MSU comes in to the game with a 6-6 record, while TTU sports an 8-4 record. The two teams have never met before, and both have never won an Alamo Bowl. State has been to San Antonio once, losing to Nebraska 17-3 in 2003. Tech has been in the Alamo Bowl twice before, losing to Iowa 27-0 and 19-16, respectively.
Texas Tech runs a pass first offense, with quarterback Taylor Potts having tossed for 3,068 yards and 20 touchdowns so far on the year. Potts missed a few games earlier in the season due to injury. State’s Kirk Cousins was second in the Big Ten Conference in passing efficiency, putting up a 145.20 QB rating for the season.
MSU will be without two of Cousins favorite targets in the game, B.J. Cunningham and Mark Dell. The two were part of eight players suspended for their roles in a fight in a dorm on Nov. 22. Two other players were dismissed from the team.
MSU should be more battle tested coming in to the game. According to Phil Steele’s college football strength of schedule rankings, MSU played the tenth toughest schedule in the nation. Steele does not use a formula to calculate his rankings as guru’s such as Jeff Sagarin do, but he is the author of a well-known college football preview magazine.