Skip to the content

Texas Tech 31, (20) Virginia 28

1 2 3 4 T
TTU (9-4) 7 0 7 17 31
#20 UVA (9-4) 9 12 0 7 28


1:00 PM ET, January 1, 2008
Alltel Stadium,
Jacksonville, FL

Trlica's late field goal ices Texas Tech comeback win vs. Virginia

Bowl Overview
It was over when... Alex Trlica nailed a 41-yard field goal to break open a 28-28 game in the final seconds of the game. The score capped a 17-point fouth-quarter comeback for TT.
Gameball goes to... Graham Harrell. We didn't get to see the usual TT aerial assault, but Harrell still racked up the yards -- 398 yards, three TDs, 43-for-68 passing.
Stat of the game... 102. Virginia effectively contained standout freshman WR Michael Crabtree, who was held to his third-lowest total yards (102) of the season.
Team Stat Comparison
1st Downs2421
Total Yards441345
3rd Down Conversions9-209-18
4th Down Conversions3-51-1
Individual Leaders
Texas Tech Passing
Virginia Passing
Texas Tech Rushing
Virginia Rushing
Texas Tech Receiving
Virginia Receiving
Scoring Summary
TD09:35Detron Lewis 10 Yd Pass From Graham Harrell (Alex Trlica Kick)
Drive: 10 plays, 78 yds, 3:27
TD04:48Jonathan Stupar 2 Yd Pass From Jameel Sewell (Chris Gould Kick)
Drive: 13 plays, 67 yds, 4:47
SF01:37Graham Harrell Tackled By Nate Collins In End Zone 79
TD07:12Mikell Simpson 96 Yd Run (Chris Gould Kick)
Drive: 2 plays, 98 yds, :51
SF02:32Graham Harrell Tackled By Clint Sintim In End Zone 718
FG00:00Chris Gould 23 Yd
Drive: 8 plays, 54 yds, 2:32
TD10:01Danny Amendola 6 Yd Pass From Graham Harrell (Alex Trlica Kick)
Drive: 13 plays, 59 yds, 4:59
TD11:26Mikell Simpson 11 Yd Pass From Peter Lalich (Chris Gould Kick)
Drive: 12 plays, 52 yds, 4:16
TD03:31Michael Crabtree 20 Yd Pass From Graham Harrell (Alex Trlica Kick)
Drive: 9 plays, 51 yds, 2:07
TD03:10Aaron Crawford 4 Yd Run (Alex Trlica Kick)
Drive: 1 plays, 4 yds, :05
FG00:02Alex Trlica 41 Yd
Drive: 7 plays, 29 yds, 2:09

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Texas Tech didn't score 40 or more points, as it had all season. Through three quarters, the nation's top passing offense couldn't score much at all.

Raiders Steal Another
Texas Tech
Texas Tech is showing a flair for the dramatic, winning its last two bowl games with big comebacks.
Last season
This season
Biggest deficit38-7, mid-3rd28-14, 3:34 left
Unanswered points3117
Final scoreWon 44-41 in OT31-28

But Graham Harrell stayed with it, finishing 44-of-69 for 407 yards and three TDs, and the Red Raiders scored just enough to overcome a 14-point deficit and stun Virginia 31-28 on a late field goal in the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl on Tuesday.

Alex Trlica hit from 41 yards, despite swirling wind, with two seconds remaining. It was the third game-winner of the senior kicker's career and came at an appropriate time: Earlier in the game, Trlica became the first kicker in school history to score at least 100 points in a season.

"I think it gets easier with every time," Trlica said of winning field goals. "Compared to the first time I had to do it and this time, I was a lot more calm. I knew they were going to call timeout."

Virginia coach Al Groh did, but it didn't faze Trlica.

Tech overcame several mental errors, including pivotal penalties and a fumble, to come back from a 28-14 fourth-quarter deficit. Its aggressive pass offense couldn't score much for three quarters, but Harrell still managed to rack up Gator Bowl records for yards, completions and attempts.

In the final period, the Red Raiders finally found the end zone as they were accustomed to all year. Twice, actually, and Trlica's field goal did the rest.

"I was thinking, 'Hey, if we can just get into field-goal range we're probably going to win this,'" Harrell said. "But I wanted to go throw it myself. When we kick, I just hate kicking. You're no longer in control."

Just a few minutes earlier, the Cavaliers seemed to be in control. A Tech drive kept alive by two fourth-down conversions sputtered with eight minutes left, and All-American Michael Crabtree couldn't haul in a prayer in the end zone on fourth-and-1.

But a few minutes after that, Harrell found him in the same spot against the same defender, and this time it worked -- despite a pass interference call.

Then, Virginia gave Tech a gift. The ball was knocked out of backup Virginia quarterback Peter Lalich's hands at the 4-yard line, Tech recovered and Aaron Crawford's run a play later tied it at 28.

