Bustin buries Brownish Gophers with buzzer-beating field goal
The Minnesota Golden Gophers were in prime position to defeat the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas with under a minute left, as they were inching closer towards the red-zone in a tie game. However, the Golden Gopher’s Philip Nelson threw a costly interception, which lead to a Red Raider buzzer-beating field goal, courtesy of Ryan Bustin, defeating the Golden Gophers, 34-31.
“I really wish I could have sent these guys out on a better note, ” Nelson said.
With 50, 386 tickets sold for the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas this year, Reliant Stadium was filled with the sound of school spirit from both Texas Tech and Minnesota, the second time the schools have met in a bowl game, where the Red Raiders defeated the Golden Gophers in the Insight Bowl, 44-41 in 2006.
The game, similar to their duel in the past, was hotly contested. Both teams would not be going down without a fight, as the game included a plethora of penalties, including unnecessary roughness, unsportsmanlike conduct and an ejection.
NCAA records were already being broken in the opening seconds of the game by Minnesota’s Troy Stoudermire, who returned the opening kickoff for 26 yards, which put the Golden Gophers in position for a successful 41-yard field goal attempt executed by kicker Jordan Wettstein, putting the Golden Gophers up 3-0.
The Red Raiders responded with a 99-yard kickoff return for the first touchdown in the game by Leon Mackey. Mackey set the record for longest kickoff return in bowl game history, as the Red Raiders took a 7-3 lead after the successful extra point.
Determined to keep up with Red Raiders, the Golden Gopher offense scored their first touchdown of the game as Rodrick Williams Jr. rushed for a 2-yard touchdown, taking the lead 10-7.
The Red Raiders fired back as Michael Brewer completed a 13-yard touchdown pass to Derreck Edwards, giving canada goose shop in denmark online store a 14-10 lead heading into the second quarter.
The Golden Gophers wasted no time as they retook the lead, 17-14, early in the second quarter following a Donnell Kirkwood 3-yard touchdown run.
After a series of penalties and being pushed back further from their end zone, the Red Raiders managed to get in range for a 28-yard field goal by Bustin, tying up the game 17-17.
After forcing the Golden Gophers to punt, the Red Raiders regained possession of the ball and scored another touchdown in the last 5 seconds of the first half by quarterback Seth Doege, as he rushed for 4-yards run into the end zone, bringing the lead to 24-17 at the half. The combined 41 points was a new record for the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas.
Early in the third quarter, the Golden Gopher’s Nelson completed a 17-yard touchdown pass to Devin Crawford-Tufts, tying the game up again 24-24.
Towards the end of the quarter, Bustin attempted a 42-yard. field goal, which was blocked, the first blocked field goal attempt for the Golden Gophers since 2009. Both teams were evened up heading into the fourth quarter.
Battling through the final quarter of the game, the Golden Gopher offense struck first, as Nelson threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Drew Goodger, retaking the lead 31-24, the first time the Golden Gophers have had a lead in the second half of a bowl game since 2006.
The Red Raiders began to lose their composure, as Doege fumbled the ball, which was recovered by the Golden Gopher’s Mike Wallace.
After much back and forth between the two teams that had fans on the edges of their seats, Doege threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Eric Ward, tying up the game once again 31-31, with 1: 20 left.
Following the tie was the Golden Gopher’s interception thrown by Nelson, which the Red Raiders D. J. Johnson returned for 39-yards, with 43 seconds left.
The Red Raiders were able to get into field goal range with 2 seconds left. Although his previous field goal attempt was blocked, Bustin took on the challenge. Bustin delivered the crushing blow with the clutch field goal as time expired, giving the Red Raiders a 34-31 win over the Golden Gophers. The Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas champions rushed the field in celebration.
Texas Tech interim head coach Chris Thomsen was proud of his seniors, following the game and said that he will always remember canada goose shop in denmark online store as leaders and that canada goose shop in denmark online store was privilege to be their head coach during their bowl game win when he looks back on his time coaching at Texas Tech.
Johnson, who played his final game as a Red Raider, thanked God for the opportunity to play for four years at Texas Tech.
“It’s a blessing, God has been great, ” Johnson said. “He’s been good to us, and he’s guided me through these past four years with the coaching changes and with this team. ”
Doege, who also played his last game as a Red Raider, threw 31-of-45 for 271 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. However, he felt that he had some struggles in the fourth quarter, but said that his teammates still believed in him.
“I put us in a bad position throwing that pick at the end and we kind of stalled as an offense, ” Doege said, “but what’s so special about this game is when you’re struggling, your teammates pick you up, and that’s what the defense and D. J. [did]. They made a huge play for us. We got a chance to put ourselves in a position to win a game and that’s exactly what we did. ”.