College Football

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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
GT 80
NCSU 81
Final
LOU 78
UNC 68
Final
NYR 4
CAR 1
Final
UVA 63
DUKE 69
Final
ETST 61
NCCU 59
 
Final
DEN 86
CHA 104
1:00pm Today
ECU
CIN
 
Final
ORL 93
DAL 108
Final
IND 94
SAC 99
Final
WAS 116
TOR 120
Final
DET 114
HOU 101
Final
ATL 91
PHI 85
Final
MIN 90
CLE 106
Final
MEM 85
OKC 74
Final
MIL 95
POR 88
Final
DEN 86
CHA 104
Final
SAN 85
LAC 105
Final
GSW 106
PHO 87
1:00pm Today
BOS
MIA
 
2:00pm Today
NYK
LAL
 
Final
TENN 71
AUB 63
Final
CLEM 64
BC 49
Final
STJOE 75
DAVID 70
Final
GT 80
NCSU 81
Final
PITT 76
ND 72
Final
STJ 75
PROV 66
Final
UNH 63
USB 48
 
Final
WVU 77
TTU 58
Final
TEMPL 55
TULA 37
Final
EMICH 69
WMICH 63
 
Final
IOWA 63
WISC 74
Final
SHU 90
XAV 82
Final
UF 57
ARK 56
Final
STET 75
LIP 73
 
Final
ILL 60
PSU 58
Final
TULSA 78
SFLA 71
Final
INDST 64
BRAD 58
 
Final
MAINE 59
GTDNS 77
 
Final
LEH 89
BU 86
 
Final
MARQ 68
BUT 72
Final
DEL 71
COC 68
 
Final
CREI 40
GEOR 67
Final
CLST 76
UWGB 62
 
Final
NEOM 65
MAST 75
 
Final
LOYC 45
ILLST 48
 
Final
KU 68
KYST 57
Final
JVU 50
KNST 51
 
Final
MSST 73
LSU 67
Final
SHU 71
MNTER 77
 
Final
VCU 55
RICH 64
Final
ISU 83
TCU 66
Final
BING 76
MLOWELL 69
 
Final
HART 46
VERM 65
 
Final
DEP 55
VILL 68
Final
WAKE 73
VT 70
Final
UGST 74
ARKST 43
 
Final
FAM 44
COOK 61
 
Final
NDAK 80
IDST 69
 
Final
ARMY 71
GHND 77
 
Final
BEL 71
TENT 53
 
Final
TXSA 57
UAB 65
Final
ILLCH 65
VALPO 70
 
Final
DRAK 70
EVAN 65
 
Final
IND 72
RUTG 64
Final
UMO 79
BST 73
 
Final
RMU 68
BRY 71
 
Final
WAGN 86
CCST 55
 
Final
GWEBB 66
CCAR 64
 
Final
MDES 92
COPST 82
 
Final
RFLSH 68
FD 63
 
Final
RIU 59
GWU 55
Final
SCAR 67
UGA 50
Final
Terriers 81
LIU 64
 
Final
PAC 71
LMU 76
 
Final
STLU 56
UMASS 60
Final
HOW 64
MRGST 48
 
Final
DREX 85
UNCW 76
 
Final
LOU 78
UNC 68
Final
MIZZ 47
MISS 67
Final
ALCOR 56
SOUTH 65
 
Final
NIOWA 70
WICHS 54
Final
JMU 65
WMARY 84
 
Final
RAD 73
WINT 66
 
Final
EILL 57
SIUE 54
 
Final
UNCA 70
CAMP 63
 
Final
MORE 57
EKENT 66
 
Final
NICST 58
INCWORD 69
 
Final
CMICH 74
OHIO 69
 
Final
TEXAM 69
VANDY 58
Final
UWMIL 78
DET 74
 
Final
UNCG 73
WCU 78
 
Final
EWASH 98
IDAHO 95
 
Final
SDKST 69
DEN 39
 
Final
SHSU 63
HOUB 52
 
Final
MVSU 75
JST 62
 
Final
TXST 63
LALAF 72
 
Final
LATU 81
MARS 57
Final
SD 72
ORU 73
 
Final
LAMON 67
SALA 61
 
Final
PVU 89
ALAAM 63
 
Final
GRAM 53
ARKPB 65
 
Final
PRIN 64
DART 53
 
Final
SCST 78
DELST 74
 
Final
COLST 80
FRES 57
Final
MINN 60
NEB 42
Final
WYO 63
NEV 55
Final
GAELS 62
PEPP 67
 
