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Texas Tech Falls To Iowa 27-0 In Alamo Bowl

SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The Texas Tech Red Raiders (7-5) won the toss to kick off the Builder's Square Alamo Bowl. That's about all the Raiders could claim the rest of the contest, though.

The Iowa Hawkeyes (9-3) dominated virtually every phase of the game, handing the Red Raiders their worst loss of the season, 27-0.

It marked the first time a Red Raider team had been shut out since Arkansas blew the Raiders away 31-0 on October 10, 1987.

Tech deferred possession, and seemed to be in good shape when the Raider defense forced Iowa to three plays and out.

But, disaster struck on the Raiders' second play from scrimmage when quarterback Zebbie Lethridge's pass was intercepted by Hawkeye defensive back Plez Atkins.

The Hawkeyes wasted little time capitalizing on the miscue. Iowa running back Sedrick Shaw, initially stopped behind the line of scrimmage, broke through several tackles and was finally pushed out of bounds at the two-yard line. Quarterback Matt Sherman scored on a one-yard keeper two plays later and the Hawkeyes led 6-0. The PAT kick was muffed after a high snap, keeping Iowa from earning the usual seven points.

After the Raiders went three-and-out on their next possession, Iowa took over the ball at the Tech 43-yard line after the punt. But Tech linebacker Robert Johnson, playing in his final collegiate game, knocked down a pass on fourth-down and one giving the Raiders back the ball.

The Raider offense was handcuffed once again. A three-and-out possession gave the ball back to the Hawkeyes. The Raider defense came to play, though, and defensive back Jodi Brown sacked Sherman on third down, forcing the Hawkeyes to punt.

The Raider offense finally got going, picking up their first first down of the game late in the first quarter. The Raiders moved from their own 36-yard line to the Hawkeye 25-yard line, where Jaret Greaser missed a 46-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter.

The Raider defense forced the Hawkeyes to punt again. The Raiders took over at their own 20 and moved into Hawkeye territory. But Lethridge was sacked on two consecutive plays and, on third down, a pass interference call on wide receiver Donnie Hart was not called, forcing the Raiders to punt for the third time.

The Hawkeyes took over at their own 20-yard line. Two pass plays later they were set up at their 43. That's when Shaw broke to the Raider 49-yard line. A 15-yard penalty for a late hit out of bounds moved the ball to the Raider 34-yard line.

A few plays later, facing third-down and seven yards to go, Shaw busted loose for a 20-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion pass was good and the Hawkeyes led 14-0 midway through the second quarter.

After the kickoff, the Raiders started a drive at their 41-yard line. A quick drive left the Raiders facing fourth-down and two at the Iowa 22-yard line. Tech I-back and Doak Walker award winner Byron Hanspard was halted after gaining one yard, and the Hawkeyes had denied the Raider offense once again.

The Hawkeyes weren't done though. Sherman found wide receiver Tim Dwight for a 50-yard bomb that put the Hawkeyes inside the Tech 30.

With nine seconds left to play, Hawkeye kicker Zach Bromert missed a 41-yard field goal. The Raiders were lined up offsides, though. Bromert made Tech pay for the mistake, nailing a 36-yard field goal as time expired and giving the Hawkeyes a 17-0 halftime lead.

It was more than they would need.

The Raiders, who had accumulated only 96 yards offense in the first half, including a measly 41 passing yards, were forced to turn to the passing game in the second half in an attempt to catch up.

The Raider offense was no more adept at moving the ball in the second half. Tech's first possession resulted in three-plays and punt.

Iowa took over the ball at their own 26 and promptly marched down the field, where long-distance kicker Brion Hurley missed a 47-yard field goal.

For the Raider offense, it was the same old song on the ensuing possession - three plays and punt.

Iowa failed to move the ball and was forced to punt. The Raider offense finally showed some signs of life, moving 41 yards to a fourth-down and eight at the Iowa 38-yard line. But, Lethridge lost seven yards on a quarterback draw and the Hawkeyes had the ball.

The fourth quarter started with the Hawkeyes facing second down and eight yards to go. Tech's defense held and Iowa punted the ball.

