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Minnesota to face Texas Tech in Houston

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 2, 2012 at 8:45 pm •  Published: December 2, 2012

Minnesota will get another crack at Texas Tech in a bowl game, six years after the Gophers suffered an epic meltdown against the Red Raiders.

The Meineke Car Care Bowl in Houston announced Sunday night that Minnesota will face Texas Tech on Dec. 28.

It's the first bowl appearance since 2009 for the Gophers (6-6), who reached the postseason despite winning just two Big Ten games.

"It's a tremendous honor to go to Houston," Minnesota coach Jerry Kill said. "This is a big boost for us."

Texas Tech (7-5) returns to the postseason after a one-year absence. The Red Raiders dropped their final regular-season game to Baylor in overtime, 52-45, but they beat the likes of West Virginia and TCU and doubled their Big 12 win total from last season.

"The opportunity to play another game in Texas is huge for our team, our fans and for recruiting. Minnesota is a talented football team and we will have our hands full the next couple of weeks in our preparations," Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said.

Minnesota and Texas Tech played each other in the 2006 Insight Bowl — when the Gophers blew a 31-point lead and lost 44-41 in OT — but both programs have new coaches.

The Gophers fired coach Glen Mason two days later. Texas Tech hired Tuberville before the 2011 season

Though Minnesota lost three of its last four games and finished tied for last in the Legends Division with Iowa, reaching a bowl will give the rebuilding Gophers 15 extra practices to work in their younger players.

The Gophers will be seeking their first bowl win since they beat Alabama 20-16 in the 2004 Music City Bowl.

"The bowl is important for us (because) No. 1, we recruit the state of Texas. No. 2, it's a high-profile bowl," said Kill, who added that he is doing "great" after suffering a seizure at halftime of a loss to Michigan State on Nov. 24. "The exposure the media gives you helps your program."

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