On the second play from scrimmage, Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle connected with sophomore wide receiver Keith Brown on a screen pass. Brown split a couple of defenders and raced 76 yards for a touchdown. It was the longest scoring pass play and the longest offensive touchdown in Alabama's storied bowl history.
Brown's TD reception was also the third-longest scoring play in Alabama bowl history. It was also Brown's longest reception of the year. Matt Caddell also had his longest reception of the season, a 50-yarder.
Alabama is now 30-20-3 in all bowl games and 19-14-1 in the traditional "New Year's Day" bowl games. This year there were no bowl games on New Year's Day because January 1 fell on a Sunday.
This was the first meeting between Texas Tech and Alabama. The win improved Alabama's Cotton Bowl record to 3-4.
In addition to being the NCAA leader in bowl games and bowl game victories, the win was Bama's 10th of the year, giving Alabama 28 ten-win seasons, also best in college football.
The 2006 Cotton Bowl was the final game for 23 Tide seniors. The class posted a 30-20 record over the past four years. Markanderson, anthony Madison, Charlie Peprah, Freddie Roach, and DeMeco Ryans plays in all 50 games.
The winning team produced the Most Valuable Player awards on both offense and defense. Brodie Croyle won the offensive award as he completed 19 of 31 passes for 275 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions and no sacks.
Senior Alabama linebacker DeMeco Ryans was the defensive winner as he turned in seven tackles, including two for losses of 12 yards. He was in on two sacks.
No one would have complained if two Texas Tech players had been the honorees. Red Raiders quarterback Cody Hodges completed 15 of 32 passes for 196 yards and one touchdown and suffered no interceptions and was also his team's leading rusher with 17 carries for 66 yards. The Red Raiders' Dwayne Slay was in on 13 tackles and broke up a pass.
A handful of Alabama players on hand for the game did not play. In addition to back-ups who just didn't get into a close game, injured players who made the trip included center J.B. Closner, wide receiver Tyrone Prothro, linebacker Matt Collins, safety Cory Reamer, and Lionel Mitchell. Two others were held out for what Coach Mike Shula said were "violations of team policy." They are wide receiver D.J. Hall and safety Chris Keys.