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Holiday Bowl 2013: TV Info, Spread, Injury Updates, Game Time and More

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.

Television: ESPN

Live Stream: ESPN3

Betting Lines (via Vegas Insider)

  • Over/Under: 71.5
  • Spread: Arizona State (-14)

 

Sun Devils Injury Report (via USA Today)

Red Raiders Injury Report (via USA Today)

 

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:

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:

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.

 

Prediction

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:

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

 

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Alamo Bowl 2013: TV Info, Spread, Injury Updates, Game Time and More

The 2013 Valero Alamo Bowl between the No. 10 Oregon Ducks and Texas Longhorns is littered with intriguing storylines—both on the field and off thanks to notable names both staying and going after the showdown from the Alamodome.

The 8-4 Longhorns lost two of three in ugly fashion to close the year and miss out on a Big 12 title. For additional salt in the wound, the Longhorns are serious underdogs here in what will be coach Mack Brown and quarterback Case McCoy's final game with the school.

Things are much more positive for the 10-2 Ducks, as the team will see quarterback Marcus Mariota return next season. While great news, it is but a Band-Aid to disguise the fact Oregon went .500 in its final four to close the season and miss out on the Pac-12 title.

So will it be Texas closing one era on a positive note and beginning another with a bang, or will Oregon prematurely start what is sure to be another national-championship hunt next season?

 

When: Monday, Dec. 30 at 6:45 p.m. ET

Where: Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas

Television: ESPN

Live Stream: ESPN3

Betting Lines (via Vegas Insider)

  • Over/Under: 67
  • Spread: Oregon (-14)

 

Ducks Injury Report (via USA Today)

Longhorns Injury Report (via USA Today)

 

Can Texas Overcome Distractions as Two Mainstays Partake in Final Game? 

By now, collegiate fans know Mack Brown is on his way out after 16 years in Austin highlighted by 158 victories and a national championship after an undefeated season in 2005.

Brown told the media, via ABC News, that the Alamo Bowl would be his last game with the school in the hopes the program can turn things around:

It's been a wonderful ride. Now, the program is again being pulled in different directions, and I think the time is right for a change. I love the University of Texas, all of its supporters, the great fans and everyone that played and coached here ... It is the best coaching job and the premier football program in America.

I sincerely want to get back to the top and that's why I'm stepping down after the bowl game. I hope with some new energy, we can get this thing rolling again.

Brown is far from the only loss with McCoy on his way out, too. The senior threw for 1,885 yards with 11 touchdowns and interceptions. He will now be asked to duel Oregon's Mariota, who at one point was a top Heisman contender and leads the nation's No. 3 overall offense that averages 46.8 points per game.

The Longhorns have a tall task indeed, especially thanks to a wealth of distractions, a disappointing year and an unusually long layoff between games.

 

Prediction

The narrative that Texas will come out emotionally charged to fight for its departing coach is nullified with the news that the Ducks will be losing defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti as well, per CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman:

As Andrew Greif of The Oregonian illustrates, both teams are on equal footing as a result:

Aliotti, who has spent 21 seasons with the Ducks in three different stints, has his defense playing at a high level. That is arguably the main reason Texas does not stand a chance Monday. The unit ranks No. 25 with an average of 21.6 points surrendered per game.

ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit puts it best:

Mariota (3,412 yards and 30 touchdowns) and the Ducks offense will have no problem scoring on a Longhorns defense that ranks outside of the top 50. McCoy and the Longhorns have scored more than 40 points just three times in 2013.

A fourth journey over the threshold is simply not in the cards.

 

Final Score: Ducks 48, Longhorns 28

 

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