Texas Bowl – Syracuse Orange vs Minnesota Golden Gophers
Date and Time: Friday 12/27/13 at 6:00pm on ESPN
Game Line: Minnesota -4 (from JustBet)
Friday’s Texas Bowl NCAA Football Analysis: The Minnesota Golden Gophers are playing in their second straight Texas Bowl, losing to Texas Tech in the last minute of the game last season ending their chances at a winning season. This year they will hope for redemption. Syracuse, on the other hand, is playing to avenge a regular season loss to Minnesota last year. The Orange finished the season 6-6 under new coach Doug Marrone behind a strong rushing attack and solid defense. Minnesota uses a strong rushing attack to cover for a weak quarterback situation as well. Who controls the line of scrimmage will be critical because neither quarterback figures to be called upon very often to make plays. Syracuse had the ACC’s worst passing attack at 181.5 yards per game while Minnesota ranked last in the Big Ten at 141.8. Minnesota’s rushing attack is lead by David Cobb who finished sixth in the big ten with 1,111 rushing yards and seven scores. The Gophers won their last four conference games to get their bowl spot and they played much better football late in the season. Syracuse’s mirroring rushing attack is lead by Jerome Smith who had 840 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. These teams couldn’t be more similar. Both have mediocre defenses, like to run the ball, have weak quarterbacks and are on the rise. The big difference in this game will be the play in the trenches where Syracuse has steadily improved this season. If they can minimize the turnovers there is no reason to think this game won’t be decided by a field goal or less either way. This will be a tight low scoring game with minimal big plays and strong defense that will commit to stopping the run, giving this game a great chance to stay under the total.
Syracuse vs Minnesota NCAA Football Picks: Syracuse +4 and under 47.5
Syracuse vs Minnesota Game Prediction: 20-17 Syracuse
What to expect in the 2013 Texas Bowl: This will be a slow, boring, grinder of a football game. Both defenses will be completely committed to stopping the run but both offenses will continue to try. The team that is forced to rely less on their quarterback will have a great chance to win this game and Syracuse has an advantage in the turnover department. The line favors Minnesota because of their success late in the season, but that will play much less of a factor with three weeks of preparation before this game.