HOUSTON — D.J. Johnson returned an interception 39 yards and Ryan Bustin made a 28-yard field goal as time expired to give Texas Tech a 34-31 comeback victory over Minnesota on Friday night in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.
Seth Doege found Eric Ward on a short pass, and he outran a defender for a 35-yard scoring play to pull the Red Raiders even at 31 with just more than a minute remaining.
Michael Carter intercepted two of Doege's passes in the fourth quarter before the tying score, but Minnesota couldn't convert either of the turnovers into points.
The Red Raiders (8-5) got their third straight bowl win to wrap up a month that began with coach Tommy Tuberville's abrupt departure for the job at Cincinnati. Texas Tech has hired Kliff Kingsbury to replace him, but interim coach Chris Thomsen led the team against Minnesota (6-7). Kingsbury was at the game, watching from a suite.
Doege threw for 271 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score in front of a crowd that included 1977 Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell and former Tech coach Spike Dykes.
Philip Nelson threw for 138 yards and two scores for the Gophers, who were in a bowl game for the first time since 2009.
The Red Raiders returned to a bowl after having their 18-season bowl streak snapped last year.
A 1-yard touchdown pass from Nelson to Drew Goodger gave Minnesota a 31-24 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Texas Tech led 24-17 at halftime, but couldn't do anything offensively in the second half until the last couple of minutes.
Virginia Tech 13, Rutgers 10
At Orlando, Fla., Cody Journell kicked a 22-yard field goal on the first possession of overtime to help Virginia Tech beat Rutgers in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
Virginia Tech (7-6) won its third straight game to avoid its first losing season since 1992.
Rutgers (9-4) had a chance to tie it in overtime, but Nick Borgese missed a 42-yard try.
Virginia Tech trailed 10-0 at the half, then rallied in the final 30 minutes thanks to some timely turnovers and offense. Quarterback Logan Thomas struggled in the first and finished with a pair of interceptions, but also had 192 yards passing.
Virginia Tech cornerback Antone Exum, selected the most valuable player of the game, picked off Gary Nova's pass early in the fourth quarter to set up the tying score — Thomas' 21-yard pass to Corey Fuller with 10:56 left as steady rain began to fall.
Ohio 45, Louisiana-Monroe 14
At Shreveport, La., Tyler Tettleton threw for 331 yards and two touchdowns, and Beau Blankenship scored four touchdowns to set an Independence Bowl in Ohio's victory over Louisiana-Monroe.
The Bobcats (9-4) won their second straight bowl game, and broke several Independence Bowl records, including the 31-point margin and 556 total yards.
Tettleton was especially sharp in the first half, completing 9 of 14 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns as Ohio built a 24-7 lead. He finished 14 of 22 and averaged more than 23 yards per completion.
Blankenship finished with 104 yards rushing. He had a school-record 1,604 yards rushing yards this season and topped the 100-yard mark 10 times. Chase Cochran caught three passes for 162 yards and a touchdown.
Louisiana-Monroe (8-5) struggled in its first bowl game after 19 seasons in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Kolton Browning completed 21 of 39 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns, but threw three first-half interceptions.