Rewind: Read The Daily’s liveblog of the TicketCity Bowl from Dallas

The Daily Northwestern

DALLAS — For the third straight year, Northwestern has a chance to erase 62 years of bad memories, this time at the Cotton Bowl stadium against Texas Tech in the TicketCity Bowl.

NU (7-5, 3-5 Big Ten) enters today’s game coming off two consecutive blowout losses to Illinois and No. 5 Wisconsin. The Cats will be without another weapon against the Red Raiders (7-5, 3-5 Big 12) as a broken wrist will hold out redshirt freshman running back Mike Trumpy . Freshman wide receiver Tony Jones will also miss the game with an undisclosed injury.

Texas Tech brings its potent aerial attack, led by quarterback Taylor Potts who averaged more than 300 yards passing per game this season. The Red Raiders however are vulnerable through the air on the defensive side of the ball, ranking last in the Football Bowl Subdivision in pass defense.

Check out The Daily’s liveblog below, and stay tuned for more from Texas.

First quarter update from Colin Becht:

Unable to get the offense moving, Northwestern has fallen into a 10-0 hole against Texas Tech.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Evan Watkins has completed just 1-of-3 passes for five yards despite facing the Football Bowl Subdivision’s worst pass defense.

Watkins’ counterpart, Taylor Potts, has had little trouble dicing up the Wildcats’ defense, throwing for 103 yards on 12-of-15 passing. Potts completed a 13-yard pass to wide receiver Austin Zouzalik for the only touchdown of the game.

Kicker Matt Williams also booted a 24-yard field goal.

After gaining one first down on the opening drive of the game, NU has been unable to move offensively, going three-and-out on its next two possessions.

Second quarter update:

After its offensive struggles in the first quarter, NU put points on the board in the second but the potent Texas Tech aerial attack has given the Red Raiders a 24-6 at halftime.

The Cats got on the board midway through the second quarter on a one-yard run by freshman quarterback Kain Colter, capping a 15-play, 78-yard drive. However, NU failed to convert the point after when holder Brandon Williams couldn’t control the snap.

Colter has provided a spark for the Cats and leads all rushers with nine carries for 49 yards. He also completed 2-of-4 passes for 18 yards.

NU continued to get dominated by the Red Raiders’ passing game as Potts has already thrown for 243 yards on 25-of-33 passing with two touchdowns. Wide receiver Lyle Leong has been the primary target of Potts, catching seven balls for 97 yards including a six-yard touchdown grab just before halftime.

The Cats fell victim to some trickery by Texas Tech as Zouzalik took a screen pass from Potts before throwing the ball back to Potts, who ran across a wide open field for a 13-yard score midway through the quarter.

Third quarter update:

Texas Tech kept its foot on the gas offensively but the Cats kept pace, cutting the Red Raider lead to 38-24 after three quarters of play.

Potts continued to pick apart the NU secondary and has now thrown for 316 yards on 36-of-46 passing with three touchdowns. He has also rushed for 19 yards and a touchdown.

The Cats caught a break to begin the half when sophomore linebacker David Nwabuisi forced a fumble on the opening kickoff and junior wide receiver Charles Brown recovered. However, the Texas Tech defense stuffed a Watkins keeper at the one-yard line, forcing NU to settle for an 18-yard field goal from senior kicker Stefan Demos.

The Red Raiders grabbed the momentum right back on the next play from scrimmage when running back Eric Stephens broke through from an 86-yard touchdown rush.

Colter kept up his success on the ground rushing for his second touchdown of the game. He fumbled at the one-yard line but recovered his own fumble in the end zone. Making up for a blown extra point in the second quarter, the Cats converted a two-point conversion when Colter found senior superback Josh Rooks open in the end zone.

Potts, however, refused to let the Cats build steam off their touchdown and marched the Red Raiders 82 yards down the field, finding wide receiver Tramain Swindall for a six-yard touchdown completion.

Utilizing a play similar to what Texas Tech executed for a touchdown in the first quarter, NU countered the Swindall touchdown with a 32-yard pass from junior wide receiver Jeremy Ebert to Colter. Colter threw a screen pass to Ebert who then tossed the ball back to Colter for the big gain down to the Texas Tech four-yard line. Watkins scrambled for a touchdown on the next play.