Wildcats' Late Comeback Falls Short

DALLAS, TX ­­– The Northwestern Wildcats couldn't stop the explosive offense of Texas Tech in the inaugural TicketCity Bowl, losing 45-38 while giving up 551 yards of total offense.

Northwestern made a late push, cutting a 21-point lead to 7 twice in the fourth quarter, but the defense couldn't hold on.

The Red Raiders put the final nail in the coffin of the 2010 Wildcats season by taking 45-31 lead with 7:13 to go behind a 10-play, 69-yard drive.

Texas Tech's high-flying spread offense took a while to get going, but once it did, the Red Raiders were nearly unstoppable. Potts went 26-for-33 for 243 yards and 3 total touchdowns in the first half while feeling almost no pressure in the pocket.

While a strong rushing attack helped the Wildcats move the ball reasonably well on offense, Northwestern struggled to find a rhythm in the passing game without their star quarterback Dan Persa.

Northwestern split time between two freshman quarterbacks, Evan Watkins and Kain Colter. They combined to go 13-for-29 for 113 yards, a touchdown and an interception through the air. Colter was a bright spot for the ‘Cats, running 18 times for 105 yards and one touchdown while quarterbacking an effective option offense.

Texas Tech pulled ahead by a substantial margin late in the second quarter when they scored with 11 seconds left in the half on a 6-yard pass from senior quarterback Taylor Potts to Lyle Leong. The Red Raiders took a 24-6 lead into the locker room.

It looked like Northwestern would gain some momentum after recovering a fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half, but they had to settle for a field goal, cutting the lead to 24-9.

Then, on the first play of the Red Raiders' next drive, Eric Stephens broke off an 86-yard touchdown that gave Texas Tech a 31-9 lead with 11:05 to go.

In his final game as a collegiate quarterback, Taylor Potts fired on all cylinders, going 43-for-56 for 369 yards, 4 touchdowns and 1 interception.

There were some positives to take from the game, though. If all things stay the same, the Wildcats can look forward to a strong rushing attack next season. Freshman Adonis Smith lead all running backs 61 yards on 11 carries.

Also, Colter could be used next season in the same role he was used today. The freshman quarterback looked dangerous with the ball in his hands and could be a valuable weapon for the ‘Cats offense next season.

The loss increases Northwestern's bowl losing streak to 8 games and gives the Wildcats a 7-6 record on the year.

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