The Meineke Car Care Bowl is the Gophers’ 15th bowl game and fourth straight against a team from the Big 12.
Despite a valiant effort, the Gophers dropped their fifth bowl game in a row and slipped to 5-10 in the postseason.
The Gophers last bowl win was a 20-16 victory over Alabama in the 2004 Music City Bowl.
Head coach Jerry Kill’s bowl record slipped to 0-3 with tonight’s loss. Kill also suffered setbacks in the 2008 Independence Bowl to Louisiana Tech and in the 2009 International Bowl to UCF while at Northern Illiinois.
For his career, Coach Kill owns a 4-8 postseason record, including a 4-5 mark in FCS playoff games.
Texas Tech’s 13 penalties for 135 yards were the most ever against a Minnesota bowl opponent. The previous most was 12 penalties for 80 yards against Maryland in the 1977 Hall of Fame Bowl.
Michael Carter’s two interceptions tied a Minnesota bowl record.
Minnesota fell to 0-2 all-time vs. Texas Tech. The previous meeting was a 44-41 overtime loss in the 2006 Insight Bowl.
Minnesota is now 32-13-1 all-time vs. current members of the Big 12, including 0-4 vs. the conference in bowl games.
The Gophers have now lost to Big 12 teams in four straight bowl games – 2006, 2008 and 2009 Insight Bowls, 2012 Meineke Care Care Bowl of Texas.
Minnesota’s six wins equals their combined victory total for the 2010 (3) and 2011 (3) seasons.
Minnesota’s 222 rushing yards are its third-most in 2012 and the fifth time the Gophers have rushed for more than 200 yards in a game this year.
Minnesota held the ball for 13:01 of 15:00 in the first quarter and finished with a 36:16 to 23:42 time of possession edge.
The Gophers’ 31 points were their third most of the 2012 season.
Minnesota’s two third-quarter touchdowns gave the Gophers their first second-half lead in a bowl game since 2006.
The Gophers’ 17 first-half points were as many as Minnesota scored in 7 of 8 Big Ten games this season.
With two takeaways tonight, the Gopher defense forced 20 turnovers in 2012 compared to just nine last season.
Freshman Philip Nelson made his seventh start of the season at quarterback and led the Gophers point 10 points on Minnesota’s first two possessions of the game. In all, Nelson led the Gophers to points on 4 of 6 drives.
Nelson tossed his first touchdown since the Michigan game on Nov. 3, connecting with sophomore Devon Crawford-Tufts on a 17-yard pass with 12:07 to play in the third quarter.
Nelson’s touchdown pass to Crawford-Tufts was his seventh of the season. He added his eighth of the year to Drew Goodger in the fourth quarter and now has thrown the third-most TD passes by a freshman in a season at Minnesota.
Nelson’s 42-yard pass to Derrick Engel was the Gophers’ third longest of the year and the second-longest of his career.
Sophomore Donnell Kirkwood scored his sixth TD of the season and the ninth of his career with 14:26 to play in the second quarter on a 3-yard run.
Freshman Rodrick Williams scored his second career touchdown with 2-yard run at the 5:46 mark of the first quarter.
Sophomore Devon Crawford-Tufts hauled in his first career touchdown pass at the 12:07 mark of the third quarter on a 17-yard throw by Nelson.
Sophomore Drew Goodger’s 1-yard TD reception in the fourth quarter was his third of the season.
Junior Ra’Shede Hageman collected his sixth sack of the season with 11:04 to play in the third quarter. For the season, Minnesota had 26 sacks after totaling 19 last season.
Michael Carter’s two fourth-quarter interceptions tied a Minnesota bowl record. They were also his third and fourth of the season and the fifth and sixth of his career.
Briean Boddy’s field goal block in the third quarter was the first by a Gopher since Lee Campbell blocked a Purdue field goal attempt on Oct. 10, 2009.
Junior Brock Vereen’s 10 total tackles were a season high, while Mike Rallis’ nine stops marked the fourth time in 2012 that the senior collected as many as nine tackles in a game.
Troy Stoudermire became the NCAA’s all-time leader in kickoff return yardage tonight, finishing the game with xx yards to give him 3,504 for his career. The previous record was held by Houston’s Tyron Carrier, who totaled 3,517 yards from 2008-11. Stoudermire broke the record with a 26-yard return on the game’s opening kickoff.
Senior Jordan Wettstein connected on his 14th field goal of the season to open the scoring for Minnesota, hitting a 41-yard field goal with 8:31 to play in the first quarter. Wettstein connected on 14 of 22 attempts this season and 20 of 28 for his career.