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2012 Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl: Minnesota vs. Texas Tech game preview, location, history and more

The Golden Gophers head to Houston looking for their first bowl victory since knocking off Alabama in the 2004 Music City Bowl.

Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

The Minnesota Golden Gophers will be going for their first bowl victory in eight years when they face the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl on Friday. Minnesota has lost four straight bowl appearances since beating the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2004 Music City Bowl.

These Golden Gophers probably aren't in the best position to end that history of losing, though, having lost six of their past eight games.

After starting the season 4-0, Minnesota stumbled during its conference schedule to just narrowly secure bowl eligibility. The Gophers do still feature some quality players as outlined in this piece from The Daily Gopher.

Texas Tech has suffered from similar struggles of late, losing four of its past five, which leaves some optimism that the Golden Gophers can pull off the victory. Since beating then-No. 5 West Virginia and then-No. 23 TCU in consecutive weeks in October, Texas Tech's only win is an overtime victory over lowly Kansas last month.

For those wondering how the Red Raiders might try to approach this game, the folks over at Viva The Matadors detailed a possible "plan of attack" for Texas Tech recently.

Game date and time

Dec. 28, 9 p.m. ET

Location

Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas

Spread

The Red Raiders are currently favored by 12.5 points over the Golden Gophers.

TV schedule

ESPN

Watch online

WatchESPN

Radio schedule

ESPN Radio

Last year’s game

On Dec. 31, 2011, the Texas A&M Aggies defeated the Northwestern Wildcats, 33-22.

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Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.