Kill: Invite back to Texas Bowl 'great opportunity' for Gophers

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 9, 2013 - 6:45 AM

But this year the Gophers will be playing Syracuse and trying to cap off a successful year with victory No. 9.

hide

Minnesota Gophers head football coach Jerry Kill held a press conference Sunday night to discuss details of the Gophers upcoming Texas Bowl game.

Photo: Marlin Levison, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

It’s the same bowl as last year, with a new name, but at least the Gophers will face a different opponent, and at least it’s another chance to make this a nine-win season.

That’s how the Gophers took Sunday’s news that they’d fallen to the bottom of the Big Ten’s bowl pecking order and were heading back to Houston, this time to face Syracuse on Dec. 27 in the Texas Bowl.

That game was known as the Meineke Car Care Bowl last year, when the Gophers came in as 13-point underdogs against Texas Tech and blew a seven-point lead in a 34-31 defeat.

“I look at it as a great opportunity,” Gophers coach Jerry Kill said. “We have a great opportunity to compete and continue to make history as a team. Winning nine games is important to us. Winning a bowl game’s important to us.”

The Gophers (8-4) have won nine games in a season just once since 1905. That came in 2003, when they finished 10-3 under Glen Mason. They are 0-5 in their past five bowl games, with their last victory coming over Alabama in the 2004 Music City Bowl.

Minnesota should be favored against Syracuse (6-6), which finished 4-4 this year in its first season in the ACC. The Gophers defeated the Orange 17-10 last year at TCF Bank Stadium.

Under new coach Scott Shafer, Syracuse opened this season with losses to Penn State and Northwestern. In conference play, the Orange defeated North Carolina State, Maryland and Wake Forest before squeaking into a bowl game by defeating Boston College 34-31.

Syracuse didn’t allow an opposing rusher to gain more than 100 yards in a game.

“It’s great motivation to prepare and take on the challenge head-on.” said Gophers running back David Cobb, who had six games of more than 100 yards this season.

The Texas Bowl has a tie-in to the Big 12, and many projections had the Gophers playing Texas Tech again in Houston. But when the Big 12 landed two teams in BCS bowls —Baylor and Oklahoma — it moved other teams up, with Texas Tech going to the Holiday Bowl.

With no other bowl-eligible teams from the Big 12, the Texas Bowl got to pick from another conference.

As Kill noted, the Gophers were fortunate to reach Houston last year. They were 6-6 but climbed the Big Ten’s pecking order because Penn State and Ohio State were not bowl-eligible.

“So we really keep moving up, if you really take a look at it,” Kill said. “I look at it as a tremendous positive for recruiting.”

Still, the Gophers had lobbied to get into the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl (Dec. 28 in Tempe, Ariz.) and Gator Bowl (Jan. 1 in Jacksonville, Fla.). But those bowls got to pick ahead of the Texas Bowl.

The Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl chose Michigan even though the Wolverines are 7-5. And the Gator Bowl chose Nebraska (8-4) even though its game against Georgia will be a rematch of last year’s Capital One Bowl.

It’s all about selling tickets, and Michigan and Nebraska’s fan bases traditionally travel to bowl games in far greater numbers than Gophers fans.

“If people feel that way, then we can go into this game with a chip on our shoulder,” Gophers senior Brock Vereen said. “And make sure people know for next year that this team is to be taken seriously.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland 4 Suspended
Kansas City 2
Baltimore - W. Chen 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - M. Pineda
Kansas City - D. Duffy 6:05 PM
Cleveland - C. Carrasco
Seattle - J. Paxton 6:07 PM
Toronto - J. Happ
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt 6:08 PM
Detroit - K. Lobstein
Pittsburgh - F. Liriano 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Harang
Houston - N. Tropeano 7:05 PM
Texas - D. Holland
St. Louis - A. Wainwright 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wood
Arizona - J. Collmenter 7:10 PM
Minnesota - R. Nolasco
LA Angels - C. Wilson 9:05 PM
Oakland - J. Samardzija
San Francisco - J. Peavy 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - D. Haren
Colorado - T. Matzek 9:10 PM
San Diego - E. Stults
Chicago 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Ottawa 2 3rd Prd
NY Islanders 2
Ottawa 5:00 PM
NY Islanders
New Jersey 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Detroit 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Toronto 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Washington 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Winnipeg
St. Louis 7:30 PM
Dallas
Anaheim 8:00 PM
Colorado
Colorado 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Los Angeles 9:00 PM
Arizona
Arizona 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 FINAL
Montreal 31
Ottawa 32 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pm
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close