Strength Vs. Strength In Meineke Car Care Bowl

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Go Gophers! Michael Carter
Go Gophers!
Michael Carter has two interceptions and 14 pass breakups this year.
Go Gophers!
The Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas should feature strength versus strength, when the Minnesota pass defense does battle against the potent air attack of Texas Tech.

Minnesota has allowed only one 300-yard passer this year (Nebraska's Taylor Martinez passed for 308 yards on Nov. 17) and ranks 11th in the nation in pass defense (178.50 yards per game). The Gophers are 20th nationally in pass efficiency defense at 111.95 and 29th in total defense, allowing 352.75 yards per game.

The Red Raiders rank second in the nation in passing (361.92 yards-per-game), 12th in total offense (501.42 yards-per-game) and 16th in scoring (37.73 points-per-game). Their offense is led by senior quarterback Seth Doege, who ranks fourth in the nation in passing (3,934 yards) and second in touchdowns (38). Doege has passed for more than 300 yards in nine games this year. Darrin Moore and Eric Ward provide Doege with sure-handed targets. Moore has caught 81 passes for 948 yards and 13 touchdowns, while Ward has 75 catches for 974 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Senior cornerbacks Michael Carter and Troy Stoudermire are sure to see a lot of Moore and Ward in Houston. Carter has 14 pass breakups, which places him tied for fourth all-time in one season in program history with Traye Simmons (2008). He is four breakups shy of school single-season record-holder Willie Middlebrooks, who had 18 in 1999.

Carter should get plenty of opportunities to increase his season total in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, as Texas Tech passes the ball an average of 45 times a game (they have completed more passes than their opponents have attempted this year).

Earlier this season, Carter tied a Minnesota single-game record (Michael Lehan vs. Michigan State on Oct. 19, 2001) when he had six pass breakups against Purdue. Carter also has two interceptions this year, which includes an interception return for a touchdown against the Boilermakers.

Stoudermire has broken up three passes this year, has 3.5 tackles-for-loss and leads the team in tackles (78) and solo tackles (56).

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