This game goes down on the ESPNU network and it features the Northwestern University Wildcats taking on Texas Tech University Red Raiders in the first ever TicketCity Bowl, which is taking place in the Cotton Bowl Stadium at Fair Park in Dallas, Texas.
Northwestern, 7-5, 3-5 Big Ten, Head coach Pat Fitzgerald had his Wildcats storming out of the gates this season, winning their first five games but stumbled down the stretch losing five of their last seven games.
The Wildcats were nothing special offensively and especially not now that starting quarterback Dan Persa is out, who was completing 73.5 percent of his passes. Evan Watkins will take over for Persa in this game. That leaves Northwestern with only one real impact player going into the TicketCity Bowl and that is wideout Jeremy Ebert, who led the team in three categories: receptions with 59, 919 yards and 8 touchdowns.
Texas Tech, 7-5, 3-5 Big 12, the Red Raiders came into this season with a new head in Tommy Tuberville and new offensive philosophy quite different from that of its former head coach Mike Leach and his high powered passing attack. Tuberville’s team finished the year with three wins in its last four matchups to end the year.
Quarterback Taylor Potts will look to abuse the Wildcats through the air, as he leads the Red Raiders offense that is producing 32 ppg. Potts completed over 65 percent of his throws this season, and finished the regular season with 3,357 yards and 31 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. Potts favorite targets are Detron Lewis and Lyle Leong with Lewis grabbing a team best 79 receptions for 803 yards and 6 touchdowns while Leong collected 64 catches for 808 yards and a crazy 17 touchdowns.
Usually overlooked at Texas Tech is the ground game however these Red Raiders have found success on the ground this season with running back Baron Batch who has 805 yards and 5 touchdowns. Backup Eric Stephens also helped in the backfield scoring 5 touchdowns to go along with 542 rushing yards.
The defense was hit with the unexpected announcement that defensive coordinator James Willis has left the program.
PICK: Texas Tech University Red Raiders