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Syracuse077721
22  Minnesota0301417
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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

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
Final
MIA 94
CHA 93
12:00pm Today
UWGB
ECU
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAC
Final
MIA 94
CHA 93
Final
MEM 107
LAC 91
Final
BOS 88
POR 94
Final
OKC 86
GSW 91
Final
LAL 94
DEN 101
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAC
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
ORL
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
POR
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
PHO
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
NYK
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
IND
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
CHI
Final
GMAS 60
COC 61
Final
FSU 69
UMASS 75
Final
SHSU 53
WOFF 64
Final
UNCG 67
YOUNG 76
Final
CMICH 75
ARKPB 43
 
Final
ILLCH 60
SILL 67
Final
MORE 46
AMER 51
Final
CORN 59
DREX 61
Final
CCST 60
COOK 65
Final
ARKLR 94
CSNO 88
Final
LEH 44
CLMB 54
 
Final
USB 89
MERMAR 54
 
Final
NMU 51
TEXAM 64
Final
STLU 56
TAMCC 62
 
Final
FAIR 80
SD 72
Final
EMICH 79
LONG 48
Final
ND 74
PROV 75
Final
RAD 88
CATAWBA 52
 
Final
DEN 80
COPST 54
 
Final
UAB 58
JST 50
 
Final
WICHS 105
NWM 57
Final
OKLA 90
NWST 68
Final
KSU 59
YALE 66
Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
Final
UCR 102
STKAT 49
 
Final
PSU 63
USC 61
Final
HC 101
NICHOLSCOL 70
 
Final
BC 53
DAY 65
Final
MON 75
TOWS 79
Final
HOF 93
WAGN 71
 
Final
CIN 54
EILL 49
Final
UGA 74
FATL 61
Final
BRAD 58
NCAT 50
 
Final
LATU 76
PBY 48
Final
RUTG 76
Terriers 73
 
Final
SAMF 64
UMKC 55
Final
NAVY 70
BING 68
Final
SHU 85
GWEBB 67
Final
UNT 58
IONA 78
Final
KENT 86
MNTST 28
Final
FORD 57
MLOWELL 64
 
Final
UCF 76
USCU 69
 
Final
SCAR 63
AKR 68
Final
WVU 78
UCONN 68
Final
CALST 70
DEL 52
 
Final
HOW 78
HOOD 51
 
Final
OSU 106
SHU 48
Final
VANDY 78
TENST 46
Final
NE 65
MAN 51
Final
COLST 75
MERC 62
Final
MISS 80
NARZ 74
Final
WASH 76
PAC 69
Final
LMU 82
SDCHR 60
 
Final
CHAR 58
MIAMI 77
Final
GAELS 72
UCI 69
Final
ILLST 64
ODU 45
Final
UCLA 77
LBSU 63
Final
SEAT 62
MONT 66
 
12:00pm Today
UWGB
ECU
1:30pm Today
WEBER
NEV
 
2:30pm Today
FRES
EVAN
2:30pm Today
KYST
PURD
4:00pm Today
LSU
CLEM
 
4:00pm Today
ALCOR
DILL
 
4:30pm Today
CHIST
UGST
 
4:30pm Today
DET
MDES
 
5:00pm Tonight
ARZ
MIZZ
5:30pm Tonight
INDST
PEAY
 
6:00pm Tonight
FLGC
MAR
6:00pm Tonight
LALAF
UWMIL
 
6:30pm Tonight
ODU
GWEBB
 
7:00pm Tonight
MD
ARST
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOL
BUCK
 
7:00pm Tonight
JMU
COL
 
7:00pm Tonight
WINT
ETST
 
7:00pm Tonight
GSOUT
FIU
 
7:00pm Tonight
BST
GRAM
 
7:00pm Tonight
APP
HAMP
 
7:00pm Tonight
MAST
JVU
 
7:00pm Tonight
XAV
MURST
7:00pm Tonight
WAKE
NICST
 
7:00pm Tonight
MSU
SCU
 
7:00pm Tonight
LOU
SAV
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENT
SELA
 
7:00pm Tonight
VCU
VILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
OU
WCU
 
7:30pm Tonight
IND
EWASH
8:00pm Tonight
ILL
BRO
8:00pm Tonight
MSST
CLAYST
 
8:00pm Tonight
BEL
LIP
 
8:00pm Tonight
TCU
MVSU
 
8:00pm Tonight
IOWA
PEPP
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
PVU
 
8:00pm Tonight
KU
RIDE
 
8:00pm Tonight
BAY
STEPH
 
8:00pm Tonight
INCWORD
A
 
8:30pm Tonight
USF
HAW
8:30pm Tonight
OKST
ORST
9:00pm Tonight
WYO
FAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
YALE
 
9:00pm Tonight
CHAM
PITT
9:00pm Tonight
ILLST
SHU
 
9:00pm Tonight
NMST
STET
 
9:30pm Tonight
ISU
ALA
 
9:30pm Tonight
SDKST
CHADRON
 
9:30pm Tonight
NCOL
CCHR
 
9:30pm Tonight
OREG
MICH
 
10:00pm Tonight
SDU
WMICH
10:05pm Tonight
PORST
SIUE
11:00pm Tonight
AUB
TULSA
11:30pm Tonight
SDST
BYU
Final
WIN 2
STL 4
Final
NYR 5
MON 0
Final
ANA 2
ARI 1
Final
VAN 4
CHI 1
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
PHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
PIT
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
MIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
OTT
 
Final
HOU 13
CIN 22
Final
ATL 24
CLE 26
Final
NEP 34
DET 9
Final
MIN 21
GBP 24
Final
IND 23
JAC 3
Final
CHI 21
TAM 13
Final
PHI 43
TEN 24
Final
SEA 19
ARI 3
Final
SDC 27
STL 24
Final
DEN 39
MIA 36
Final
SFX 17
WAS 13
Final
NYG 28
DAL 31
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
NYJ
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
BAL