history of the cheez-it Bowl
by jack macgruder
The game was over.
Minnesota held a 38-7 lead over Texas Tech with 22 minutes
and 47 seconds remaining in the 2006 Insight Bowl, a
seemingly insurmountable de cit, and the Golden Gophers
still led 38-14 after three quarters.
So much for Texas Tech’s winning season.
But history, it turned out, was no match for the Red Raiders’
coach/offensive guru Mike Leach and his super-charged offense
led by quarterback Graham Harrell and halfback Shannon Woods.
Texas Tech recovered from its 31-point de cit to claim a 44-
41 victory in overtime, the largest comeback win in NCAA
“We’re an offense that can score in a hurry, and everyone
knows that,” Harrell said later.
Harrell, who passed for 445 yards and two touchdowns
and also ran for a score, brought the Red Raiders closer
on a touchdown pass on the rst pay of the fourth quarter.
He rushed for a score on the next series after Minnesota
eschewed a eld goal and failed on fourth down, and Woods
capped a 56-yard drive with a touchdown with 2:39 remaining
to make it 38-35.
Alex Trlica’s 52-yard eld goal as time expired in the fourth
quarter tied it at 41 and when Minnesota could muster only a
eld goal with its overtime possession, Woods maintained the
momentum on a game-winning 3-yard touchdown run.
The teams combined for 54 rst downs and 1,006 yards of total
offense. Lost in the comeback were Amir Pinnix’s 179 yards
rushing and Bryan Cupito’s 263 yards passing for Minnesota.
“If you believe, good things can happen,” Harrell said.
Skyler Howard (West Virginia, 2015)
The Mountaineers entered the the 27th Annual Cheez-it Bowl
with an eye toward moving the ball through the air against a
blitzing Arizona State defense. Boy, did they. Junior quarterback
Blaine Gabbert (Missouri, 2010)
Gabbert led 12th-ranked Missouri into its game against Iowa
and left with two Insight Bowl records and three school bowl
records, although the performance was not quite enough in
a 27-24 loss to Iowa. Gabbert set bowl records in passing
attempts and completions when he was 41-of-57 for 434
yards and a touchdown. All three are school records. He also
ran for a score. His 70 plays, 57 passes and 13 rushes, also set
bowl records. Now the starter for the San Francisco 49ers,
Gabbert was the 10th player taken in the rst round of the
2011 draft by Jacksonville.
Trent Green (Indiana, 1991)
Green rushed for two touchdowns and passed for 165 yards
in the Hoosiers’ 24-0 shutout of Baylor in 1991, in the process
setting a school season-record with 2,267 passing yards.
Green spent 11 years in the NFL and took the Kansas City
Chiefs to the playoffs twice.
Aaron Rodgers (California, 2003)
Rodgers was named the offensive player of the game in 2003,
and it is not hard to see why. He passed for 394 yards and
two touchdowns, scored on a 1-yard run and led the Bears to
a game-winning eld goal as time expired in a 42-39 victory
over Virginia Tech. Rodgers completed 77.1 percent of his
passes, did not throw an interception and led the Bears on six
consecutive touchdown drives after they had fallen behind,
21-7. The 24th player taken in the rst round of the 2005
draft, Rodgers has done more of the same for Green Bay.