The Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Arizona State Sun Devils will do battle at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego in the 2013 Holiday Bowl. The game will be televised on ESPN and has a start time of 10:15 pm (Eastern). Current odds have Arizona State listed as 14 point favorites, while the total sits at 71.5.
Analysis: Arizona State saw its regular season end in sour fashion with a loss in the Pac-12 title game, but a win here will still give them their first 11-win campaign since 1996. Arizona State has the 29th ranked offense in the nation averaging 460.8 yards per game, while scoring 41 ppg. The Sun Devils are led by a passing attack that has averaged 276.8 ypg this year. Taylor Kelly led the attack, throwing for 3510 yards, with 28 TDs and just 11 INTs. Jalen Strong was Kelly's main target, with 1,094 yards receiving and 7 TDs on 71 catches, this year, while posting and average of 15.4 yards per reception. Arizona State runs the ball at a clip of 184 rushing ypg, good for 47th in the country and are led by Marion Grice, who has run for 996 yards and 14 TD's this year. The Defense has been solid this year, with 21 INTs and 40 sacks, while allowing just 25.8 ppg.
The Red Raiders started off hot by winning their first seven games, but finished the season 7-5 and will be looking to stop their five-game skid in this one. The Red Raiders lost QB Baker Mayfield (12 TD passes) in the second week of December after he decided to transfer. Davis Webb (2,315, 16 TDs) will likely be the starter, but Michael Brewer could also see time in the game. Whoever QB's the team will have two superb targets to throw to in tight end Jace Amaro, who led the Big 12 with 98 receptions for 1,240 yards, and Eric Ward, who racked up 80 catches for 904 yards and a team-best 8 TDs. Texas Tech does struggle to run the ball, ranking 107th in the FBS with 121.3 ypg. Defense is not a strong suit for the Red Raiders. They are ranked 89th in scoring defense, allowing 31.2 points per game.
Pick: I see points a plenty in this one. The ASU offense is highly explosive, as they average 41 ppg, behind a pretty balanced offense that averages 184 ypg on the ground and and 277 ypg through the air. Tough offense to stop and they will be facing a TT defense that has allowed 31.2 ppg on the year, but an even worse 48.6 ppg during their 5 game losing streak. Offensively, the Red Raiders are 9 in the nation overall and 2nd in passing, while scoring 35.7 ppg and even though Mayfield is not here, they still have Davis Webb, who threw for the same amount of yards as Mayfield did (2315) and he had 4 more TD passes (16) than Mayfield did. Davis is more than capable of putting up big numbers in this one, even though ASU is 49th in the nation vs the pass, allowing just 221.4 ypg. ASU should be good for about 45 in this one, while TT should put up 30+ of their own. Sit back and enjoy the fireworks here.
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