Holiday Bowl – Arizona State Sun Devils vs Texas Tech Red Raiders
Date and Time: Monday 12/30/13 at 10:15pm on ESPN
Game Line: Arizona State -14 (from JustBet)
Saturday’s Holiday Bowl NCAA Football Analysis: Arizona State saw its regular season end in sour fashion with a loss in the Pac-12 title game. However, the Sun Devils can still claim an 11th victory for just the sixth time in program history. They’ll be heavy favorites to do so given Texas Tech’s late season free fall. The 16th ranked Sun Devils look to avoid falling to 0-4 in the Holiday Bowl on Monday night in San Diego when they meet a Red Raiders team that lost five straight to end the season. Despite losing its Pac-12 opener at Stanford, Arizona State secured home field advantage for the conference title game by winning its next eight games in league play by an average of 20 points, including victories over ranked Washington and UCLA squads. But the Sun Devils still couldn’t topple the Cardinal, suffering their worst loss in more than three years with a 38-14 defeat. A win would have sent them to the Rose Bowl for the first time since the 1996 season. An appearance in the Holiday Bowl might also be considered a disappointment for Texas Tech given where the Red Raiders were in mid October. The Red Raiders climbed as high as number 10 before a 38-30 loss at Oklahoma marked the beginning of their unraveling. Texas Tech dropped its next four games by an average of 23.8 points, including a 41-16 loss at Texas to close out the season. Throw in the fact that quarterback Baker Mayfield, the Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year told coach Kingsbury that he intends to transfer and its no wonder Texas Tech is a two touchdown underdog in this game. Kingsbury will choose between Davis Webb and Michael Brewer to decide who will lead the nation’s second-leading passing offense, though he said he wouldn’t announce the team’s starter prior to the game. The favorite figures to be fellow freshman Webb, who threw for 16 TDs. Texas Tech has the offensive weapons to score with the high powered Arizona State attack and a change at quarterback might be what this team needs to end their late season collapse. Two touchdowns is too many points to lay for an offense that can score with any team in college football.
Arizona State vs Texas Tech NCAA Football Picks: Texas Tech +14.5 and over 71
Arizona State vs Texas Tech Game Prediction: 44-35 Arizonna State
What to expect in the 2013 Holiday Bowl: Texas Tech will surprise some people when they come out and compete in this game. It’s the biggest bowl game in recent years for the Red Raiders and a change at quarterback won’t hurt this team as much as many bettors think it will. They were 0-5 to end the season under Mayfield so Webb can’t do much worse. The way Texas Tech throws the football they’re never out of a game and they will have a great chance at a back door cover late in the fourth quarter of this one, while Arizona State will have no problems scoring points against a poor Texas Tech defense.