Nov 30, 2013; East Lansing, MI, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers running back David Cobb (27) runs the ball against Michigan State Spartans during the 2nd half a game at Spartan Stadium. MSU won 14-3. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

2013 Texas Bowl: Syracuse vs. Minnesota game preview, odds and prediction

The 2013 Texas Bowl this year brings us a match up between the Minnesota Golden Gophers of the Big Ten Conference and the Syracuse Orange of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Minnesota had one of the more surprising, impressive performances of the season. Despite having to deal with the loss of head coach Jerry Kill, who was forced to take some time off to deal with seizures, the Gophers finished up with an 8-4 record, and with some quality wins in conference play against the likes of Penn State and Nebraska.

Syracuse, in their first season as a member of the ACC, just barely made it into bowl contention at 6-6 on the season, but they’re here. They had some downs, which included blowout losses to conference powers Florida State and Clemson, but they also had their ups, like that down-to-the-wire, comeback win over Boston College to close out the regular season.

Date: Dec. 27

Start Time: 6 PM ET

Location: Houston, TX

Stadium: Reliant Stadium

TV Info: ESPN

Live Stream: WatchESPN app

Odds: Minnesota -4.5

Prediction: This is a match up of two teams who love to run the ball to get things going offensively. Jerome Smith and Prince Tyson-Gulley are a punishing duo for the Orange, and David Cobb has amassed over 1,000 yards on the season for the Gophers.

The key in this one, though, will be the play of Syracuse QB Terrel Hunt. He’s looked good at times since he stepped in for Drew Allen, but he’s a bit turnover prone at times, tossing eight interceptions to his 10 touchdowns.

Look for a stout Minnesota defense to force some of those mistakes and walk away with the Texas Bowl win that they didn’t get last year.

Minnesota 17, Syracuse 14

Tags: Minnesota Golden Gophers Syracuse Orange Texas Bowl

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