Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
It certainly wasn’t pretty. In fact, as a 14 point favorite, Texas Tech seemingly failed to meet expectations. However, as the clock hit zero to Friday night’s football action, a second Big 12 team emerged victorious. The Raid Raiders defeated the Golden Gophers by a score of 34-31, thus culminating the match up of the most ridiculously named teams of bowl season.
Texas Tech threatened to break an expected Big 12 dominance early in the year by failing to exert any sort of early sort of dominance. Although the Jug caught only spurts of the game at the bar, it was clear that the Red Raiders’ pass defense was ill-equipped to handle Minnesota tonight. On multiple occasions there were open Minnesota receivers that, under better quarterbacking circumstances, would have exploited a deficit Texas Tech secondary. However, the team that first exposed West Virginia as a pretender struggled to exert itself all night long against a Big 10 team that barely qualified for bowl eligibility with a 6-6 record.
There is no doubt that Tech finished the Texas Bowl with a better record of statistics. The Raiders outgained Minnesota, 429-368. However, the gophers held the ball for over 36 minutes compare to 23 for Texas Tech in a game Tech was expected to when by a two touchdown spread. Minnesota also held a 2-1 turnover advantage. The game failed to register on anyone’s radar, as most expected to be in bed or out drinking by the second half. However, an easy win failed to ever materialize as Minnesota never allowed the game to extend beyond a single possession the entire game.
At the end of the night, Tech did exactly what it needed to eek out a victory. With Minnesota driving downfield and a minute left in regulation, Tech’s only forced turnover of the game was a critical interception that set up Ryan Austin’s 28 yard field goal as time expired. The score followed up a 35 yard strike from Seth Doege to Eric Ward that tied the score at 31-31. Texas Tech wide receiver Darrin Moore caught a game-high 11 balls for 84 yards. While the Big 12 climbs to 2-0 in bowl games, the Big 10 records its first loss and falls to 0-1.