NCAA Game Summary - Northwestern vs. Texas Tech|
(Saturday, January 1st)
Final Score: Texas Tech 45, Northwestern 38
Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Taylor Potts threw for 369 yards and four
touchdowns, leading Texas Tech to a 45-38 victory over Northwestern in the
inaugural TicketCity Bowl at the Cotton Bowl.
Potts also ran for a touchdown for the Red Raiders (8-5), who have won seven
of their last nine bowl games. Eric Stephens ran 14 times for 126 yards and a
touchdown, and Lyle Leong caught 10 passes for 118 yards and a pair of TDs in
"I had pretty good protection today, and I will be the first to say that,"
Potts said. "Playing behind those five guys all season was surly a privilege.
They got so much better from the time we played SMU when I got hit eight or
nine times, and I thought it was going to be a long season, to playing in the
bowl game now where I didn't get touched one time. So, that was really nice.
All season having the protection they put up and them giving me the time to
throw to the receivers we have."
Texas Tech held a 22-point lead early in the third and had it whittled down to
seven following a fierce Northwestern rally. The Wildcats had a final chance
to tie the game, but the Red Raiders' defense recorded an interception on a
final Hail Mary play.
Kain Colter ran for 105 yards and two scores for the Wildcats (7-6), who are
still in search of their first bowl win since 1949. Since its victory in the
1949 Rose Bowl, Northwestern has lost each of its next eight bowl appearances.
"Throughout the week our coaches had a great game plan to show Texas Tech some
different looks and I thought we did a great job at that," Colter said. "We
kept them a little off guard. They gave me the opportunity to play some
quarterback, running back and wide receiver so I enjoyed that and making some
The Wildcats opened the second half with an 18-yard field goal from Stefan
Demos, but Stephens ran 86 yards to the end zone on the next play from
scrimmage to put the Red Raiders' lead at a seemingly comfortable 31-9.
Northwestern, which scored 14 points in the final 3:20 of last year's Outback
Bowl to push Auburn to overtime before faltering on a trick play, nearly
pulled off another comeback.
Colter trimmed the Wildcats' deficit to 14 by recovering his own fumble in the
end zone for a 14-yard touchdown run, finishing an 11-play drive. His two-
point conversion pass to Josh Rooks succeeded.
Potts responded with a six-yard TD pass to Tramain Swindall to restore a 21-
point cushion for Texas Tech, which unsuccessfully tried an onside kick with 2
1/2 minutes left in the third. The failure proved costly, as Evan Watkins
eventually rushed into the end zone from four yards away for a 38-24 contest
heading to the fourth.
The Wildcats' first drive of the fourth ended with Watkins' 18-yard touchdown
pass to Demetrius Fields with 10:33 to play, though Potts was able to answer
again for the Red Raiders.
Potts directed a 10-play, 69-yard series that ended in Leong's 11-yard
touchdown reception with 7:13 remaining, putting the heat back on
Things looked bleak for the Wildcats after they punted, but Jordan Mabin came
up with a huge interception of Potts and returned it 39 yards to the end zone
to once again cut the gap to seven, 45-38, with 5:37 to play.
Texas Tech went to the ground to try to run out the clock, and it succeeded
for the most part. Stephens converted a pair of third downs during a stretch
of seven consecutive runs, and Northwestern didn't regain possession until 24
Watkins attempted a desperation heave from his own 42 in the final moments,
and it was easily intercepted by LaRon Moore.
The Red Raiders were the only team to score in the first quarter on Matt
Williams' 24-yard field goal and Potts' 13-yard touchdown pass to Austin
Northwestern cut its deficit to four with 6:47 until halftime on a Colter one-
yard rushing score, though Potts answered with a 13-yard run to the end zone
for a 17-6 contest.
Potts' six-yard TD pass to Leong with only 11 seconds remaining on the clock
made it 24-6 at halftime.
Potts completed a season-high 43 passes...The Wildcats began their season 5-0
before losing six of eight to end the campaign...Texas Tech is 12-21-1 in bowl
games...Watkins was the leading passer for Northwestern with 76 yards on 10-
01/01 19:02:15 ET