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2012 college football bowl schedule: Jerry Kill's Gophers set for Texas Tech in Meineke Bowl

The Minnesota Golden Gophers and Texas Tech Red Raiders will take the field for the third and final bowl game scheduled on ESPN this Friday.

Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

With a chance to end a wildly frustrating season on a high note, the Minnesota Golden Gophers will hit the field on Friday evening for a daunting test against the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the 2012 Meineke Car Care Bowl.

The Gophers could only earn two conference victories in eight opportunities during the year, and closed out their campaign with losses in three of their last four games. Despite reaching the six-win plateau to become bowl-eligible, head coach Jerry Kill's team has been plagued by injuries on both sides of the ball for much of the season.

In the finale of Friday's three-game slate, the Gophers and the Red Raiders will hit the field at Reliant Stadium for a 9 p.m. ET kickoff. The two teams will follow Virginia Tech and Rutgers in the Russell Athletic Bowl, and will also join Louisiana-Monroe against Ohio scheduled for earlier in the day to comprise ESPN's triple-header. The Gophers will be making their first postseason appearance dating back to the 2009 Insight Bowl, a trip that eventually resulted in a 14-13 loss to Iowa State.

Friday, Dec. 28
Louisiana-Monroe vs. Ohio - Independence Bowl - 2 p.m. ET - ESPN
Virginia Tech vs. Rutgers - Russell Athletic Bowl - 5:30 p.m. ET - ESPN
Texas Tech vs. Minnesota - Meineke Car Care Bowl - 9 p.m. ET - ESPN

Saturday, Dec. 29
Air Force vs. Rice - Armed Forces Bowl - 11:45 a.m. ET - ESPN
West Virginia vs. Syracuse - Pinstripe Bowl - 3:15 p.m. ET - ESPN
Arizona State vs. Navy - Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl - 4 p.m. ET - ESPN2
Oregon State vs. Texas - Alamo Bowl - 6:45 p.m. ET - ESPN
TCU vs. Michigan State - Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl - 10:15 p.m. ET - ESPN

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