Last-minute loss for Gophers in bowl spotlight


The Minnesota Gophers looked to have locked up a victory against Texas Tech in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Houston.

In their first bowl appearance in four years, the Gophers were leading the Red Raiders 34-31 in the nationally televised game. The Star Tribune reports that the tide abruptly shifted with just over a minute left.

Red Raiders receiver Eric Ward ran 35 yards into the end zone to tie it up. Then Minnesota's Philip Nelson tossed a pass that was intercepted by Texas Tech safety D.J. Johnson, setting up a field goal as the clock ran out.

Despite the last minute loss, the Pioneer Press points out that the Gophers defied expectations by holding a lead for much of the game.

The Gophers were two touchdown underdogs going into the matchup.

Although the Gophers have not won a bowl game since 2004, this defeat was heartbreaking rather than humiliating. When the Gophers met Texas Tech in the 2006 Insight Bowl, when they squandered a 31-point third-quarter lead. That provided Texas Tech bragging rights to the biggest comeback in Division I bowl history.

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