MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL
8 p.m. Friday at Reliant Stadium, Houston • TV: ESPN (100.3-FM, 1130-AM)
Records: Texas Tech 7-5, 4-5 Big 12; Gophers 6-6, 2-6 in Big Ten
Coaches: Tech, Chris Thomson (interim, first game); Gophers, Jerry Kill (9-15 in second season)
Points Per Game: Texas Tech 37.8 scored, 31.8 allowed; Gophers 21.3 scored, 23.9 allowed
About the Red Raiders: It's a senior-dominated offense, starting with senior quarterback Seth Doege (70.4 percent completions, 38 touchdown passes). His chief weapons are a pair of 900-yard receivers: senior Darrin Moore, who caught 13 TD passes, and junior Eric Ward, who snagged 11. Together, the Raiders average 362 yards per game through the air, second most in Division I. And even their 139.5-yard rushing average, which ranked last in the Big 12, nearly equals the Gophers' 146.1.
About the Gophers: They are keeping quiet about who will start at quarterback in the bowl game, but MarQueis Gray is completely healthy again after an injury-plagued senior season. He gives Minnesota's offense a jolt, especially since freshman Philip Nelson has gone 14 consecutive quarters without throwing a touchdown pass. The Gophers intercepted 11 passes this year and sacked the quarterback 25 times, both of which will come in handy. Texas Tech surrendered 18 sacks, and their minus-12 turnover margin was one of the worst in the country.