The Call: Gophers vs. Syracuse in Texas Bowl

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 26, 2013 - 11:28 PM
hide

All-Big Ten defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman leads a stingy U defense. MARLIN LEVISON • Star Tribune

THE OPPONENT

Syracuse opened the season with losses to Penn State and Northwestern but went 4-4 in its first season in the ACC to sneak into a bowl.

5 p.m., Reliant Stadium, Houston • TV: ESPN • Radio: 100.3 FM

Line: Gophers by 4½ • Series: Gophers lead 3-1

Gophers offense vs. Syracuse defense

The Gophers have played 10 consecutive quarters without an offensive touchdown, including losses to Wisconsin and Michigan State. Syracuse ranks 59th in the country in scoring defense (26.1 points per game) and 26th against the run (138.3 yards per game). Advantage: Syracuse

Syracuse offense vs. Gophers defense

The Gophers played terrific defense down the stretch, holding Penn State (10 points), Wisconsin (20) and Michigan State (14) well below their season averages. Syracuse senior Drew Allen started the year at quarterback but dual-threat sophomore Terrell Hunt took over in Game 3. Jarrod West, the team’s leading receiver, is expected back from injury for this game. Advantage: Gophers

Special teams

Syracuse sophomore Ryan Norton connected for his two longest career field goals (42 and 44 yards) against Boston College. Gophers senior Chris Hawthorne’s career long is 45 yards, and he is 4-for-5 this season on kicks of at least 40 yards. Syracuse didn’t return a punt or kickoff for a touchdown this season. Marcus Jones had one of each for Minnesota. Advantage: Gophers

Intangibles

The Gophers are 0-5 in their past five bowl games since defeating Alabama in the 2004 Music City Bowl in Nashville. Syracuse is 4-1 in its past five bowl games, including victories over Kansas State and West Virginia in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Advantage: Syracuse

Prediction

The Gophers showed marked improvement offensively in last year’s 34-31 bowl game loss to Texas Tech, but Syracuse will be a much tougher defensive test. Fortunately for Minnesota, the Gophers have an even tougher defense of their own.

 

Gophers 20, Syracuse 17

NUMBERS TO KNOW

17-10

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano 0 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 4
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Odorizzi 0 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 3
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Hammel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 3
St. Louis - LP: J. Kelly 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta 5
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 5 FINAL
Arizona - LP: B. McCarthy 2
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 1 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: C. Lee 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 2
Cleveland - WP: Z. McAllister 3 FINAL
Detroit - LP: A. Sanchez 2
Washington - WP: D. Storen 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: M. Dunn 3
Seattle - LP: F. Rodney 2 FINAL
Texas - WP: P. Figueroa 3
Boston 4 Top 13th Inning
Chicago WSox 4
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 6 FINAL
Houston - LP: J. Williams 4
Toronto 0 Postponed
Minnesota 0
Oakland 4 Bottom 8th Inning
LA Angels 3
Colorado 2 Top 9th Inning
San Diego 4
Los Angeles 1 Top 8th Inning
San Francisco 2
Chicago 86 FINAL
Charlotte 91
Indiana 101 FINAL
Orlando 86
Atlanta 111 FINAL
Milwaukee 103
Dallas 105 FINAL
Memphis 106
Detroit 111 FINAL
Oklahoma City 112
Houston 100 FINAL
New Orleans 105
LA Lakers 113 FINAL
San Antonio 100
Brooklyn 85 FINAL
Cleveland 114
Philadelphia 100 FINAL
Miami 87
Utah 136 FINAL
Minnesota 130
Washington 118 FINAL
Boston 102
Toronto 92 FINAL
New York 95
Golden State 101 4th Qtr 5:07
Denver 100
LA Clippers 92 4th Qtr 6:01
Portland 94
Phoenix 102 4th Qtr 0:23
Sacramento 97
Montreal 5 FINAL(OT)
Tampa Bay 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 4
Dallas 3 3rd Prd 4:48
Anaheim 4
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Gophers men's hockey season

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close