banner

College Football

more stats

21
Final 1234Score
Syracuse077721
Minnesota0301417
Preview | Matchup | Log | Wrap | Box
17


Syracuse (6-6) vs. Minnesota (8-4)



Friday, December 27th, 6 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By John Iatesta, Associate College Football Editor

GAME NOTES: The Syracuse Orange will face the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the 2013 Texas Bowl at Reliant Stadium on Dec. 27.

Scott Shafer's first year at the helm of the Orange has resulted in a bowl berth, the team's third in the last four years. Syracuse went 6-6 under Shafer and clinched its bowl eligibility with a 37-34 win over Boston College on November 30th in the team's regular-season finale.

Jerry Kill missed some time this year dealing with his seizure issues, but he will be on the sidelines for the Golden Gophers in the postseason. His team went an impressive 8-4 on the year, including a late season win over Penn State.

This will be the fourth meeting between the two teams. Minnesota holds the advantage at 3-1, including a 17-10 win at TCF Stadium last season.

Syracuse is led by its 39th ranked rushing offense. The Orange are averaging 193.8 rushing yards per game, on 4.6 yards per carry. The rushing attack falls squarely on the shoulders of Jerome Smith, who had some huge games this season and finished up rushing for 840 yards and 11 touchdowns.

While the ground game has been potent for Syracuse, passing the ball hasn't been as strong, as the Orange have the 102nd ranked passing attack in the nation. They are averaging just 181.5 yards passing per game and have thrown 17 interceptions against only 13 touchdowns. Terrel Hunt (1,450 yards, 10 TDs) has been the leading passer on the team. Hunt does however, present a real problem of the opposition with his ability to run the ball, as he finished second on the team with 426 yards and five scores. Hunt did give way to Drew Allen under center on occasion and he threw for just over 650 yards this year. Wideout Ashton Broyld proved to be the most reliable target downfield for Syracuse, catching 48 balls, for 411 yards.

Syracuse's defense is strong against the run ranking 26th, only allowing 138.3 ypg. They are only giving up 3.9 ypc to opposing teams. They are also an opportunistic defense, forcing 23 turnovers in 2013.

Third-Team All-ACC safety Durrell Eskridge leads the team with 78 total tackles. He is followed by All-ACC Honorable Mention Marquis Spruill (13.5 tackles for loss) and Cameron Lynch (61 tackles). Jay Bromley, also a Third- Team all-conference selection, leads the squad with nine sacks on the season.

The Golden Gophers have had a streaky season, with two four-game winning streaks throughout the year.

Like Syracuse. Minnesota relies on the ground game. The Golden Gophers have the 34th ranked rushing attack. They are averaging an impressive 200.9 ypg and have amassed 23 ground scores. David Cobb (5.1 ypc, seven TDs) has been strong this season racking up 1,111 yards on the ground. Mitch Leidner (4.3 ypc, seven TDs) has provided strong work for Minnesota in relief of Cobb.

Shafer knows that his team will be facing a tough group and recognizes Minnesota's strengths.

"They've got a doggone good running back in Cobb. He can run the football and he runs it well because they block it well up front. They're a sound, tough team. They're going to be a team that doesn't shoot themselves in the foot. I've seen them get more consistent with the way they approach the game, the mistakes they don't make. They don't throw a lot of interceptions and they play a good, tough brand of football, but it's the run game first and foremost."

Passing is not a strong facet of Minnesota's offensive attack. Phillip Nelson (1,288 yards, 9 TDs) was the team's main option under center. His numbers were modest to say the least, although he wasn't asked to do much either. The Golden Gophers only threw the ball 237 times this season.

The Minnesota defense is ranked 41st in the nation, allowing 371.1 ypg. The Golden Gophers limited opponents to 154 ypg on the ground and only gave up 16 touchdowns. Minnesota has the 27th best scoring defense in the nation, only allowing 22.3 ppg.

Damien Wilson anchored the defense with 70 total tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss. Theiren Cockran led the squad with 7.5 sacks this season. Cedric Thompson (65 tackles) and Aaron Hill (64 tackles) were also key pieces for Minnesota's strong defense.

