Red Raiders fall to South Florida in Birmingham Bowl, 38-34

Posted December 24, 2017

After saving Kliff Kingsbury's job in the regular season finale against Texas, Texas Tech had the chance to finish with a winning season had it won the Birmingham Bowl.

Texas Tech lost to South Florida 38-34 in the Birmingham Bowl.

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.

Key Play: Flowers' 21-yard touchdown pass to McCants that tied the game near the end of the half.

For the Bulls' first drive, they also drove down to the red zone but were unable to score a touchdown, and senior kicker Emilio Nadelman kicked a 25-yard field goal to tie the game, 3-3, with 7:12 left in the first quarter.

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Red Raiders with the go ahead touchdown, Nic Shimonek connected with Keke Coutee for the 5 yard score. It's a low scoring affair in the first half with a 10-10 halftime score.

The second came on a perfectly time wheel route that got past the Red Raiders' defense.

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 completed just 4 of 14 passes for 52 yards and a touchdown.

In the first half, the Texas Tech offense marched into USF territory during six series but wasn't too fruitful. Instead, the Red Raiders finish an up-and-down season at 6-7.

Texas Tech answered with a touchdown of their own, with T.J. The Red Raiders results included: a field goal, turnover on downs, punt, and two interceptions before the break as both squads went into the locker room knotted up at 10-10. Texas Tech's Justin Stockton ran for 24 yards on the first play and Tre King found pay dirt three plays later on a 4-yard rushing score to put the Red Raiders up 24-17 with 5:55 left in the quarter.

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How will things transpire in the Magic City as USF squares off against the Red Raiders?

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.

Shimonek took Texas Tech across midfield in the final seconds but his desperation pass on the run was completed well short of the end zone.

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

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