The Raiders drove the ball again, and again the drive was unsuccesful. A pass from Lethridge to the 30-yard line, and a 15-yard roughing-the-passer penalty, moved the Raiders to their 45-yard line.

Facing a third down and three from the Iowa 48, Lethridge passed to a wide-open Stacy Mitchell at the 16-yard line. Mitchell, much like Tech's offense much of the night, dropped the ball. Then, on fourth down, an option play was busted when Lethridge went left and Hanspard went right. The Hawkeyes tackled Lethridge at midfield.

Another late-hit penalty on the Raiders moved the ball to the 27-yard line. After failing to gain a first down, the Hawkeyes settled for a 26-yard field goal by Bromert and a 20-0 lead.

The Raiders mounted one last gasp of a drive starting from their 30-yard line. Lethridge hit Hart at the Tech 48, then threw three incompletions and the Raiders punted.

Then Iowa nailed the coffin shut.

Starting from their own one-yard line with 9:45 left in the game, the Hawkeyes moved the ball to near midfield on runs of 12, 13 and 19 yards by backup running backs Aaron Granquist and Tavian Banks.

The running attack continued with backup quarterback Ryan Driscoll directing the onslaught. Facing third-and-three at the Raider 11-yard line, Driscoll threw an apparent touchdown to wide receiver Demosesneeds Odems. The Hawkeyes were flagged for offensive interference and moved back to the 26-yard line. On the next play, the Raiders were flagged for defensive interference, giving the Hawkeyes a first-down and 10 at the 11. Backup fullback Rodney Filer pounded in for the score, and the PAT kick made the score 27-0 after a 103-yard drive that consumed seven minutes and 36 seconds.

A 42-yard return of the kickoff by Mitchell was one of the few bright spots for the Raiders, but second-string quarteback Sone Cavazos threw three incompletions in four attempts, including a fourth-down attempt, and the Hawkeyes had the ball with 1:19 showing on the clock. The Hawkeyes, mercifully, killed the ball, handing Tech their first shutout in nine years.

"It was not very pretty. Bowl games are fun when you win and when you lose, it kind of takes the wind out of your sails," said Tech head coach Spike Dykes after the game. "We didn't play very good."

Dykes was complimentary of Iowa coach Hayden Fry.

"Coach Fry did a better job of getting his team ready to play than I did," said Dykes.

"Iowa came out very aggressive and we never could get into a rhythm," said Lethridge. "Iowa has a great defense. In big games like this you have to come out ready to play or it shows. We could never get anything going on offense."

NCAAF                 1  2  3  4   F 
                      -  -  -  -  -- 
Texas Tech            0  0  0  0   0 
Iowa (21)             6 11  0 10  27  FINAL 
 Iowa-Sherman 1 run (two-point conversion failed)
 Iowa-Shaw 20 run (Knipper reception for two-point conversion)
 Iowa-FG Bromert 36
 Iowa-FG Bromert 26
 Iowa-Filer 14 run (Bromert kick)
                     Texas Tech        Iowa 
First downs                  13          23 
Rushed-yards              31-61      52-217 
Passing yards               145         139 
Sacked-yards lost           0-0         0-0 
Return yards                  2          32 
Passes                  14-32-1     10-17-0 
Punts                    6-45.8      5-52.0 
Fumbles-lost                0-0         0-0 
Penalties-yards            7-68        8-78 
Time of possession        25:04       34:56 
Individual Statistics 
RUSHING: Texas Tech-Hanspard 18-64, R Jones 1-1, Lethridge
12-minus 4. Iowa-Shaw 20-113, Filer 4-41, Banks 13-30,
Granquist 4-25, Palmer 4-24, Burger 3-8, Sherman 4-minus 24.
PASSING: Texas Tech-Lethridge 13-28-1-139, Cavazos 1-4-0-6.
Iowa-Sherman 9-16-0-126, Driscoll 1-1-0-13.
RECEIVING: Texas Tech-Hart 4-46, Mckenzie 3-38, Dubuc 3-20,
Hanspard 2-4, Scovell 1-27, Spinks 1-10. Iowa-Dwight 6-105,
Knipper 1-17, Willock 1-13, D Gibson 1-3, Shaw 1-1.
Att: 55,677

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