College Football Holiday Bowl Handicapping Picks: Texas Tech Red Raiders vs #14 Arizona State Sun Devils

2013 National University Holiday Bowl
Texas Tech Red Raiders vs #14 Arizona State Sun Devils

Qualcomm Stadium – San Diego, California
Monday, December 30, 2013, 10:15 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Arizona State -11 1/2
Current Line: Arizona State -14 (-115)
Opening Total: 68 1/2
Current Line: 71 1/2
Opening Money Line: ASU -560 / TTU +430
Current Money Line: ASU -570 / TTU +435

Arizona State is a 14 point favorite over Texas tech in the Holiday Bowl Monday in San Diego.

Arizona State is a 14 point favorite over Texas tech in the Holiday Bowl Monday in San Diego.

The 10-3 Arizona State Sun Devils take on the 7-5 Texas Tech Red Raiders in Monday;s Holiday Bowl in San Diego. Arizona State won the only previous match-up between the schools 31-13 in 1999. The two schools will play a home and home in 2016 and 2017 it was announced earlier in the week.

Texas Tech opened the season 7-0 but lost their last 5 games. The Red Raiders closed the season with the five best teams in the Big 12. Texas Tech went 4-5 in the conference and finished in sixth place. The Red Raiders are 13-21-1 all-time in bowl games. Texas Tech has gone to six straight bowl games. The Red Raiders have won five of their last six bowl games, including 3 straight games. Texas Tech beat Minnesota 34-31 in the Texas Bowl last year in Houston. The Red Raiders beat California 45-31 in the 2004 Holiday Bowl in the only appearance in this Bowl for Texas Tech.

Arizona State won the Pac 12 South with an 8-1 record. The Sun Devils lost to Stanford 38-14 in the Pac 12 Championship game, despite hosting the game. ASU Is 13-12-1 all-time in bowl games. The Sun Devils are playing in their third straight bowl game. Arizona State beat Navy 62-28 last year in the Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco. The win snapped a 3 game losing streak in bowl games for the Sun Devils. ASU is 0-3 all-time in the Holiday Bowl, with losses in 1985, 2002 and 2007.

Texas Tech is coached by Kliff Kingsbury, a former quarterback at the school. The Red Raiders have home wins over Stephen F. Austin 61-13, TCU 20-10, Texas State 33-7, and Iowa State 42-35. Texas Tech has road wins at SMU 41-23, at Kansas 54-16 and at West Virginia 37-27. The Red Raiders have road losses at Oklahoma 38-30, in Arlington, Texas against Baylor 63-34 and at Texas 41-16 to close out the regular season, along with home losses to Oklahoma State 52-34 and Kansas State 49-26. The Red Raiders are 5-7 ATS and the total is 9-3 this season. Texas Tech was a 6 point underdog against Texas and the total was 68.

Texas Tech is outscoring teams 36-31 this season. The Red Raiders are #26 nationally in scoring and #91 in points allowed out of 125 FBS teams. On offense, Texas Tech is averaging 512.9 yards per game including 392 passing and 120.9 rushing yards. The Red Raiders are #8 in total offense nationally and #2 in passing, but #109 in rushing. On defense, Texas Tech is allowing 419.2 yards per game including 224.8 passing and 194.5 rushing yards. The Red Raiders are #84 in total defense and #93 against the rush. Texas Tech is -13 in turnovers with 31 giveaways and 18 takeaways. The Red Raiders average 77 penalty yards per game and opponents average 72. Texas Tech is 96/219 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 77/213. The Red Raiders have forced 22 sacks and allowed 33 this season. Texas Tech is 58/66 scoring in the red zone with 37 touchdowns and opponents are 38/45 with 30 touchdowns. The Red Raiders have two defensive touchdowns this season and have allowed a kick return and a punt return for touchdowns.

Texas Tech quarterback Baker Mayfield is a walk-on true freshman. He has been doing great this season, but injured his knee in the Kansas game. The injury kept him out for four games, but he has started the last three games. Davis Webb, another true freshman started in his place (Apparently, in order to be a quarterback for Texas Tech you have to have a name that sounds like a PGA golfer.) Mayfield has completed 64.1% of his passes for 2,315 yards with 12 touchdowns and 9 interceptions, along with 88 carries, 190 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns. Mayfield has announced he will transfer to another school and is listed as questionable for the bowl game for personal reasons. Webb has completed 61.9% of his passes for 2,315 yards with 16 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. Third string quarterback Michael Brewer has thrown for 65 yards and a touchdown.

