Texas Tech comes from behind to take Gator bowl

January 1, 2008 2:50:41 PM PST
Alex Trlica kicked a 41-yard field goal with seven seconds left to give Texas Tech a 31-28 come-from-behind victory over No. 21 Virginia in a wild Gator Bowl on Tuesday. 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 Graham Harrell still managed to rack up several Gator Bowl records.

He completed 44 of 69 passes for 407 yards, all records, plus three TDs.

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.

Just a few minutes earlier, the Cavaliers seemed to have things sewn up. 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.

Tech scored its next one after knocking the ball out of backup Virginia quarterback Peter Lalich's hands at the 4 yard line. Tech recovered, and Aaron Crawford's 4-yard run a play later tied it at 28.

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.

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