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Game Day: Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas

The Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas will grace Houston's Reliant Stadium tonight as the Minnesota Golden Gophers battle the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Minnesota and Texas Tech will meet for only the second time in the history of the schools tonight as they contest the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas.

Kickoff is scheduled for 9:00 PM ET from Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.

The two sides met in the 2006 edition of the Insight Bowl, a game that saw the Red Raiders defeat the Golden Gophers 44-41 following a comeback from 31 points down.

Guided by interim head coach Chris Thomsen, Texas Tech (7-5, 4-5 Big 12) will hope history repeats itself as the Raiders look to put a positive finish on a season that started with so much promise before whiling away to not quite nothing.

Four losses in the last five games put a damper on what had been a 6-1 record, leaving the Raiders in the bottom half of the Big 12. Head coach Tommy Tubverville skipped out on the team following the season, heading to Cincinnati. His replacement, former Red Raiders quarterback and Johnny Manziel tutor, Kliff Kingsbury, waits in the wings.

Minnesota (6-6, 2-6 Big Ten) enters the game having lost four straight bowl games, the last being the 2009 edition of the Insight Bowl. A win in Houston will make up for a poor second half of the season.

The Golden Gophers compiled a 4-0 record against non-conference opposition before struggling within the Big Ten. The side won just twice in its last eight, just enough to make it to bowl season.

Minnesota – 5-9 all-time in bowl games – has lost in all three bowl meetings against Big 12 opposition, as well as against another three sides that have since joined the conference. The side will be up against the wall in Texas tonight.

The Red Raiders provided offense by the ton this season. The side, behind quarterback Seth Doege, averaged 361.9 passing yards per game. Only Marshall (365.1 YPG) averaged more. The team scored 37.8 points per game, 16th in the nation.

Minnesota meanwhile could be found at the other end of the offensive spectrum. The side scored just 21.3 points per game (101st), averaging 171.4 yards through the air (109th) and 146.1 on the ground (80th).

Texas Tech’s gung ho offensive approach saw the side give up big numbers on the score board (31.8 points per game, 93rd in the country), but the side was fairly effective against the pass (195.8 yards per game, 23rd in the country). Minnesota limited teams to just 178.5 passing yards per game (11th) and 23.9 points per game (39th). It will take solid defensive numbers like these to stop the Red Raiders.

Minnesota will be hoping to join the ranks of SMU, Central Michigan, and Baylor, all of who have scored an upset victory this College Bowl Season.

Texas Tech opened as favorites with the spread at 12.5. That number has subsequently risen to 13.5. The Red Raiders posted an even record against the spread this season (6-6-0 ATS) whilst Minnesota went 5-7-0 ATS. Texas Tech is 0-5-0 ATS over the past five games however.

The over/under opened at 57 but has since dropped to 55. Seven Red Raiders games saw the total go over this season, including five of the last six. Minnesota was more prevalent to seeing the total go under this season.

The average score in the Meineke Car Care Bowl – or the Texas Bowl as it was originally known – is 34-14, a fair way under this year’s total. The two schools combined this season for an average of 59.1 points per game, thanks mainly to Texas Tech’s offense.

For further in depth analysis of the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, check BettingSports.com for a first look and a by the numbers interpretation of the game.

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