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Texas Tech to play Arizona State in Holiday Bowl

Red Raiders get loser of Pac-12 title game

Posted: December 8, 2013 - 6:52pm
Texas Tech will face Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl on Dec 30th in San Diego.  Stephen Spillman / AJ Media & AP Photo
Stephen Spillman / AJ Media & AP Photo
Texas Tech will face Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl on Dec 30th in San Diego.
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For a team that finished the regular season on a five-game losing streak, Texas Tech couldn’t have asked for much better than what comes next.

The Red Raiders get to spend Christmas and the days after in sunny San Diego. And the opportunity, at least, is there for them to end the season by upsetting a top-20 football team.

On Sunday, Tech accepted an invitation to play Pac-12 Conference South Division champion Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl.

“Going to a great city like San Diego is going to be fun for our entire team,” Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “I know the guys are all pumped up about it and have a great opponent to play, so it’s an exciting way to end the year.”

The game is scheduled for 9:15 p.m. CST on Dec. 30 at Qualcomm Stadium. It will be the last of four consecutive games televised that day by ESPN.

Tech is 7-5 and finished sixth in the Big 12 Conference with a 4-5 record.

Arizona State is 10-3 after a 38-14 loss to Stanford in Saturday’s Pac-12 championship game. The Sun Devils won the Pac-12 South by two games, going 8-1 in conference play. They were ranked No. 16 in The Associated Press Top 25 released Sunday and No. 17 in the USA Today coaches poll.

ASU’s Todd Graham, a former Texas high school coach at Mesquite Poteet and Allen, was named the Pac-12 coach of the year.

“They’re a great team,” Kingsbury said. “I’ve known coach Graham since I was at Houston and he was at Tulsa. I’ve always been really impressed by his teams. Everywhere he’s been, he’s won. He’s a great defensive mind, and now they’re playing great offense over there with a bunch of really good skill players, so it’ll be a huge challenge for us.”

The two teams last met in a 1999 season opener at ASU, the Sun Devils winning 31-13. That was the first college game for Kingsbury, then a redshirt freshman quarterback who played backup minutes.

Before the loss Saturday, Arizona State was on a seven-game winning streak in which it had held six opponents to fewer than 25 points. Senior defensive tackle Will Sutton, a consensus all-American in 2012, was named the Pac-12 defensive player of the year for the second year in a row.

Sun Devils quarterback Taylor Kelly, a junior, has thrown for 3,510 yards and 28 touchdowns, with sophomore Jaelen Strong having caught 71 passes for 1,094 yarsd and seven TDs.

The Sun Devils also have gotten big contributions from two players who played Texas high school football. Senior running back Marion Grice from Aldine Nimitz has rushed for 996 yards and 14 touchdowns and caught 50 passes for 438 yards and six TDs. Freshman kicker Zane Gonzalez from Deer Park has converted 22 of 26 field goals — identical numbers to those of Tech kicker Ryan Bustin. 

Grice missed the Pac-12 title game with a lower-leg injury.

Kingsbury said he was involved in recruiting Grice when Kingsbury was on the University of Houston staff and Grice was at Blinn College in Brenham.

“We were really serious on him,” Kingsbury said. “He’s a tremendous player. That’s what we loved about him was what he could do receiving and running the football. He’s had a great career out there.”

The two teams are asked to arrive on Christmas day, according to Mark Neville, the Holiday Bowl associate executive director. The combined payout for the two sides is $4.65 million, Neville said, to be divided equally.

Tech’s share goes into the Big 12 bowl-revenue pool.

Tech has received an allotment of 11,000 tickets, which it immediately put on sale through its athletic ticket office and www.texastech.com. Prices range from $40 to $90.

Before the weekend, Tech and Minnesota seemed to be headed toward a Texas Bowl rematch in Houston. The Texas Bowl did, in fact, wind up with Minnesota for the second year in a row but was left without an eligible team from the Big 12 when the league had two teams invited to BCS games.

The Texas Bowl subbed Syracuse for the Big 12 spot.

The Red Raiders are hoping the trip to the West Coast will add some enthusiasm considering they haven’t won since Oct. 19.

“I feel like that’s going to give a lot of guys a lot of energy,” linebacker Will Smith said. “At first, we were a little disappointed finding out we might have to go back to the Texas Bowl. Not that the Texas Bowl’s bad. It’s just, you want to experience something new.

“For that to be San Diego — a lot of guys haven’t been to California or a nice city like San Diego — so it’s a great deal to go out there.”

 

don.williams@lubbockonline.com 

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4
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Guns up

Raiders

0
4

Blood Bath

I predict that the big 12 will be 1-5 on Bowl Games this season. It will be an absolute blood bath that will make the Big 12 look like Conference USA .

3
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Can history repeat

The last time we went to the Holiday Bowl we bet #2 Cal. Can lighting strike twice?

2
2

history repeats

CAL was deflated after not making the Rose Bowl. An uninspired CAL and a great TTU effort resulted in a TTU win. I don't expect a repeat. ASU best WIS, USC, UCLA ... ORST, WSU, UDub ... most/all of which are better than our best win (very fortunate win v. TCU).

I'll attend the H Bowl, just as I did the UT debacle on Thxgiving. Sure want TTU to win, but if betting, don't think TTU will will and, in fact, think TTU will suffer its 6th straight loss, and the 5th straight by ~20 points or so. Haven't seen the line yet, but I'm guessing it is >= 10.

3
1

I have been a Raider fan

for over 50 years....

wreck-em

BTW......the AJ .................SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

0
0

Betting lines

ASU is favored by 13...as is Oregon over Texas....while Alabama is 14.5 over OU

0
0

debbie downers...

debbie downers...

0
1

This is Great Thing

This is a first class bowl and a great thing for the players and fans. Would take this bowl every year if not BCS. (Ain't been there yet)

Last time we did San Diego I watched the game from a sports book and cleaned the joint out. Was just about the only Techster there.

Go Tech!

0
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I guess a first year coach

I guess a first year coach gets no slack? He did what he needed to do this year with a padded schedule. We get to a good bowl by the grace of OU, and the ungrateful Tech fans on here love to spread their hate.

1
1

@TTU05

How can u not be down after 5 consecutive losses by a total of 103 points, the last 4 of which were by at least 18 points?

Debbie Downer? More like Realistic Ralph.

1
1

@RRFL

If TTU fans are ungrateful now, w/ 4 straight losing conf records, what term would u use to describe TTU fans who were happy to see Leach go after 5 Top 25 teams in 6 years?

0
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More like Delusional Dan!

This is the problem with this fan base. That stuff is in the past. The season and term starts over when a new coach comes in. You must be extremely delusional to think that Kliff (first year head coach) is going to come in and win 8+ without any hiccups. You can be frustrated all you want, but it took Leach a long time (3 years to win a bowl game). It takes time. Tech is trying to be more than one dimensional, with our past of throwing the football that is going to take a while. I don't mind it taking a year or two to be strong on both sides of the ball. I didn't mind to see Leach go. Btw Leach had 5 years of either 3-5 or 4-4 in conference, so what is such a big deal with a first year coach to go 4-5? This is a completely different Big 12, during most of his term OSU, Baylor, and KSU sucked, now they have all ran the table for three years now. Add that in the mix of OU and UT still being dangerous with their talent.

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