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Texas Tech won the coin toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff. Texas Tech finishes the season with a 7-6 record on the opening coin toss.
A total of 16 players finished their careers today in the Gator Bowl, including receiver Danny Amendola, kicker Alex Trlica, linebacker Paul Williams and cornerback Chris Parker.
Today's game against Virginia marked the first-ever meeting between the two schools and Tech's first ACC opponent since facing NC State back in 2003.
Starters - (Offense) - (LT) Rylan Reed, (LG) Louis Vasquez, (C) Shawn Byrnes, (RT) Marlon Winn, (RG) Brandon Carter, (QB) Graham Harrell, (F) Aaron Crawford (Y) Danny Amendola (X) Michael Crabtree, (F) Kobey Lewis (Z) Edward Britton (Defense) - (LE) Jake Ratliff, (NT) Colby Whitlock, (DT) Rajon Henley, (RE) Brandon Williams, (SAM) Brian Duncan, (MIKE) Paul Williams, (WILL) Marlon Williams, (LC) Jamar Wall, (SS) Joe Garcia, (FS) Darcel McBath, (RC) Chris Parker
TECH'S WIN. . .
Gives Tech a final record of 9-4 and its third nine-win season under Head Coach Mike Leach.
Gives Head Coach Mike Leach a career record of 65-37 and a 5-3 record in the postseason.
Gives the program its third-straight bowl victory when facing a team from the ACC.
Gives Tech a 3-1 record in the Gator Bowl and a two-game win streak in the game (1973 win over Tennessee was last appearance).
Marks Tech's first win in a bowl game over a ranked opponent since a 45-31 win over No. 4 California in the 2004 Holiday Bowl.
Gives Tech its 10th bowl win in school history and fifth win in the last six years.
Marks Tech's first New Year's Day victory since the 1954 Gator Bowl against Auburn.
NOTING THE RED RAIDERS
Texas Tech put up the first points of the 2008 Konica Minolta Gator Bowl as Graham Harrell found freshman Detron Lewis on 10-yard strike that gave the Red Raiders a 6-0 lead.
Senior linebacker Paul Williams picked up his second sack of the season on UVA's second possesion of the game in the first quarter.
Virginia took a 9-7 lead in the first quarter off of a safety. Harrell was flagged for intentional grounding in the end zone and it marked the first safety by Tech since the 2004 season. Sonny Cumbie was flagged for the same penalty against Kansas State that season. Harrell committed the same mistake later in the second quarter to push the UVA lead to 18-7. The last time Texas Tech committed two safeties in a game was at Oklahoma on Nov. 23, 2002.
After UVA reeled off 21 unanswered points, Texas Tech got back in the endzone on its first possession of the second half. The Red Raiders recovered an onside kick to get the ball and marched down field where Harrell found Danny Amendola in the endzone on a five-yard strike.
Senior wide receiver Danny Amendola moved into eighth place on the school career receiving yardage list. His 68 yards receiving in the game give him a final career total of 2,246 yards.
Freshman Michael Crabtree's touchdown with 3:32 to go in the fourth tied Tech's single-season touchdown record at 22. Crabtree is tied with Byron Morris (1993) and Taurean Henderson (2005). His 22 touchdown receptions is tied for third on the NCAA's single-season touchdown receptions list.
Freshman running back Aaron Crawford scored his fourth rushing touchdown of the season and his sixth overall on the year with 3:10 remaining in the game.
Tech's 41-yard winning field goal with seven seconds to go in the game marked the first time the Red Raiders have won a game on a last minute field goal since beating Texas A&M in 1997.
Graham Harrell finished the season with 512 pass completions, setting a new mark previously held by Kliff Kingsbury, who had 479 in 2002.
ANOTHER BOWL COMEBACK
The cardiac kids went at it again today. For the second-straight season, Texas Tech gave the Red Raider faithful a case of heartburn as Tech fell behind in the first half before rallying in the second half to take a 31-28 win over No. 20 Virginia. The Cavaliers held a 21-7 lead in the first half and a 21-14 lead after the third quarter before Tech scored 17 points in the fourth to earn the win. Tech fell behind 38-7 to Minnesota in last year's Insight Bowl but escaped with a 44-41 overtime win.
TRLICA ENDS SUCCESSFUL CAREER
Texas Tech place kicker Alex Trlica finished his career as the program's first kicker to score 100-plus points in a season. He closes the season with 106 points after knocking through four extra points and one field goal against Virginia in the Gator Bowl. His 106 points this season ranks eighth on Tech's single-season scoring list. For his career, Trlica finishes with 377 points and ranks among the NCAA's top 10 all-time leading scorers among kickers. He also ranks second on Tech's career scoring list. Additionally, he set the Texas Tech single-season record for PATs with 67 in 2007.
RED RAIDERS LOOK TO CONTEND IN 2008
The new year will bring about plenty of expections for the 2008 version of the Red Raiders as Texas Tech should be a serious contender for the Big 12 title. The Red Raiders will return 10 starters from one of the nation's most prolific offenses in 2007, including quarterback Graham Harrell (Sammy Baugh Award Winner) and Michael Crabtree (Bilnetikoff Winner and unanimous consensus All-American). On the defensive side of the ball, Texas Tech will return eight starters on a unit that led the Big 12 in total defense over the last seven games of the season. Texas Tech has never won a Big 12 title.
HARRELL AND CRABTREE FOR HEISMAN
It's never to early to talk about the Heisman Trophy and Texas Tech is proud to boast two serious contenders for the coveted trophy in 2008. The Red Raiders will be led by senior quarterback Graham Harrell and sophomore wide receiver Michael Crabtree. Harrell will look to become the all-time leading passer in both school and NCAA history, while Crabtree will look to follow up his stellar freshman campaign with another Biletnikoff trophy and a chance at the Heisman.
For the second-straight game, Red Raider football will be put on display for the entire country to see as today's Gator Bowl game was televised nationally on CBS Sports. The last time Texas Tech took the field was on Nov. 17, and the Red Raiders ended the national title hopes of then third-ranked Oklahoma (34-27) before a national primetime television audience on ABC Sports. Today's game marked the ninth television appearance of the season for the Red Raiders (one game on ESPN, two on FSN, five on ABC and today's game on CBS) and the first on CBS since the 1993 John Hancock Bowl against Oklahoma. Tech's very first televised game was here in the Gator Bowl against Auburn in 1954.
THE MASKED RIDER RETURNS TO THE GATOR BOWL
In what has become one of the great traditions in all of college football, Texas Tech was pleased to have the Masked Rider at today's game against Virigina. This great college football icon has its roots here at the Gator Bowl as Joe Kirk Fulton led the Red Raiders onto the field for the first time at the Gator Bowl on Jan. 1, 1954. Serving as the Masked Rider for the 2007-08 season is Kevin Burns of Clovis, N.M and is riding Midnight Matador (the 13th horse in since 1954).
LAST TIME BOWLING FOR THE RED RAIDERS
The last time the Red Raiders took the field in a bowl game, they ended up turning in the biggest comeback in NCAA bowl history. Tech trailed Minnesota 38-7 in the third quarter and ended up with a 44-41 overtime win over the Golden Gophers to claim the 2006 Insight Bowl Championship. The 31-point deficit that the Red Raiders erased marked the largest comeback in NCAA bowl history. Graham Harrell and Antonio Huffman were named the game's most valuable players.