couple of scoring passes as well. The late interception, as one can imagine, was costly.

It was also an especially chippy game. Texas Tech alone had 13 penalties for 135 yard and there were 20 penalties for 220 yards between the two teams. Of those 20 penalties, nine were personal fouls with the two sides going at each other more than a couple of times after the whistles blew.

The 34-31 win was Texas Tech’s third straight bowl victory while Minnesota is still looking for its first bowl victory since the 2004 Music Bowl over Alabama. Still, Jerry Kill is doing a tremendous job in Minneapolis and this program is showing improvement under his watch. This heartbreaking loss is going to be tough to carry through the offseason, but there’s no doubt Kill has UM headed in the right direction.

On the other side, Texas Tech is looking forward to the beginning of the Kliff Kingsbury era in Lubbock. Kingsbury replaces Tommy Tuberville, who surprisingly left for Cincinnati earlier this month.

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7 Responses to “Late comeback lifts Texas Tech over Minnesota”
  1. pricecube says: Dec 29, 2012 1:39 AM

    Big 12 moves to 2-0. This was not a very impressive win. Three more Big 12 games tomorrow!

  2. overratedgators says: Dec 29, 2012 2:11 AM

    And the Big T(welv)en is 0-1 (and 0-2 if you count soon to be member Rutgers).

  3. tyn27 says: Dec 29, 2012 2:45 AM

    I watched this entire game. Thought Tech was gonna destroy them given how Minnesota season and past few seasons have gone. Needless to say was very impressed with Minnesota, and not very impressed with Tech. From watching the whole game, I’ll have to say Minnesota lost it more then Tech won it.
    I think tech will have a bright future with there new head coach. Minnesota looks to be on the right track as well with there coach.
    Overall great game, reminded me why I love bowl season!

  4. johnmindiola says: Dec 29, 2012 9:37 AM

    Both Minnesota QBs missed wide open receivers all night. It was frustrating. The ground game was great, but you could see the looks on the receivers, who were leaping all over the place trying to catch errant passes.

  5. cyraider says: Dec 29, 2012 1:09 PM

    The BIG Ten is pathetic. Nebraska bailed on the BIG12 because they could never win the big one, now that they ran away they get blown out by the third best team in the other division. The best team in the big10 would have been an 8 win team in the BIG12 this year at best. Too deep. Too dynamic. Go State.

  6. greggatx says: Dec 29, 2012 1:43 PM

    Bottom line, Texas Tech won! The Big 12 is 2-0 with three games today! Go Big 12 and Go Texas!! Hook’em Horns!

  7. melikefootball says: Dec 29, 2012 5:30 PM

    Was there ever a game with more flags for 15 yards

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