Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas: Minnesota Vs. Texas Tech
Five Things You Need To Know
1. Minnesota will face Texas Tech in the 2012 Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas. The Gophers, who finished the season 6-6 overall, are playing in their first bowl game since the 2009 Insight Bowl in Tempe, Ariz. Minnesota and Texas Tech have met once before, as the two teams faced one another in the 2006 Insight Bowl. Texas Tech, which finished this season with a 7-5 record, won that bowl meeting 44-41 in overtime. Amir Pinnx ran for 179 yards and one touchdown and Bryan Cupito passed for 263 yards and three touchdowns in the loss.
2. Minnesota won six games this year, which made it bowl eligible for the first time since 2009. Minnesota won six games combined in 2010 and 2011. When Minnesota faces Texas Tech in the 2012 Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas it will mark the 15th bowl game that the Gophers will compete in. The Gophers are 5-9 all-time in bowl games, with their most recent being a 14-13 loss to Iowa State on Dec. 31 in the 2009 Insight Bowl. Minnesota's last bowl win was a 20-16 victory against Alabama on Dec. 31 in the 2004 Music City Bowl. Minnesota's four other bowl wins came against Oregon (31-30 in 2003 Sun Bowl), Arkansas (29-14 in 2002 Music City Bowl), Clemson (20-3 in 1985 Independence Bowl) and UCLA (21-3 in 1962 Rose Bowl).
3. The Gophers have 13 players (11% of the roster) from Texas, which is tied with the state of Wisconsin for the second most on the team after Minnesota. Michael Amaefula (Arlington), David Cobb (Killeen), Keanon Cooper (Dallas), Scott Ekpe (Lewisville), Dexter Foreman (Manvel), Logan Hutton (La Marque), Ben Perry (Southlake), Lincoln Plsek (Waco), Spencer Reeves (Dallas), Martez Shabazz (DeSotto), Troy Stoudermire (Dallas), Rodrick Williams (Lewisville) and Cameron Wilson (Rockwall) all hail from Texas.
4. Only seven Gophers (Brandon Green, Michael Carter, Keanon Cooper, MarQueis Gray, Ryan Grant, Troy Stoudermire and D.L. Wilhite) on the 2012 team have played in a bowl game. All seven saw action against Iowa State in 2009. Gray was the most active, as he rushed three times for 34 yards, tossed one pass for 11 yards and caught two passes from Adam Weber for 37 yards. Stoudermire, who is now a cornerback, played receiver in 2009 and caught three passes for 33 yards. Wilhite recorded one tackle.
5. Minnesota won three games in 2011. This year, the Gophers won six. History told us this would happen, as all of the previous teams that Jerry Kill has coached improved their record from his first to second year at the school. While at Saginaw Valley St., Kill's squad went 6-4 in his first year before going 7-3. Emporia State was 5-6 during Kill's first year, but improved to 6-5 the next year. Kill took a 1-10 Southern Illinois in his first year and then produced a 4-8 team. Most recently at Northern Illinois, Kill's team was 6-7 in his first season, but improved to 7-6.
Minnesota's complete notes for the 2012 Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas can be found here.