The Texas Tech Red Raiders opened the new year with a victory in the TicketCity Bowl at Cotton Bowl Stadium. The Red Raiders defeated Northwestern 45-38 in a thrilling game which was undecided until the final play.
Texas Tech dominated the 1st quarter, taking a 10-0 lead with a 24-yard field goal by Matt Williams and a 13-yard TD pass from Taylor Potts to Austin Zouzalik.
Northwestern countered with a 15-play drive resulting in a Kain Colter 1 yard run, extra-point attempt failed.
The Red Raiders would extend their lead before the half with 2 long drives resulting in a Taylor Potts touchdown run and then a touchdown pass to Lyle Leong. Texas Tech would lead at halftime 24-6.
Northwestern would open the 3rd quarter with a defensive stand, followed by an 8-play drive ending with a field goal. Their momentum would not last long, as Texas Tech running back Eric Stephens, from Mansfield, would run 86 yards to extend the Red Raider leader 31-9.
Both offenses were alive by now, as Northwestern came roaring
back with an 11-play drive, capped with a Kain Colter 1 yard TD run and 2-point conversion. Texas Tech answered with a 12-play drive, resulting in a Tramain Swindell 6 yard reception from Potts. Northwestern would close out the quarter with an Evan Watkins 4 yard TD run to close the score to 38-24.
Northwestern would continue the momentum in the 4th quarter with a Watkins to Demetrius Fields touchdown pass to pull within a touchdown, 38-31.
Texas Tech would keep the pressure on with another 10-play drive resulting in another Leong TD catch. The Northwestern defense answered next with Jordan Mabin returning an interception 39 yards for a TD to again close the gap to one score. Following another defensive stand, the Wildcats got the ball back with a chance for a “Hail Mary” play. The comeback was not to be, as LaRon Moore intercepted the pass as time expired. Texas Tech wins 45-38.
Taylor Potts was named the TicketCity Bowl Most Valuable Player. It marked the second consecutive year that Potts has been named the MVP of the bowl game. He is only the second Tech player to earn two bowl MVP awards, joining Graham Harrell (2006 & 2007). Potts was 43-of-56 passing with 369 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. The 43 completions by Potts are the most by a quarterback in post-2010 competition. The inaugural TicketCity Bowl MVP has 733 career completions for sixth place in Big 12 Conference history and is 10th among active payers in all-time connections from 2007-10.
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