Birmingham Bowl score: Quinton Flowers ends career in style with another thriller

Birmingham Bowl score: Quinton Flowers ends career in style with another thriller

Here are five takeaways from the loss.

South Florida was able to stifle the Red Raiders offense for the win.

Just as it ended its regular season, the Texas Tech football is scheduled to begin the 2018 fall campaign with a September 1 neutral-site contest against Ole Miss at NRG Stadium in Houston.

Toward the end of the first quarter, the Red Raiders called a fake jet sweep and Shimonek threw it to Stockton for a gain of 21 yards, putting the Red Raiders on the goal line.

In a tight game, those mistakes helped Texas Tech unravel at the end.

Kingsbury's job is already safe for next year, but having a winning season in 2018 will be crucial to his future.

Since leaving Texas last offseason, Strong has posted strong first season with South Florida.

South Florida quarterback Quinton Flowers had one more rally left.

On Tech's second drive, the first big play for the Red Raiders was a 37-yard pass from Shimonek to Coutee. Keke Coutee caught 11 of those passes for 187 yards and a TD. That left Flowers with plenty of time to work, it turns out.

Flowers finished with 311 yards passing and four touchdowns.

Birmingham Bowl Texas Tech vs. South Florida Predictions 12/23/17

Two plays later, Flowers hooked up with McCants on a 21-yard touchdown pass with 51 seconds left for a 10-10 halftime deadlock.

Fifth-year senior Nic Shimonek got the start in what was his final college game in the Birmingham Bowl.

Texas Tech takes an early 3-0 lead after Clayton Hatfield split the uprights on a 26-yard field goal with 10:47 left in the first quarter. Shimonek was put into the Texas game in the fourth quarter and led the Red Raiders to a victory. He connected on 32 of his 59 attempts for 416 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.

Texas Tech had a unusual day in the Birmingham Bowl on the offensive side of the bowl.

Some speculation has centered on the possible departure of Texas Tech wide receiver Keke Coutee after the season for the NFL Draft.

Two of Texas Tech's best weapons were on full display against South Florida. Facing fourth and three, the Red Raiders made a decision to go for it, but Shimonek was sacked by Senat for a loss of 10 yards. Stockton, meanwhile, carried the ball 18 times for 103 yards.

A litany of mistakes hampered the Red Raiders throughout the game in all phases of the special teams.

But South Florida scored 28 points in the second half and finished the game with 561 total yards.

After a 13-yard pass from Shimonek to Tyler Carr, King rushed in a four-yard touchdown to give the lead back to the Red Raiders, 24-17, with 5:55 left in the third quarter.

The Red Raiders march down the field but can't get into the end zone, but Hatfield nails a 33 yard field goal giving Texas Tech a 27-24 lead with 5:02 left to play.

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