Insight Bowl Player Profile, History & More
Posted Dec 14, 2006

2006 Insight Bowl Player Profile, History, Best Games & More

Texas Tech (7-5) vs. Minnesota (6-6)

Dec. 29th, 7:30 p.m. ET, NFL Network

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Insight Bowl History
2005 Arizona State 45, Rutgers 40
2004 Oregon St 38, Notre Dame 21
2003 California 52, Virginia Tech 49
2002 Pittsburgh 38, Oregon State 13
2001 Syracuse 26, Kansas State 3
2000 Iowa State 37, Pitt 29
1999 Colorado 62, Boston College 28
1998 Missouri 34, West Virginia 31
1997 Arizona 20, New Mexico 14
1996 Wisconsin 38, Utah 10
1995 Texas Tech 55, Air Force 41
1994 Brigham Young 31, Oklahoma 6
1993 Kansas State 52, Wyoming 17
1991 Indiana 24, Baylor 0
1990 California 17, Wyoming 15
1989 Arizona 17, NC State 10

By Richard Cirminiello

Bowl Player Profile
DE Willie VanDeSteeg, Minnesota – You can follow Big Ten football for the next decade, and still not come across a more improbable all-league defensive player than VanDeSteeg, who was named to the second team by the media and honorable mention by the coaches following a breakthrough season.  Only a sophomore, he erupted unexpectedly this fall, leading the Gophers with 13½ tackles for loss and nine sacks, highlighted by a dominating four-sack effort in the next to last game in East Lansing.  Not too shabby for the kid from Silver Lake, Minn., who not long ago was considered too slender to play in the Big Ten and was only attracting looks from North Central Conference schools, such as Minnesota State-Mankato, North Dakota, North Dakota State and South Dakota State.  Minnesota saw something that no other Division I school even bothered to explore.  VanDeSteeg himself questioned whether he could compete at the highest level, but Glen Mason, in particular, loved his quickness and technique, believing that with another 30 to 50 pounds of mass, he’d make a heck of a Big Ten tight end or defensive end.  The coach was spot on, attracting and then developing one of the cornerstones of his defense, while the competition was napping.  When you’re Minnesota and you’re competing for recruits with the likes of Michigan and Ohio State, it’s a job requirement to unearth hidden gems, which is one of the skills that’s made Mason and his staff so successful with the Gophers.  VanDeSteeg is no longer the skinny kid with the noticeable inferiority complex.  He’s 6-4, 255 pounds, quite confident he belongs in the Big Ten and determined to help give the Gopher defense an identity over the next two seasons.  

Best Red Raider Bowl Moment
– Over the years, the bowl season has been anything but festive for Tech.  Covering 29 games since 1938, it’s lost 19 times and played in January just twice over the last half century.  The 1953 squad was a rare exception.  That explosive 11-1 team blew out Auburn 35-13 in a historic 1954 Gator Bowl.  The game marked the first time Tech was broadcast on television and gave birth to the Masked Rider as a fabled school tradition.  

Best Gopher Bowl Moment – It’s been quite some time since Minnesota reigned supreme in the Big Ten or played a game in Pasadena.  More than four decades, in fact.  Behind the play of legendary quarterback Sandy Stephens and a terrific defensive effort, the Gophers beat UCLA 21-3 in the 1962 Rose Bowl to avenge a loss to Washington in Pasadena a year earlier. 

Minnesota's best win ... Minnesota 34 ... Iowa 24
Minnesota broke open a tight game with a eight-yard touchdown catch from Matt Spaeth and a 25-yard Amir Pinnix scoring run. Pinnix started off the scoring with a ten-yard dash, and the passing game came through with a  64-yard bomb to Ernie Wheelwright to give the Gophers the lead for good. Iowa's Drew Tate threw for 354 yards with a 50-yard touchdown pass to Andy Brodell and a three-yard pass to Scott Chandler, but he threw three interceptions and was benched for a period. The Hawkeyes outgained the Gophers 546 yards to 459, but five turnovers did them in.

Minnesota's worst performance ... Minnesota 10 ... North Dakota State 9
North Dakota State got three field goals from Shawn Bibeau, but his 43-yard attempt as time expired allowed Minnesota to escape with an ugly win. The Gophers were outgained 381 yards to 249 and only managed a five-yard Amir Pinnix touchdown run in the fourth quarter and a 30-yard Jason Giannini field goal in the second. Bibeau connected on shots from 30, 39, and 41 yards out.

