WHO: 10-3 Arizona State (Pac-12) vs. 7-5 Texas Tech (Big 12)
WHAT: National University Holiday Bowl (36th year)
WHERE: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, Calif.
WHEN: Dec. 30 at 10:15 p.m. ET
WHY: No. 14 Arizona State looks for its first 11-win season since 1996, while Texas Tech hopes to snap a five-game losing streak in this matchup of Pac-12 vs. Big 12.
The Holiday Bowl has a tradition of explosive offensive performances and this one should be no different. The Sun Devils average 41 points and 460 yards per game while the Red Raiders average 36 points and 513 yards per game.
Both attacks are quarterback driven. Taylor Kelly threw for 3,510 yards and 28 touchdowns for ASU while the combination of Baker Mayfield and Davis Webb threw for 4,630 yards and 28 touchdowns for Tech, the nation’s second-leading passing offense. Mayfield transferred out of the program, so Webb and sophomore Michael Brewer will get the snaps for the Red Raiders.
ASU can also run the ball and should get the versatile Marion Grice back for the bowl. He missed the final two games of the season with an injury, but he still rushed for 996 yards and scored 20 touchdowns. Tech’s defense struggled against the run this year, allowing an average of 194.5 yards per game.
The Red Raiders started the season 7-0 and were ranked as high as 10th, so coming out on top against the Sun Devils would salvage Kliff Kingsbury’s first season in Lubbock. ASU had a chance at the Rose Bowl and will have to avoid a letdown, but getting that 11th win should provide plenty of motivation.
PREDICTION: Arizona State 48, Texas Tech 31