That’s right, SU actually faced off against Minnesota in the 2013 Texas Bowl and scraped out a 21-17 win at the Houston Texans’ Reliant Stadium (now NRG Stadium). Before the two squads clash again in the Bronx, let’s relive their previous bout in the Lone Star State:
During their first season in the ACC, the Orange went 6-6 and secured a bowl berth with Week 13 victory over Boston College. Minnesota meanwhile went 8-4 but came into bowl season on a two-game skid.
‘Cuse RB Jerome Smith got on the board first with a 1-yard rushing TD, his 12th of the season on the ground and 13th overall. The Gophers would only manage a field goal as retaliation before the half, giving SU a 7-3 lead with 30 minutes to play.
The star of the day was QB Terrel Hunt, who dashed his way into the endzone for the other two Orange touchdowns. First was a 5-yard dash up the middle and right through Minnesota defender. Then after the Golden Gophers had taken the lead late in the fourth, Hunt scrambled out of a blitz and once again ran over the goal-line, giving SU the lead for good.
Hunt was named the game’s MVP, throwing 19/29 for 188 yards and rushing for 74 more.
However, that final drive was set up by a fantastic 70-yard punt return by freshman Brisly Estime. The Orange then only needed to move the ball 14 yards to score, and their defense held off a last-minute counter for a third bowl win in four seasons.
Will history repeat itself against Minnesota?
P.S. 2013 was the other time that SU shut out Wagner, so surely that guarantees another Bowl victory here ;)