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Our 8-4 Gophers travel to NYC to face the 7-5 Syracuse Orange in the Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl!

Even though the Gophers season was somewhat disappointing, there is no denying that PJ Fleck has absolutely raised the floor of the program. If the Gophers can win this bowl game, it will mark the 3rd straight season of 9+ wins. This is a very good Gophers team that got matched up with a team that they should beat, partially because the Gophers lost a couple games they should have won. Minnesota also seems to have found their QB of the future in Athan Kaliakmanis. We finally have a true passing QB who also has the ability to scramble. Pairing that alongside the strong running game that the Gophers always have... and that is the combo us fans have been waiting for!

Syracuse has had a season of 2 very different halves. They started out 6-0, only to drop the next 5 games. In their final game, they were able to pull out the 32-23 victory over Boston College...thanks to a 26 point 4th quarter! Syracuse has a ton of injuries and a number of players deciding to opt out and transfer. They also have many of their coaches leaving for other jobs. This is going to be a tough matchup for an inexperienced roster and coaching staff going against a solid Gophers team.

I don't predict this game to be particularly close. Both offenses averaged 28.3 ppg, while Syracuse's defense gave up 22.7 ppg (32/game in their last 6 games) and Minnesota's defense held their opponents to 13.3 ppg. Minnesota definitely has the better overall team. RB Mo Ibrahim is arguably the best running back in the nation and with Athan's ability to pass, this is going to be a tall task for Syracuse to defend. The Gophers defense is also a top 5 defense in the nation, one that Syracuse has not yet faced this season. I predict a 31-13 victory for the Gophers to add the Pinstripe Bowl to the trophy case! Let's go, baby!!!

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