For the second consecutive year, the Gophers are heading to Houston for a bowl game, this time against Syracuse on Dec. 27, a person familiar with the decision confirmed Sunday.

The Gophers (8-4) accepted their invitation from the Texas Bowl, hoping to improve on their performance from last year, when they lost 34-31 to Texas Tech, when the game was known as the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

Many projections had the Gophers playing Texas Tech again in Houston, but the Texas Bowl was able to avoid a rematch, selecting Syracuse (6-6) from the ACC.

The Gophers defeated Syracuse 17-10 last year at TCF Bank Stadium.

This year, in Syracuse's first year in the ACC and first year under Coach Scott Shafer, the Orange finished 4-4 in conference play and defeated Boston College 34-31 in its final regular season game. Its other victories this year came against Wagner, Tulane, North Carolina State, Wake Forest and Maryland. Syracuse opened the season with losses to Penn State and Northwestern.

Syracuse did not allow a 100-yard rusher this season.