The Red Raiders (6-7) had taken the lead back with Nic Shimonek's 25-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open T.J. Vasher with 1:31 remaining.
Quinton Flowers put together another terrific performance for the Bulls, who scored a 46-39 win over SC in the same bowl game previous year.
Vasher finished his second season in Lubbock with 24 catches for 461 yards and five TDs. According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Bulls are 3-point favorites to beat the Red Raiders, who opened as a 3-point underdog. It was Flowers who had to step things up in the fourth quarter, leading the Bulls to three touchdowns in the final quarter by using his feet and his arm to work the late game heroics. Plus Texas Tech had every opportunity to win this game, but could not finish the job when it mattered.
The Red Raiders high tempo offense gets going after the second play in the third quarter when Kolin Hill forces Flowers to fumble the ball and Demarcus Fields comes up with it. Texas Tech's 28th takeaway of the season. Flowers also rushed for 106 yards and one rushing touchdown in 14 carries.
The risque Birmingham Bowl trophy, replete with its sculpture of a bare-bottomed Roman god. They capitalized off of two USF turnovers, were excellent in short yardage situations and even stoned the Bulls on three of four fourth-down attempts, including one goal line stop. Shimonek was put into the Texas game in the fourth quarter and led the Red Raiders to a victory.
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In response, the Tech defense forced USF to go three-and-out by putting pressure on Flowers and making him throw it away on third and eight.
Tre King scored on a 4-yard touchdown trot, his five score of the year, to put the Red Raiders up 24-17 with 5:55 left in the quarter.
Two of Texas Tech's best weapons were on full display against South Florida.
Key Player: Flowers. The South Florida quarterback played like a man on fire in the final quarter and threw two touchdown passes to Scantling and McCants to get the win over Texas Tech.
Texas Tech took a 27-24 lead with just over five minutes to play with a 33-yard field goal by Clayton Hatfield, setting the stage for USF quarterback Quinton Flowers to try and deliver some last-minute heroics in his final college football game.
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