December 28, 2012
2012 Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas
HOUSTON (AP)—Seth Doege and D.J. Johnson both made mistakes that cost Texas Tech on Friday night.
But with the game on the line in the fourth quarter, the two seniors stepped up to save the game. Johnson, who got beat on a long play in the third quarter, returned an interception 39 yards and Ryan Bustin made a 28-yard field goal as time expired to give Texas Tech a 34-31 comeback victory over Minnesota in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.
Johnson said it was fitting that they dealt with so much adversity on Friday night considering the toughmonth they’ve had.
“As a team we just continued to fight and have faith and work together,” Johnson said. “This is a huge win for us as a group.” Doege threw for 271 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score in front of a crowd that included 1977 Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell and former Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes.“That drive where we went and tied the game, we finally started clicking,” Doege said. “It happened at the right time—probably should have happened sooner.”
Freshman Philip Nelson threw for 138 yards and two scores for the Gophers, who were in a bowl game for the first time since 2009.
“I think our kids played hard tonight; they played their guts out, and I appreciate that,” Minnesota coach Jerry Kill said. “We just couldn’t make a play at a critical time.”
The Red Raiders (8-5) got their third straight bowl win to wrap up a month that began with coach Tommy Tuberville’s abrupt departure for the job at Cincinnati. Texas Tech has hired Kliff Kingsbury to replace him, but interim coach Chris Thomsen led the team against Minnesota (6-7). Kingsbury was at the game, watching from a suite.
“More than anything I credit those players,” Thomsen said of Johnson and Doege. “They really held it together … to get to make those plays after they struggled. They kept their poise and confidence and continued to stay in there and battle.”