Rankings: Syracuse (UNR), Minnesota (UNR)
Day & Time: Friday, December 27, 6:00 p.m. EST
Field: Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX
Line: Minnesota -4.5
Announcers: Mark Jones & Brock Huard
Radio: Syracuse IMG Network
Minnesota News: The Daily Gopher
Rivalry: 3-1, Minny
Streak: 3, Minny
First Meeting: The first meeting in 1995 was Syracuse's only win in the series. The Orange defeated the Gophers, 27-17, behind a superb performance by Marvin Harrison. Harrison scored two touchdowns, the first on a 94-yard punt return, and the second on a 30-yard pass from Donovan McNabb.
Last Meeting: The 17-10 loss to Minnesota early on last season doubly-sucked because the Orange beat themselves (and eventually became a better team that would have won this game) and we had to suffer through Big Ten Network announcers making up player names and mispronouncing ones that actually exist the entire time.
School Connections: On the coaching side, Tim Daoust and Minnesota assistant head coach Bill Miller coached together at Western Michigan in 2007 while George McDonald was the receivers coach at Minnesota in 2007 and 2008 under former Gopher head coach Tim Brewster. On the player side, Keon Lyn and Minnesota DB Steven Montgomery were teammates at Florida’s Miramar High School while Brisly Estime and Minnesota RB Donnell Kirkwood and LB Jephete Matilus are all from Delray Beach, FL. and played together at Atlantic High School.
Head Coaches: SU: Scott Shafer (1st Year, 6-6), Minny: Jerry Kill (3rd Year, 17-20)
Coaching Bio: Kill spent a lot of time as the head coach at Southern Illinois before a quick stop at Northern Illinois and eventually taking over the Minnesota program in 2011. He's quickly rebuilt them from the basement to a pretty good Big Ten squad. You've probably heard a lot about his health issues, which have caused him to leave and miss various games during his tenure.
Last Year: The Gophs finished the season 6–6 and received an invite to the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas (now the Texas Bowl) where they were defeated by Texas Tech.
"Fear Me, I've Killed Hundreds Of Timelords": RB David Cobb is sixth in the Big Ten in rushing (1,111 yards). Cobb has seven touchdowns and he is one of three Gophers with at least six rushing scores.
Last Game: Minnesota wrapped up its season with a 14-3 loss to eventual Big Ten champs Michigan State. They lost their last two games of the season, though both were against ranked squads (Wisconsin being the other).
Fun Fact: A win here would make Syracuse 2-1 all-time in bowls that take place in Texas and give them a three-bowl winning streak overall. That'd be nice.