Meineke Car Care Bowl 2012: Texas Tech Will Beat Down Minnesota

Alex HallCorrespondent IIIDecember 28, 2012

STILLWATER, OK - NOVEMBER 17: Quarterback Seth Doege #7 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders looks to throw against the Oklahoma State Cowboys November 17, 2012 at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Oklahoma State defeated Texas Tech 59-21. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
Brett Deering/Getty Images

Texas Tech and Minnesota will meet in this year's Meineke Car Care Bowl, in a game that is sure to end with the Red Raiders walking off the field victorious.

The Golden Gophers may have made noise in the Big 10 this season, but that fact is a bit deceiving when you look at the schedule. Minnesota played just one nationally ranked opponent all season in Nebraska who beat the Golden Gophers 38-14.

Texas Tech might not be nationally ranked itself but the Red Raiders did embarrass West Virginia 49-14 when the latter was ranked No. 5 in the country. Minnesota's bowl opponent also knocked off TCU in a triple overtime game earlier this season.

What makes this such a difficult matchup for the Golden Gophers is the lack of a difficult schedule paired with a deadly Red Raiders attack.

Minnesota ranks a decent 38th in points against but likely won't be able to state that as fact after Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege goes to work on the defense.

Doege's passing attack ranks second in the nation in passing yards per game with an average of almost 362. Seven times this season the Red Raiders have posted a point total somewhere in the 40 or 50 range against different opponents.

That astounding stat has been made possible largely due to Doege and wide receiver Eric Ward, posting a Tom Brady and Randy Moss-type season this year.

Ward has recorded almost 1,000 yards receiving paired with 11 touchdowns on 75 receptions from his quarterback. Doege has put together a season consisting of 38 touchdowns and nearly 4,000 yards passing; that's good for fourth and second in the nation in respective categories.

The only two times where the Golden Gophers were able to put together an offensive performance similar to the Red Raiders' was against Purdue and New Hampshire. Minnesota scored 44 points in both those victories, but other than that, have been involved in tightly-contested ball games.

It took them three overtime quarters to put away UNLV and defeated Western Michigan by just five points. Texas Tech is the more battle-tested team and has the more explosive offense no matter what statistics you look at.

The Red Raiders should have no problem taking home the Meineke Car Care Bowl title this year.