by CFP Staff
December 29, 2012
Ryan Bustin's 28-yard field goal as time expired lifted Texas Tech to a 34-31 win over Minnesota on Friday night (December 28) in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas in Houston.
The Golden Gophers' bowl losing streak extended to 5 games and they finished the season 6-7 with their third straight loss.
The Red Raiders improved to 8-5 after losing 4 of their previous 5.
Texas Tech trailed 31-24 until Seth Doege hit Eric Ward on a 35-yard touchdown strike with 1:10 remaining. D.J. Johnson then picked off Philip Nelson's pass on 3rd down on Minnesota's next possession and returned it 41 yards for a Texas Tech first down at the Golden Gopher 22-yard line. After moving to the 11 on a 9-yard pass and a 2-yard run, Bustin stepped onto the field to nail the game-winner.
Doege's only TD pass gave him 39 for the season and his modest 271 yars passing gives him a 2012 toal of 4,205. Coming into the bowl game, Doege ranked fourth in the nation in passing, sixth in passing yards per game, and 2nd in TD passes.
Offensive line coach Chris Thomsen was tapped to lead the Red Raiders in the bowl game and now makes way for incoming head coach Kliff Kingsbury. The former record-setting Texas Tech QB was the offensive coordinator at Texas A&M where QB Johnny Manziel won the 2012 Heisman Trophy. Now age 33, Kingsbury set 39 school, 16 conference and 17 NCAA records under his head coach, Mike Leach, from 1999-2002.
Texas Tech was caught by complete surprise when Tommy Tuberville was announced as the new head coach at Cincinnati on December 8, opting to leave after three seasons in Lubbock to replace Butch Jones. Tuberville was 20-17 in three seasons in Lubbock with all of the losses coming in conference games (9-17).
Texas Tech has won 5 of its last 6, and 8 of its last 10, bowl games to improve to 13-21-1. The Red Raiders made their return to the bowl season after having an 18-year appearance streak snapped in 2011 when Tuberville's second season as head coach only produced a 5-7 record.
Minnesota is 5-10 all-time in bowl games with recent losses in the 2005 Music City Bowl and three straight setbacks in the Insight Bowl in 2006, 2008 and 2009.
The Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com gave Texas Tech a 12.18-point advantage in the contest.