Minnesota vs. Texas Tech
Fri., Dec. 28 – 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
Houston – Reliant Stadium
There ain’t much momentum headed to Houston.
After a fortuitous start, Minnesota (6-6) has won only two games since Sept. 22. (If you correctly guessed that those victories came at the expense of Purdue and Illinois, you do not deserve a prize.)
Similarly, Texas Tech (7-5) opened 4-0 before starting to slide. The Red Raiders wrapped up the regular season by losing four of the their final five, which is actually worse than it sounds since that lone victory down the stretch was a 41-34 overtime affair at home against Kansas (1-11).
Just about the only thing that would make this matchup watchable is if history were guaranteed to repeat itself.
At the 2006 Insight Bowl, the Golden Gophers spectacularly squandered a 38-7 lead in a 44-41 overtime loss to the Red Raiders.
The prospect of the current Minnesota squad putting 38 points on the board is extremely remote. The punchless Gophers have scored more than 17 points only four times this season (against UNLV, New Hampshire, Western Michigan and Purdue).
Texas Tech, which will be led by interim coach/offensive line coach Chris Thomsen, has its own set of issues, but scoring isn’t one of them. The Red Raiders average 37.8 points per game, powered by the precise passing of Seth Doege.
Opening point spread: Texas Tech by 13
The pick: Texas Tech 37-19
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