"Those guys are hard to hold down, and we held them down for a long time," Groh said. "There were two possessions where we should have had the ball that we didn't -- the onside kick to start the second half and fumble at the end of the game."

The Red Raiders overcame a tremendous effort by Virginia tailback Mikell Simpson, who ran for 170 yards on 20 carries -- including a NCAA bowl-record 96-yard TD run by a running back -- and caught another touchdown. Pretty impressive, considering he was playing receiver for the Cavaliers until backfield injuries pressed him into service in October.

Virginia's offense wasn't the same after losing Jameel Sewell at the start of the fourth quarter. His statistics weren't outstanding -- 14-of-23 passing for 78 yards and a TD -- but he commanded the offense well. Not known for running, the second-year quarterback had nine carries for 32 yards, and his mobility was key to Virginia's first score.

Sewell kept that drive going with two rushes for first downs, one of them on third-and-8, before a 2-yard TD pass for Virginia's first score.

He was tackled near the line of scrimmage at the start of the fourth quarter and came up favoring his left leg. Sewell had to be helped off the field and didn't return until Virginia's last possession, when Tech came back and tied things up.

By then it was too late -- the Cavaliers couldn't move the ball or stop Harrell, a different story from early in the game.

"It's still shocking right now to know that we were up 28-14 and couldn't hold it," Simpson said. "We knew they had an explosive offense, but our defense was playing good the whole game. The turnover late in the game really hurt us."

Virginia forced one of the country's most prolific and efficient passers into two safeties in the first half. They happened similarly -- Harrell was backed into his end zone and desperately tossed the ball toward his linemen, earning two grounding calls that counted for safeties.

The second time he shouldn't have been in that position anyway. Tech got the ball at its own 11 and then was set back to the 6 with a delay of game penalty. It was one of numerous mental mistakes the Red Raiders overcame.

There was also an unsportsmanlike conduct call that gave Virginia new life in Tech territory and a defensive offsides call that ruined a third-down stop, both in the fourth quarter. An illegal block in the third quarter pushed the Red Raiders back to their own 8, and Grant Walker fumbled with less than a minute left in the third quarter and Tech driving.

"We had quite a few bad breaks, a lot of which we created ourselves," Tech coach Mike Leach said.

Crabtree, the nation's leading receiver, had nine catches for 101 yards and a touchdown. He hauled in a 20-yard score to put Tech back in the game despite a pass interference penalty. He also beat double coverage to nab a 29-yarder that put Tech in the red zone with about nine minutes left and trailing by 14.

Groh said scouts warned him Crabtree was even more impressive in person than on film.

"We thought he was pretty good [before the game], and obviously he was very good for their team today," Groh said.

College Football Scores

Other Scores:

Thursday, December 20th
Utah 35 Final
Navy 32
Friday, December 21st
Memphis 27 Final
Florida Atlantic 44
Saturday, December 22nd
UCLA 16 Final
17 Brigham Young 17
Southern Miss 21 Final
22 Cincinnati 31
Nevada 0 Final
New Mexico 23
Sunday, December 23rd
24 Boise State 38 Final
East Carolina 41
Wednesday, December 26th
Purdue 51 Final
Central Michigan 48
Thursday, December 27th
11 Arizona State 34 Final
19 Texas 52
Friday, December 28th
14 Boston College 24 Final
Michigan State 21
TCU 20 Final
Houston 13
Maryland 14 Final
Oregon State 21
Saturday, December 29th
25 Connecticut 10 Final
Wake Forest 24
UCF 3 Final
Mississippi State 10
Penn State 24 Final
Texas A&M 17
Sunday, December 30th
Alabama 30 Final
Colorado 24
Monday, December 31st
15 Clemson 20 Final
23 Auburn 23 OT
21 South Florida 21 Final
Oregon 56
California 42 Final
Air Force 36
Georgia Tech 28 Final
Fresno State 40
Kentucky 35 Final
Florida State 28
Indiana 33 Final
Oklahoma State 49
Tuesday, January 1st
10 Hawaii 10 Final
5 Georgia 41
6 Missouri 38 Final
Arkansas 7
13 Illinois 17 Final
7 USC 49
Michigan 41 Final
12 Florida 35
18 Wisconsin 17 Final
16 Tennessee 21
Texas Tech 31 Final
20 Virginia 28
Wednesday, January 2nd
9 West Virginia 48 Final
4 Oklahoma 28
Thursday, January 3rd
8 Kansas 24 Final
3 Virginia Tech 21
Saturday, January 5th
Rutgers 12:00
Ball State PM ET
Sunday, January 6th
Bowling Green 8:00
Tulsa PM ET
Monday, January 7th
2 LSU 8:00
1 Ohio State PM ET