18th Annual Cactus Bowl

Texas Tech 44, Minnesota 41 (OT)

18th annual cactus bowl
December 29, 2006

Attendance: 48,391

Stadium: Sun Devil Stadium

Offensive Player of the Game: Graham Harrell, Texas Tech

Defensive Player of the Game: Antonio Huffman, Texas Tech

Sportsmanship Award: Dominic Jones, Minnesota

Head Coaches: Mike Leach, Texas Tech - Glen Mason, Minnesota

Weather: Clear, 54 degrees

Television: NFL Network

Payout Per Team: $1,200,000

The Cactus Bowl has become a standard for high-scoring, exciting games and the 18th Annual version went to another level as Texas Tech overcame a 31-point deficit to rally for a 44-41 overtime victory over Minnesota to record the largest comeback in NCAA Division I-A bowl history.

Held at Sun Devil Stadium for the first time in Cactus Bowl history, a crowd of 48,391 witnessed a tale of two halves as Minnesota jumped to a commanding 35-7 halftime lead. The Golden Gophers opened the third quarter with a 16-play, 78-yard drive that ended with a 20-yard field goal by Joel Monroe to give them a 38-7 lead with 7:47 left in the third quarter.

But the Red Raiders scored 31 unanswered points in less than 20 minutes, capped by Alex Trlica’s 52-yard field goal on the final play of regulation to send the game to overtime.

Minnesota got the ball first in overtime and scored on a 32-yard field goal by Joel Monroe to take a 41-38 lead. But Shannon Woods scored on a 3-yard run to win it for Texas Tech and create a wild celebration on the field by the Red Raiders’ players and coaches.

Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell threw for 445 yards and two touchdowns to earn offensive player-of-the-game honors. He also set Cactus Bowl records with 55 passing attempts and 36 completions.

There were several offensive stars on both teams. Woods scored the game-winning touchdown and added 109 yards rushing and two others scores while wide receiver Joel Filani had 11 receptions for 162 yards and a touchdown.

For Minnesota, Amir Pinnix ran for 179 yards, Bryan Cupito threw for 263 yards and three touchdowns and tight end Jack Simmons caught seven passes for 134 yards.

The 18th Annual Cactus Bowl was televised by NFL Network for the first time and paid each team a record $1.2 million.

Quarter Scores

Scoring
1
2
3
4
F
Texas Tech
7
24
6
6
44
Minnesota
14
21
3
3
41

Yardstick

TT
MN
29
First Downs
25
24-103
Rushes-Yards
47-195
445
Passing Yards
263
36-55-1
Passes
19-31-1
93
Return Yards
103
1-46.0
Punts
3-43.7
2-2
Fumbles-Lost
1-0
4-30
Penalties-Yards
5-23

How They Scored

TT
MN
0
7
Jack Simmons 2-yard pass from Bryan Cupito (Joel Monroe kick)
0
14
Amir Pinnix 2-yard run (Joel Monroe kick)
0
21
Justin Valentine 1-yard run (Joel Monroe kick)
0
28
Ernie Wheelwright 14-yard pass from Bryan Cupito (Joel Monroe kick)
7
28
Shannon Woods 1-yard run (Alex Trlica kick)
7
35
Logan Payne 3-yard pass from Bryan Cupito (Joel Monroe kick)
7
38
Joel Monroe 20-yard field goal
14
38
Joel Filani 43-yard pass from Graham Harrell (Alex Trlica kick)
21
38
Robert Johnson 8-yard pass from Graham Harrell (Alex Trlica kick)
28
38
Graham Harrell 1-yard run (Alex Trlica kick)
35
38
Shannon Woods 1-yard run (Alex Trlica kick)
38
38
Alex Trlica 52-yard field goal
38
41
Joel Monroe 32 yard field goal
44
41
Shannon Woods 3-yard run

Individual Statistics

Rushing
TT
Shannon Woods 19-109, Graham Harrell 5-(-6).
MN
Amir Pinnix 34-179, Jay Thomas 6-21, Logan Payne 1-15, Justin Valentine 2-4, Bryan Cupito 4-(-24).
Passing
TT
Graham Harrell 36-55-1-445.
MN
Bryan Cupito 19-31-1-263.
Receiving
TT
Joel Filani 11-162, Robert Johnson 9-97, Todd Walker 5-68, Grant Walker 3-34, Shannon Woods 3-19, Eric Morris 2-31, L.A. Reed 1-15, Edward Britton 1-14, Danny Amendola 1-5.
MN
Jack Simmons 7-134, Ernie Wheelwright 4-45, Logan Payne 3-18, Eric Decker 2-41, Amir Pinnix 2-14, Troy Reilly 1-11.