Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 12/29/12
The University of Minnesota football team gets passing grades in its final game of the season, a 34-31 loss to Texas Tech in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas. The Gophers looked poised to upset the Red Raiders before a fourth-quarter collapse led to a last-second game-winning field goal for Texas Tech. With the loss, Minnesota finished the season 6-7. A look at the Gophers' grades for Friday's bowl game. Running offense: A- Minnesota knew Texas Tech wasn't used to facing the ground-and-pound type of attack common in the Big Ten. Playing in the Big 12, the Red Raiders more often face a spread offense. So the Gophers' plan was to run the ball right at Texas Tech and it worked. Minnesota rushed for 222 yards, including 77 yards on nine carries for redshirt sophomore Donnell Kirkwood. Freshman Rodrick Williams added 60 yards on 12 carries, and senior wide receiver-quarterback MarQueis Gray gained 59 yards on 11 carries. Passing offense: C The Gophers used two quarterbacks in Gray and true freshman Philip Nelson, who started Minnesota's final six regular-season games. Nelson finished the game 7-for-18 for 138 yards and two touchdowns one to wide receiver Devin Crawford-Tufts, the other to tight end Drew Goodger. But Nelson also threw a costly interception in the final minute of regulation that led to the game-winning field goal for Texas Tech. Gray threw sparingly and was ineffective when he did. Minnesota put him back under center in the fourth quarter after Nelson seemingly had established a rhythm. After Gray took a few snaps at quarterback, it appeared to throw the Gophers' offense out of sync. Running defense: B Traditionally a pass-first team, Texas Tech didn't run much Friday. The Red Raiders ran for a total of 145 yards on 24 carries, but they didn't do much damage on the ground. Eric Stephens had a team-high 66 yards on just five carries, including a run for 21 yards. Kenny Williams added 45 yards on seven carries, and quarterback Seth Doege ran for Texas Tech's only touchdown on a 4-yard keeper. Passing defense: B Texas Tech came into Friday's game with the second-best passing attack in the nation. The Red Raiders averaged 361.9 yards per game during the regular season. Quarterback Seth Doege put up big numbers all year, including one game in which he threw for 499 yards and another in which he threw seven touchdown passes. But Minnesota's secondary bottled up Doege for most of the game. He finished 31-of-45 for 271 yards and a touchdown, but he was intercepted twice by Gophers senior cornerback Michael Carter. Special teams: C It was Jekyll and Hyde for Minnesota's special teams. Texas Tech scored on a 99-yard kickoff return by Jakeem Grant to take a 7-3 lead. Minnesota's punting game was also a weakness, as Christian Eldred averaged just 33 yards per punt. But there were positives, too. Briean Boddy blocked a Texas Tech 38-yard field goal attempt to keep the game tied, 24-24. Senior Troy Stoudermire had four kickoff returns for 111 yards. On his first return of the game, Stoudermire became the NCAA's all-time leader in kick return yards. Overall: C In many ways, this game might have been one of the Gophers' best performances of the season. Minnesota slowed down a high-powered offense and chewed up the clock by establishing its running game on offense. In the end, though, the Gophers couldn't put the game away by scoring late and paid the price when Texas Tech rallied to tie the score with 1:10 left and won the game on a last-second field goal. It's a loss that will sting for a while for Minnesota fans, but the Gophers can take pride in how they played Friday in a game nobody gave them a chance to win. Follow Tyler Mason on Twitter.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Vlade Divac indicates DeMarcus Cousins’ agents killed other deal

Report: Julius Thomas traded to Dolphins

Joe Mixon likely to go undrafted in April?

Belichick officially updates boat’s name to ‘VII Rings’

Canseco warns humanity about robot takeover in Twitter rant

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rick Ankiel drank vodka before pitching in 2000 NLDS

Kings throw shade at Cousins in press release announcing trade

Report: Jets tampered with Revis through private phones, secret meetings

Calipari shoots down talk of him leaving Kentucky for Pelicans

Report: Carmelo prefers trade to Clippers or Lakers

Report: Kings blowing up roster, putting Darren Collison, Ben McLemore on block

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Too much to Process: Can Simmons match the Embiid hype?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Best of Yardbarker: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher with 200 or more wins since 1961

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker