The Red Raiders scored five plays later to take a one-possession lead early in the quarter.
South Florida: Flowers had a terrific second half after going 4-of-14 passing for 52 yards in the first.
Both teams were penalized 10 times, with Texas Tech flagged for 107 yards and South Florida for 100.
There's just something about South Florida quarterback Quinton Flowers and the last five or so minutes of a football game.
After a failed Tech drive which featured Shimonek getting sacked for a third time, Panazzolo botched a punt that went only 15 yards, which gave Flowers and the Bulls offense good starting field position. Shimonek wasn't flawless in this one - his interceptions helped keep USF hanging in the first half - but made several phenomenal throws, particularly after the Red Raiders came out after halftime. That's in contrast to a Texas Tech unit that ranked No. 99 in the country in total defense, but instead led the Big 12 in turnover margin.
In response, the Tech defense forced USF to go three-and-out by putting pressure on Flowers and making him throw it away on third and eight. Shimonek put the Red Raiders up 34-31 with a touchdown pass with 1:31 left to play. Shimonek was put into the Texas game in the fourth quarter and led the Red Raiders to a victory.
With 13:16 left in the second quarter, the Tech defense only allowed Flowers three completions out of 11 passes for 31 yards. He broke the mark of 11,431 yards held by Temple's Phillip Walker.
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Flowers became the American Athletic Conference's career leader in total offense with a 21-yard touchdown pass late in the first half.
But Flowers returned to his usual self in the second half. Texas Tech outscored USF 14-7 in the third quarter, with a Flowers touchdown pass to Damel Solomon being sandwiched in between a Shimonek scoring throw to Dylan Cantrell and a Tre King four-yard touchdown run.
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.
Flowers scrambled for 21 yards to setup the game winning touchdown.
After quarterback Quinton Flowers connected on a 64-yard touchdown pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, South Florida looked to be in control by taking its first lead of the contest at 31-27 with 4:26 left in the fourth.
Shimonek took Texas Tech across midfield in the final seconds but his desperation pass on the run was completed well short of the end zone.