18th Annual Cactus Bowl - Fiesta Bowl | Fiesta Bowl

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.

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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.

  • Stadium:

    Sun Devil Stadium

  • Attendance:


  • 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

Quarter Scores

Texas Tech7246644


29First Downs25
445 Passing Yards 263
93Return Yards103
4-30 Penalties-Yards 5-23

How They Scored

07Jack Simmons 2-yard pass from Bryan Cupito (Joel Monroe kick)
014Amir Pinnix 2-yard run (Joel Monroe kick)
021Justin Valentine 1-yard run (Joel Monroe kick)
028Ernie Wheelwright 14-yard pass from Bryan Cupito (Joel Monroe kick)
728Shannon Woods 1-yard run (Alex Trlica kick)
735Logan Payne 3-yard pass from Bryan Cupito (Joel Monroe kick)
738Joel Monroe 20-yard field goal
1438Joel Filani 43-yard pass from Graham Harrell (Alex Trlica kick)
2138Robert Johnson 8-yard pass from Graham Harrell (Alex Trlica kick)
2838Graham Harrell 1-yard run (Alex Trlica kick)
3538Shannon Woods 1-yard run (Alex Trlica kick)
3838Alex Trlica 52-yard field goal
3841Joel Monroe 32 yard field goal
4441Shannon Woods 3-yard run

Individual Statistics

TTShannon Woods 19-109, Graham Harrell 5-(-6).
MNAmir Pinnix 34-179, Jay Thomas 6-21, Logan Payne 1-15, Justin Valentine 2-4, Bryan Cupito 4-(-24).
TTGraham Harrell 36-55-1-445.
MNBryan Cupito 19-31-1-263.
TTJoel 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.
MNJack Simmons 7-134, Ernie Wheelwright 4-45, Logan Payne 3-18, Eric Decker 2-41, Amir Pinnix 2-14, Troy Reilly 1-11.