USF scores late TD, wins wild Birmingham Bowl over Texas Tech

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USF had over 400 yards of offense in the second half after a lackluster first half showing, and the Bulls edges the Red Raiders in first downs with 27 to Texas Tech's 26.

The Texas Tech Red Raiders lost to the South Florida Bulls in the Birmingham Bowl, 38-34, on Saturday, Dec. 23, at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama.

For the first time in two years, the Texas Tech football team had a chance to end its season with a winning record.

Flowers completed 17 of his 34 passes on the day, throwing for 311 yards and four touchdowns. After forcing a three-and-out on the ensuing possession, USF took over at the Texas Tech 43-yard line and worked their way into the end zone, this time ending the drive with Flowers running off to the right side to find a clear path for a game-tying touchdown. As noted above, the two teams got off to slow starts offensively, with USF answering a Texas Tech field goal with one of its own in the first quarter. They also made Flowers uncomfortable in the pocket, as the senior quarterback missed two would-be touchdowns early in the game.

This time, they take on Kliff Kingsbury's Texas Tech squad. He connected on 32 of his 59 attempts for 416 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. The Red Raiders ranked No. 4 in scoring offense the high-octane Big 12 and could be as big a challenge to the South Florida defense as Central Florida was.

Batson, on a reverse from wide receiver Keke Coutee, escaped multiple South Florida defenders in the backfield before breaking loose for a 19-yard rush before being forced out at the USF 2-yard line.

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. Red Raiders go up 34-31, 1:31 left in the 4th. Vasher somehow getting left wide open in the end zone for an easy touchdown pass from Nic Shimonek.

Flowers became the American Athletic Conference's career leader in total offense with a 21-yard touchdown pass late in the first half.

Flowers' five-yard touchdown run with 9:30 remaining in the game tied the score at 24, with Clayton Hatfield's 33-yard field goal giving Texas Tech a 27-24 lead with 5:02 remaining. Shimonek put the Red Raiders up 34-31 with a touchdown pass with 1:31 left to play.

Then South Florida marches down the field, but had to settle for a 25 yard field goal by Emilio Nadelman. He concluded it on a 21-yard touchdown pass to McCants with 51 seconds left to tie it at 10.

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