Texas Bowl capsule

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 26, 2013 at 2:04 pm •  Published: December 26, 2013
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TEXAS BOWL

At Houston

Syracuse (6-6) vs. Minnesota (8-4), 6 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Line: Minnesota by 4.

Series Record: Minnesota leads 3-1.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

A win would give Minnesota nine wins for the first time since 2003 and the eighth time overall and end a five-game bowl losing streak. Syracuse has won two bowl games in the past three years, and a victory over Minnesota would give the Orange a winning record for the third time in four years.

KEY MATCHUP

The Syracuse defense against Minnesota RB David Cobb. Cobb ranked sixth in the Big Ten in rushing with 1,111 yards, including six 100-yard games. Syracuse is the only FBS team not to allow a 100-yard rusher this season. The Orange defense shut down Boston College's Andre Williams, the nation's leading rusher and a Heisman Trophy finalist, in the regular-season finale Nov. 30, holding him to 29 yards on nine carries before he left in the third quarter with an injury. Williams entered the game averaging 188.5 yards per game and 6.5 per carry. The Orange have limited five opponents this season to under 100 yards rushing, including three of the last five.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

SYRACUSE: QB Terrel Hunt. The sophomore began the season as the backup to Oklahoma transfer Drew Allen, then took over as the starter after Allen endured two bad games. Since then, Hunt's season has been a roller-coaster ride that has included a run of seven scoreless quarters. Still, Hunt ranks second on the team in rushing with 426 yards and has accounted for 15 TDs (10 passing and five rushing) to go with eight interceptions. His last INT came against Boston College with under 3 minutes to play and Syracuse behind, but he rallied the Orange to a 34-31 victory with a touchdown pass to tight end Josh Parris with 6 seconds remaining, finishing with career highs of 270 yards passing and 360 yards of total offense — 1 yard more than the Eagles as a team.

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