Final
NW 60
PURD 68
Final
BAY 83
TEX 60
Final
CHAT 78
CITA 73
 
Final
SMISS 62
WKENT 73
Final
CORN 57
YALE 65
 
Final
NORST 63
HAMP 60
 
Final
SAV 59
NCAT 62
 
Final
BGU 68
AKR 69
 
Final
KENT 70
ALA 55
Final
CLMB 86
BRO 65
 
Final
LIB 62
CSOU 74
 
Final
BUCK 69
COL 71
 
Final
UVA 63
DUKE 69
Final
NE 80
ELON 61
 
Final
CHAR 70
FIU 78
Final
ODU 68
FATL 57
Final
SAMF 68
FUR 58
 
Final
DUQ 62
GMAS 53
Final
PENN 38
HARV 63
 
Final
LBSU 65
HAW 50
 
Final
BONA 56
LAS 66
Final
NAVY 65
LAF 74
 
Final
PBY 67
LONG 71
 
Final
WOFF 49
MERC 46
 
Final
ETST 61
NCCU 59
 
Final
MCNST 68
NO 61
 
Final
FLGC 74
NKENTUCKY 64
 
Final
IONA 68
PETE 61
 
Final
UNF 74
USCU 79
 
Final
LAM 84
ABCHRIST 74
 
Final
GSOUT 76
ARKLR 61
 
Final
STEPH 61
TAMCC 51
 
Final
UCR 66
CSNO 62
 
Final
SELA 73
NWST 88
 
Final
OKST 56
OKLA 64
Final
UNT 75
RICE 65
Final
SDU 77
USF 69
 
Final
NMU 67
SJST 41
Final
PEAY 64
SEMIZ 70
 
Final
NILL 69
TOL 80
 
Final
HOF 72
TOWS 86
 
Final
SMU 75
UCF 56
Final
MURST 65
TENNM 62
 
Final
SDST 62
UTST 42
Final
MIZST 52
SILL 46
 
Final
TXARL 54
TROY 55
 
Final
TXSOU 80
ALAST 65
 
Final
TENST 45
JVST 43
 
Final
WASU 89
STAN 88
Final
GRCN 55
CHIST 56
 
Final
UTEP 83
MTST 70
Final
SUTAH 60
NARZ 81
 
Final
BYU 78
SCU 57
 
Final
NMST 53
TXPA 48
 
Final
NCOL 71
WEBER 57
 
Final
UNLV 74
AFA 63
Final
UCD 81
CPSL 78
 
Final
GONZ 82
MEM 64
Final
UCI 77
UCSB 55
 
Final
SACST 70
MONT 69
 
Final
PORST 80
MNTST 62
 
Final
UCLA 72
COL 59
Final
CALST 71
SEAT 61
 
Final
WLVRN 59
UMKC 66
 
12:30pm Today
FSU
MIAMI
 
12:30pm Today
YOUNG
OU
 
1:00pm Today
ECU
CIN
 
1:00pm Today
MSU
MICH
 
2:00pm Today
DAY
FORD
 
2:00pm Today
MON
MAN
 
2:00pm Today
CAN
MAR
 
2:00pm Today
NIAG
QUIN
 
2:30pm Today
USC
UTAH
 
3:00pm Today
WASH
CAL
 
3:00pm Today
HOU
UCONN
 
3:00pm Today
WILL
NDST
 
Final
DET 4
NYI 1
Final
NYR 4
CAR 1
Final
WIN 2
DAL 5
Final
NJD 3
FLA 1
Final
PHI 1
TOR 0
Final
TAM 3
CLB 1
Final
CAL 4
EDM 2
Final
SJS 2
CHI 0
1:00pm Today
MON
ARI
 
1:00pm Today
WAS
STL
 
2:00pm Today
PIT
NAS
 
3:30pm Today
VAN
MIN
 
6:30pm Tonight
SEA
NEP