So much for being a double-digit underdog. Texas Tech came out firing on all cylinders from the opening kick and smacked the favored Arizona State right in the mouth, scoring early and often and eventually cruising to a 37-23 upset of the Pac-12 Sun Devils Monday night in the National University Holiday Bowl in San Diego.
An ESPN analyst had the Sun Devils as a 22-point favorite in this game..
Freshman quarterback Davis Webb threw for 403 yards andtied a Holiday Bowl record four touchdowns, and the Red Raiders snapped a five-game losing streak to finish the 2013 season on a winning note. The Texas Tech quarterback tied a record set by BYU’s Jim McMahon in 1980 and later matched by Kansas State’s Brian Kavanagh in 1995 and Major Applewhite of Texas in 2001.
“When coach (Kingsbury) told me I was going to start, I told myself that I was going to make sure that I was going to send the seniors our right,” Webb said after the game.. “We came prepared. We leaned on each other and we showed that today.”
The victory was Tech’s first since a win over West Virginia back on Oct. 18. At that point, the Red Raiders’ record stood at 7-0, and they were ranked No. 9 in the country.
Texas Tech jumped on the 16th-ranked Sun Devils early and built up a 27-6 advantage with five minutes still remaining in the second quarter. The score was 27-13 at halftime and was essentially over at that point. Webb completed 28 of 41 passes and All-American Jace Amaro caught eight passes for 112 yards for the Red Raiders.
When asked after the game what the win might mean for his program, Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury said: It’s about the seniors. I wanted them to have their moment because I can’t tell you the way they bought in and believed in us, when they didn’t have to. A lot of those guys signed up to play with coach (Mike) Leach, and they ended up with me. So what they have given us as a staff, that’s what it was all about for me tonight.”
Texas Tech finished the season with an 8-5 record; ASU’s final record is 10-4. The Red Raiders are now 2-0 in the Holiday Bowl and are 6-1 in postseason bowl games since 2006.
With the win, the Big 12 is now 2-1 in bowl games this postseason, with wins by Kansas State and Texas Tech and the loss by Texas to Oregon in the Valero Alamo Bowl game, also on Monday night.