If the Golden Gophers beat the Orange it will be only the second season in the last 108 years that the program will finish with nine wins. Coach Kill sees this as a big opportunity for the program as a whole.

"I look it as a great opportunity to compete and make history with the team, 9 games is important to us, a bowl game win was important to us. There's great visibility on ESPN. Those people were great to us last year. I'm excited for them. The most important thing we need to do is move our program forward."

Both teams will be looking to run the ball, while both are strong against the run. This game will likely come down to whichever team can run the ball the most effectively. Cobb's skill is too hard to overlook and it seems unlikely that he will be kept bottled up or too long. Cobb was able to run for over 100 yards against Michigan State�s first ranked rushing defense.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Minnesota 23, Syracuse 17

12/21 10:03:27 ET

Other Stories

  • ACC: North Carolina at Virginia

    Today at 12:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • World Series: Kansas City at San Francisco

    Tonight at 7:30 on FOX50

  • NFL: Seattle at Carolina

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Indianapolis at Pittsburgh

    Tomorrow at 4:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Logan Zone with Steve Logan

    Today at 10:00 am on 99.9 The Fan

  • Big Ten: Michigan at Michigan State

    Today at 3:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • World Series: Kansas City at San Francisco

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Carolina Panthers vs. Seattle Seahawks

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
EDM 6
CAR 3
12:30pm Today
UVA
UNC
2:00pm Today
NCCU
SAVST
 
Final
SFG 2
KAN 3
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
 
Final
ORL 92
DAL 117
Final
TOR 83
NYK 80
Final
MEM 98
MIA 104
Final
CHI 112
MIN 113
Final
HOU 96
SAN 87
Final
UTA 100
PHO 105
Final
LAL 92
SAC 93
Final
GSW 119
DEN 112
Final
LAC 89
POR 99
Final
CIN 34
SFLA 17
Final
SALABAMA 27
TROY 13
Final
BSU 55
BYU 30
Final
CAL 41
OREG 59
 
12:00pm Today
WISC
MD
12:00pm Today
SMU
MEM
12:00pm Today
ILL
MINN
12:00pm Today
RICE
UNT
12:00pm Today
NEB
RUTG
12:00pm Today
KST
TEX
12:00pm Today
ARK
UAB
12:30pm Today
UVA
UNC
1:00pm Today
EMICH
NILL
1:00pm Today
NAVY
SJST
2:00pm Today
BST
AKR
2:00pm Today
GASTATE
GASO
2:00pm Today
TOL
UMASS
2:00pm Today
WMICH
OHIO
2:00pm Today
COL
UCLA
2:30pm Today
UMO
KSU
3:30pm Today
WAKE
BC
3:30pm Today
BUF
CMICH
3:30pm Today
MARS
FATL
3:30pm Today
PITT
GT
3:30pm Today
SMISS
LATU
3:30pm Today
MSU
MICH
3:30pm Today
KENT
MSST
3:30pm Today
STAN
ORST
3:30pm Today
TCU
TTU
3:30pm Today
OKST
WVU
4:00pm Today
WKENT
ODU
4:00pm Today
UTST
UNLV
4:00pm Today
MIZZ
VANDY
5:00pm Tonight
UCF
TEMPL
6:00pm Tonight
WASU
ARZ
7:00pm Tonight
CLEM
SYR
7:00pm Tonight
LAMON
TXST
7:00pm Tonight
TXSANANTO
UTEP
7:00pm Tonight
COLST
WYO
7:15pm Tonight
LSU
MISS
7:30pm Tonight
TENN
ALA
7:30pm Tonight
AUB
SCAR
8:00pm Tonight
PSU
OSU
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
NJD 2
DAL 3
Final
WIN 2
TAM 4
Final
COL 7
VAN 3
Final
EDM 6
CAR 3
Final
ANA 4
CLB 1
4:00pm Today
SJS
BUF
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
BOS
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
DAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
DET
 
7:00pm Tonight
OTT
NJD
 
7:00pm Tonight
MON
NYR
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
PIT
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
TAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
FLA
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
 
2:00pm Today
NCCU
SAVST