The No. 14 Arizona State Sun Devils and Texas Tech Red Raiders will meet from Qualcomm Stadium on Dec. 30 for the 2013 Holiday Bowl, where both high-powered offenses will look to turn things around to close their seasons.
Todd Graham and the 10-3 Sun Devils were a major disappointment in the Pac-12 title game to end the season, as the Stanford Cardinal won and will play in the Rose Bowl. Arizona State must settle for this bowl, where its all-time record is 0-3.
Things have been much worse for Kliff Kingsbury and the 7-5 Red Raiders, a team that has lost five straight and now has serious question marks at the quarterback position.
A shootout is surely in store between two top-30 offenses, so do not miss out on a bowl infamous for wild endings.
When: Monday, Dec. 30 at 10:15 p.m. ET
Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, Calif.
Live Stream: ESPN3
Betting Lines (via Vegas Insider)
- Over/Under: 71.5
- Spread: Arizona State (-14)
Sun Devils Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Marcus Ball||S||10/27/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||shoulder|
|Chans Cox||LB||10/09/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||shoulder|
|Michael Eubank||QB||12/14/2013||has left the team||Out||personal|
|DJ Foster||RB||12/24/2013||is questionable for the Holiday Bowl Monday against Texas Tech||Questionable||knee|
|Marion Grice||RB||12/27/2013||is doubtful for the Holiday Bowl Monday against Texas Tech||Doubtful||leg|
|Alani Latu||LB||08/29/2013||is expected to miss the entire season||Out||ankle|
|Viliami Moeakiola||S||12/24/2013||is questionable for the Holiday Bowl Monday against Texas Tech||Questionable||knee|
|Nduka (Junior) Onyeali||DE||08/29/2013||is expected to miss the entire season||Out||shoulder|
|Demarious Randell||S||08/18/2013||is out indefinitely||Out||groin|
Red Raiders Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Beau Carpenter||G||12/24/2013||is questionable for the Holiday Bowl Monday against Arizona State||Questionable||undisclosed|
|J.J. Gaines||S||10/30/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||shoulder|
|Baker Mayfield||QB||12/12/2013||has decided to transfer||Out||personal|
|Tony Morales||C||12/24/2013||is questionable for the Holiday Bowl Monday against Arizona State||Questionable||shoulder|
|Carlos Thompson||WR||12/24/2013||is questionable for the Holiday Bowl Monday against Arizona State||Questionable||undisclosed|
Can Red Raiders Right Sinking Ship?
A string of five losses is far from the biggest concern for Texas Tech entering the late-December showdown with Arizona State.
Quarterback Baker Mayfield, owner of 2,315 passing yards, 12 touchdowns and the title Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year after winning the job as a walk on, informed the team earlier in the month that he intends to transfer to Oklahoma, per College GameDay on Twitter:
Former Texas Tech QB Baker Mayfield will enroll at Oklahoma --> http://t.co/2Mm9OYGBDb— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) December 20, 2013
This means Kingsbury is forced to choose between Davis Webb and Michael Brewer. As Don Williams of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal illustrates, that is a tough thing to do at the end of a season:
Kliff Kingsbury said 2-man QB competition between Brewer/Webb "may have been a blessing in disguise." Missing Baker Mayfield much?— Don Williams (@AJ_DonWilliams) December 26, 2013
Webb appeared in nine games this season and threw for 2,315 yards and 16 scores, while Brewer attempted just 10 passes.
No matter who is under center, the Red Raiders offense must play at a high level to both mask a miserable defense and overcome a Sun Devils offense that ranks in the top 10 with an average of 41 points scored per game.
Which team wins?
Arizona State's dynamic duo of quarterback Taylor Kelly (3,510 yards and 28 touchdowns) and receiver Jaelen Strong (71 catches, 1,094 yards and seven scores) will find it rather simple to torch the Texas Tech defense that ranks No. 90 with an average of 31.2 points allowed.
Other than that, Arizona State needs to simply keep playing its game for the school to win for the first time in the bowl. Brad Denny of 3TV reports another alarming stat in the Sun Devils' favor:
Discipline will be a key in the Holiday Bowl. #ASU is nation's 4th least penalized team...Texas Tech is the most penalized squad— Brad Denny (@BDenny29) December 9, 2013
Arizona State is simply the better team, has no distractions to worry about and has plenty to prove.
Final Score: Sun Devils 38, Red Raiders 28