Running back Kenny Williams has 117 carries for 480 yards and 8 touchdowns, along with 28 catches for 238 yards and a touchdown grab. Williams also has thrown 2 two touchdown passes. DeAndre Washington has 93 carries, 399 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with 33 catches for 254 yards. Sadale Foster has 25 carries for 186 yards with 2 touchdowns, along with 17 catches for 156 yards.

Tight end Jace Amaro has 98 catches, 1,240 yards and 7 touchdowns. Receiver Eric Ward has 80 catches, 904 yards and 8 touchdowns. Jakeem Grant has 59 catches, 707 yards and 5 touchdowns. Bradley Marquez has 46 catches, 566 yards and 5 touchdowns. Reginald Davis has 14 catches, 162 yards and 3 touchdowns. Little used receiver Carlos Thompson is questionable for undisclosed reasons. Three Texas Tech defensive players are listed as questionable or out, as are four offensive linemen.

Ariz0na State is coached by Todd Graham.  The Sun Devils have home wins over Sacramento State 55-0, Wisconsin 32-30, USC 62-41, Colorado 54-13, Washington 53-24,  Oregon State 30-17 and Arizona 58-21, along with road wins at Washington State 55-21, Utah 20-19 and at UCLA 38-33. ASU had won 7 straight games before the loss to Stanford in the Pac 12 championship game. Arizona State has a road loss at Stanford 42-28 and against Notre Dame 37-34 in Arlington Texas. The Sun Devils are 7-6 ATS and the total is 9-4 this season. ASU was a 3 point favorite against Stanford  and the total was 52.5.

Arizona State is outscoring teams 41-26. ASU is #8 in scoring nationally. The Sun Devils are averaging 460.8 yards per game, including 276.8 passing and 184 rushing yards. ASU is #29 nationally in passing and #30  in total offense. On defense, the Sun Devils are allowing 363.8 yards per game, including 221.8 passing yards and 142 rushing yards. The Sun Devils are #31 in total defense and #33 in rush defense.  The Sun Devils are +14 in turnovers with 31 takeaways. ASU is 90/217 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 82/216. ASU averages 29 penalty yards per game and opponents average 56. Arizona State has forced 40 sacks this season but has allowed 38. The Sun Devils are 64/71 scoring in the red zone with 45 touchdowns and opponents are 36/42 with 27 touchdowns. The Sun Devils have allowed two defensive touchdowns this season and have forced five pick sixes .

ASU quarterback Taylor Kelly has completed 62.9% of his passes for 3,510 yards with 28 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions, and also has 148 carries for 473 yards and 8 touchdowns. Back-up Michael Eubank has three rushing touchdowns.

Running back Marion Grice has 191 carries, 996 yards and 14 touchdowns, along with 50 catches, 438 yards and 6 touchdowns. He is doubtful with a knee injury after missing the last two games. D.J. Foster has 73 carries for 369 yards and 5 touchdowns, along with 58 catches, 630 yards and 4 touchdowns. He is questionable with a leg injury. Deantre Lewis has 57 carries, 300 yards and a touchdown, along with 9 catches for 107 yards. R.J. Robinson has 28 carries for 110 rushing yards and a touchdowns.

Receiver Jaelen Strong has 71 catches, 1,094 yards and 7 touchdowns. Chris Coyle has 28 catches, 413 yards and 4 scores. Kevin Ozier has 21 catches for 323 yards and a touchdown. Richard Smith has 29 catches for 250 yards and 2 touchdowns. De’Marieya Nelson has 2 touchdown catches and 2 rushing touchdowns as well. Three defensive players are out for the season.

Texas Tech is 5-2 ATS in non-conference games, 27-11-3 after scoring less than 20 points, 1-5 after rushing for less than 100 yards, 1-6 in bowl games, 2-12 after allowing more than 200 rushing yards, 0-8 after a straight up loss, 0-7 after allowing 40 points or more, 0-5 after a straight up loss of 20 points or more, after passing for 280 yards or more, overall and in neutral site games, 0-4 against teams with winning records, and after failing to cover.

Arizona State is 7-0 ATS after scoring less than 20 points, 4-1 after a straight up loss of 20 points or more, 5-2 on grass, 2-7 in December, 1-4-1 after a double digit home loss, 1-4 in bowl games and in neutral site games.

Arizona State might be a little disappointed to play in San Diego instead of Pasadena, but they are still better than a sliding Texas Tech team. If both Grice and Foster are out, that will hurt the ASU offense, but I think the Sun Devils still have enough with Kelly and Strong to move the ball against a lackluster Red Raider defense. The Sun Devils win big.

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