Just when it looked like the Virginia Cavaliers were well on their way to taking the hardware at the Konica/Minolta Gator Bowl, Alex Trlica spoiled the the craziest fourth quarter when he nailed a 41-yard field goal to break open a 28-28 game in the final seconds of the game. The score capped a 17-point fouth-quarter comeback for Texas Tech.
Alex Trlica continued his amazing season after hitting the game winniner despite a strong swirling wind. It was the third game-winner of the senior kicker’s career and came at an appropriate time: Earlier in the game, Trlica became the first kicker in school history to score at least 100 points in a season.
“Those guys are hard to hold down, and we held them down for a long time,” Virginia Hea Coach Al Groh said. “There were two possessions where we should have had the ball that we didn’t — the onside kick to start the second half and fumble at the end of the game.”
Virginia who dominated the entire game up until the fourth quarter which included tremendous effort by Virginia tailback Mikell Simpson, who ran for 170 yards on 20 carries — including a NCAA bowl-record 96-yard TD run by a running back — and caught another touchdown. Pretty impressive, considering he was playing receiver for the Cavaliers until backfield injuries made him a different player for Virginia come October.
Despite UVA running the show it was Texas Tech’s quarterback that really stole the show. Graham Harrell managed to rack up several Gator Bowl records. He completed 44 of 69 passes for 407 yards, all records, plus three TDs.
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