Texas Tech survived a wild Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas Friday night, connecting on a last-second field goal to beat Minnesota 34-31.
Kicker Ryan Bustin drilled a hideous (but effective) 28-yarder as time expired to give the Red Raiders the victory. It was a fitting conclusion to the thrilling game, which featured three ties and eight lead changes.
Minnesota was on the board first, hitting a 41-yard field goal in the first quarter. Texas Tech responded immediately though, as return-man Jakeem Grant took the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown.
It just got crazier from there, as both teams scored two more touchdowns before halftime. In the third quarter, Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro was ejected for punching a Minnesota defender, and the Gophers responded by blocking a Texas Tech field goal.
Things got even uglier in the fourth quarter, as there were a combined four punts and three interceptions.
Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege tossed two interceptions in the final period, but he made up for it with a 35-yard bomb to tie the game at 31.
On the next possession, Minnesota true freshman Phillip Nelson threw a crushing interception, and the Red Raiders were able to finish the game in regulation.
As Roland Martin of CNN pointed out, this game was far more entertaining than the Virginia Tech-Rutgers game that preceded it:
After watching that turble Va Tech-Rutgers game, this Texas Tech-Minnesota has been back and forth! Last person with ball wins. LOL— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) December 29, 2012
Adam Rittenberg and Brian Bennett of ESPN were both surprised at the heated nature of the game:
Never would have guessed Minnesota and Texas Tech disliked each other so much.— Rittenberg/Bennett (@ESPN_BigTen) December 29, 2012
After Jace Amaro was ejected, Don Williams of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal tweeted some interesting news:
#TexasTech has already sent instructions to the sideline to keep TE Jace Amaro off Twitter after he just got ejected. Not kidding.— Don Williams (@AJ_DonWilliams) December 29, 2012
After a late interception, David Ubben of ESPN mentioned this great stat:
Texas Tech is now -12 in turnover margin over its last six games.— David Ubben (@davidubben) December 29, 2012
Despite catching a few passes, it was a rough game for Texas Tech wide receiver Tyson Williams. Grant Boone of CBS Sports has the details:
WR Tyson Williams has cost Texas Tech 2 TDs. Called for holding that wiped 1 out. Dropped what would've been another.— Grant Boone (@grantboone) December 29, 2012
But the Tweet of the Night goes to....us. The folks behind Bleacher Report's college football Twitter feed delivered this gem after Philip Nelson threw the back-breaking fourth-quarter interception:
This Texas Tech game changed directions faster than a Tommy Tuberville recruiting dinner.— Bleacher Report (@BR_CFB) December 29, 2012