By: Chois Woodman
In a game that was littered with penalties and personal fouls, Texas Tech defeated Minnesota 34-31 at the Meineke Car Care Bowl at Reliant Stadium in Houston Friday night.
The Golden Gophers dominated the second half up until the final few minutes of the game. Minnesota kept the Red Raiders out of the end zone until there was 1:10 left in the game and Tech tied the game at 31-31.
On the following possession for the Gophers, D.J. Johnson picked off a Phillip Nelson pass and returned it 39 yards to set up the game-winning 28-yard field goal by Ryan Bustin.
The Red Raiders committed 13 penalties for 135 yards including 5 personal fouls. One of the personal fouls resulted in the ejection of Tech tight end Jace Amaro for throwing a punch at a Minnesota defensive back.
Minnesota racked up seven penalties for 84 yards, with five of them coming in the first half.
Tech quarterback Seth Doege struggled in his final game as a Red Raider, but he made a big play when the game was on the line. Doege connected with Eric Ward for a 35-yard touchdown that tied the game.
The Red Raider defense held the Gophers to only 368 yards of total offense, but Minnesota wore them down by running the ball and having almost 13 more minutes of possession than Tech.
Darrin Moore led the Tech receiving corps in his collegiate finale with 84 yards in the game. Eric Ward also added 79 yards of his own.
Ward and Moore both went over 1,000 yards receiving for the season with their performances. That is the first since 2007 that Tech has had a pair of 1,000-yard receivers.
Tech has now won three straight bowl games following the victory over Minnesota.