Texas Tech Defeats Cal in Pacific Life Holiday Bowl

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For the second straight year, a top five team came to San Diego looking to take home the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl championship trophy & for the second straight year, the favorite went home empty handed. The 22nd-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders used their pass-happy offense to upset the 5th-ranked California Golden Bears 45-31 in front of the second largest crowd in Bowl history. The game was the first meeting between the schools and was also both teams’ first appearance in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl.

Texas Tech  California Bears

Texas Tech started the scoring early with a 59-yard drive, but California answered with two quick scores. All-American running back J.J. Arrington led the Golden Bears attack in the first quarter with 81 rushing yards and a touchdown. California led 14-7 after the first quarter and was poised to take control of the game. But in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl, you can always expect the unexpected.

The Texas Tech defense led the comeback as Defensive MVP Vincent Meeks’ 48-yard interception return set up a Sonny Cumbie touchdown pass to wide receiver Jarrett Hicks. That was all the Red Raider offense needed to get on track and the aerial assault began. Cumbie had 250 passing yards in the second quarter alone as Texas Tech scored at will. After all was said and done, Texas Tech scored 24 unanswered points to take a 31-14 lead early in the third quarter.

An injury-plagued California offense continued to battle to keep the game close all night but in the end, the Red Raider defense shut down the Pac-10’s best offense; while the Golden Bear defense couldn’t stop the nation’s top rated passing team. Cumbie, the game’s Offensive MVP, ended with 520 passing yards, three touchdowns and a Pacific Life Holiday Bowl record 60 pass attempts.

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