Arizona State Sun Devils vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders (+14, 71.5)
Game to be played at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California
NATIONAL UNIVERSITY HOLIDAY BOWL STORYLINES
1. The Rose Bowl was the preferred destination but No. 17 Arizona State plans to take the National University Holiday Bowl seriously as it looks for the school’s first 11-win campaign since 1996. The Sun Devils had a seven-game winning streak snapped with a loss to Stanford in the Pac-12 title game but are rising under second-year coach Todd Graham. Texas Tech collapsed after a 7-0 start and is saddled with a five-game losing streak.
2. Red Raiders quarterback Baker Mayfield (12 touchdown passes) decided to transfer in the second week of December so it appears Davis Webb will be the starter against the Sun Devils. Webb (16 TD passes) started five games this season and ended up with the same number of yards (2,315) and interceptions (nine) as Mayfield. Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said Michael Brewer (10 pass attempts) will compete with Webb for the starting role.
3. The status of Arizona State running back Marion Grice (lower-leg injury) remains uncertain after he missed the past two games. The multipurpose threat has rushed for 996 yards and 14 touchdowns and found the end zone six more times as a receiver.
TV: 10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN.
LINE: The Sun Devils opened as 13.5-point faves and are now -14. The total is up two points from the opening number of 69.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-50s with wind blowing across the field at 4 mph.
ABOUT TEXAS TECH (7-5, 4-5 Big 12): No matter who ends up playing quarterback, he has two superb targets to throw to in tight end Jace Amaro and receiver Eric Ward. Amaro led the Big 12 with 98 receptions and his 1,240 yards rank fifth in school history, while Ward racked up 80 catches for 904 yards and a team-best eight touchdowns. The defense allows 31.2 points – including an atrocious 48.6 average during the five-game skid – but features strong players in linebacker Will Smith (team-best 106 tackles) and defensive end Kerry Hyder (team-leading 11.5 tackles for loss).
ABOUT ARIZONA STATE (10-3, 8-1 Pac-12): The Sun Devils average 41 points but a defense that racked up 21 interceptions and 40 sacks has also been a crucial factor in the highly successful season. Defensive tackle Will Sutton had 10.5 tackles for loss and was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season and safeties Robert Nelson (six) and Alden Darby (four) combined for nearly half the picks. Quarterback Taylor Kelly is a multipurpose threat with 3,510 yards and 28 touchdowns as a passer and 473 yards and eight scores as a runner and wideout Jaelen Strong caught 71 passes for 1,094 yards.
* Sun Devils are 1-4 ATS in their last five bowl games.
* Red Raiders are 0-5 ATS in their last five games overall.
* Over is 4-0 in Sun Devils last four non-conference games.
* Over is 6-0 in Red Raiders last six Bowl games.