HOUSTON – Minnesota and Syracuse will collide in the 2013 Texas Bowl on Friday, December 27 at 6 p.m. EST and will be televised nationally on ESPN.
Syracuse and Minnesota have met four times previously with the most recent game last season, a 17-10 victory by Minnesota. The Golden Gophers lead the all-time series 3-1. The teams met for the first time in 1995 with Syracuse winning 27-17. The last three meetings between the teams have all been decided by a touchdown or less.
For Minnesota (8-4), it's a second consecutive visit to the Texas Bowl after bowing 34-31 to Texas Tech in last year's game.
The highlight of the season for the Golden Gophers was a four-game Big Ten winning streak, their first since 1973, that included wins against traditional powers Nebraska and Penn State. The Gophers ended a 16-game losing streak to the Huskers and claimed the Governor’s Victory Bell from the Nittany Lions. The Maroon and Gold then ended its season against ranked foes Wisconsin and Michigan State.
Minnesota finished 2013 with its best record since it won 10 games in 2003. This is just the seventh eight-win season for the Gophers since 1960.
Minnesota has lost five straight bowl games dating back to a 2004 season win in the Music City Bowl. The Gophers have an overall bowl record of 5-10.
Syracuse (6-6 overall, 4-4 ACC) became bowl eligible with 6 seconds left in its season when an 8-yard TD pass lifted the Orange to a 34-31 win over Boston College.
This will be Syracuse’s first trip to the Texas Bowl, and its first in the state of Texas since beating the Texas Longhorns 23-14 in the 1960 Cotton Bowl. The Orange own a 14-9-1 postseason record and won seven straight bowl games from 1988 to 1996. Currently, SU is riding a two-game bowl winning streak, having won the 2010 and 2012 New Era Pinstripe Bowls against Kansas State and West Virginia, respectively.
The Congrove Computer Rankings give Minnesota a 5.74-point edge in the contest.