TJ Vasher catches TD in Tech's bowl loss

Rachel Hardy
December 24, 2017

Texas Tech and South Florida kick off the Birmingham Bowl at noon ET on December 23 in a meeting of teams from the Big 12 and American Athletic Conference. Flowers once again delivered the heroics with a key 21-yard run on a 3rd and 10 and followed that up with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Tyre McCants to go up 38-34 after the extra point. It's 17-17 with 8:34 left in the third. Shimonek put the Red Raiders up 34-31 with a touchdown pass with 1:31 left to play.

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. The Red Raiders held South Florida to 132 total yards in the first 30 minutes and contained Flowers. 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.

Flowers led the Bulls (10-2) to a second straight dramatic victory in the bowl game at Legion Field, throwing for a pair of touchdowns in the final 4:26 after struggling in the first half.

This isn't a killer loss for the Red Raiders, but a win would've meant a lot to the program.

Late in the third, Texas Tech's defense came up big with a red zone stop forged by Dakota Allen and it's a turnover on downs. Flowers also set school records for career touchdown passes and rushing yards, finishing with 34 school or conference marks.

Two of Texas Tech's best weapons were on full display against South Florida. It's now 10-3 Texas Tech.

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South Florida quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs downfield during the first half the Birmingham Bowl NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017 in Birmingham, Ala.

INJURY REPORT: Justin Stockton (concussion) is probable for Texas Tech today, while Derrick Willies (disciplinary) is questionable and D.J. Polite-Bray (disciplinary) is out for the year.

Flowers threw a 64-yard touchdown bomb to Marquez Valdez-Scantling.

But Flowers returned to his usual self in the second half. The Red Raiders scored five plays later to take a one-possession lead early in the quarter. Texas Tech gets the Big 12 off to a 0-1 start in the bowl season with the next games played on Tuesday by West Virginia (vs. Utah in Heart of Dallas Bowl) and Kansas State (vs. UCLA in Cactus Bowl).

His final two touchdowns were his most clutch, however.

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