Texas Tech's best win ...
Texas Tech 31 ... Texas A&M 27
Texas Tech's Graham Harrell connected with Robert Johnson for a 37-yard touchdown with :26 to play to overcome a 32-yard Layne Neumann field goal that capped a second half A&M comeback. Tech bombed away in the first half getting up 24-14 on two Johnson scoring grabs including a five-yard play with nine seconds remaining, but the highlight was a 54-yard catch-and-run for a score by Joel Filani. Texas A&M's offense struggled to put points on the board in the first half, but it got a 99-yard kickoff return for a score from Kerry Franks and a two-yard Jorvorskie Lane touchdown run to keep things close. The Aggie running game led the way in the second half comeback with two Layne Neumann field goals and a four-yard Chris Alexander scoring run, but the secondary couldn't handle Harrell on an 80-yard final drive that took 1:46. A&M's final drive stalled at the Texas Tech 21 after a 44-yard pass to Chad Schroeder.

Texas Tech's worst performance ...
Colorado 30 ... Texas Tech 6
Colorado came up with five turnovers from the defense and got two touchdown passes and a one-yard scoring run from Bernard Jackson to get Dan Hawkins his first win as the school's head coach. Jarrell Yates caught a 29-yard touchdown pass and Riar Geer scored from 28 yards out, while PK Mason Crosby connected from 56, 26, and 53 yards out. Texas Tech could only manage a 11-yard Danny Amendola scoring grab midway through the fourth quarter.

Insight Bowl
Arizona State 45 ... Rutgers 40

 In a high-octane offensive battle with the two teams combining for 1,210 yards, Arizona State was able to pull away in the fourth quarter on two Rudy Carpenter touchdown passes to answer for Rutgers PK Jeremy Ito field goals from 52 and 48 yards. Carpenter threw for four scores with two in the fourth quarter on a 42-yard pass to Matt Miller and a four-yard pass play to Rudy Burgess. Rutgers held a 24-10 lead late in the first half thanks to to Brian Leonard touchdowns, but the Sun Devils had the momentum after a one-yard touchdown catch by Zach Miller. ASU averaged 20.3 yards per completion on the way to 679 yards of total offense, while Rutgers gained 532 and made it close late on a 29-yard touchdown catch from Tres Moses.
Player of the game: Arizona State QB Rudy Carpenter completed 23 of 35 passes for 467 yards and four touchdowns.
Stat Leaders: Arizona State - Passing: Rudy Carpenter, 23-35, 467 yds, 4 TD
Rushing: Rudy Burgess, 17-102, 2 TD. Receiving: Matt Miller, 5-135, 2 TD
Rutgers - Passing: Ryan Hart, 24-38, 374 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
Ray Rice, 20-108. Receiving: Tres Moses, 7-113, 1 TD

Minnesota Bowl History (5-6)
2005 Music City Virginia 34, Minnesota 31
2004 Music City Minnesota 20, Alabama 16
2003 Sun Minnesota 31, Oregon 30
2002 Music City Minnesota 29, Arkansas 14
2000 NC State 38, Minnesota 30
1999 Sun Oregon 24, Minnesota 20
1986 Liberty Tennessee 21, Minnesota 14
1985 Independence Minnesota 20, Clemson 13
1977 Hall Of Fame Maryland 17, Minnesota 7
1961 Rose Minnesota 21, UCLA 3
1960 Rose Washington 17, Minnesota 7
Texas Tech Bowl History (9-19)
2005 Cotton Alabama 13, Texas Tech 10
2004 Holiday Texas Tech 45, Cal 31
2003 Houston Texas Tech 38, Navy 14
2002 Tangerine Texas Tech 55, Clemson 15
2001 Alamo Iowa 19, Texas Tech 16
2000 Gallery furn. East Carolina 40, Texas Tech 27
1998 Indep. Ole Miss 35, Texas Tech 18
1996 Alamo Iowa 27, Texas Tech 0
1995 Copper Texas Tech 55, Air Force 41
1993 Hancock Okla 41, Texas Tech 10
1989 All-Am. Texas Tech 49, Duke 21
1986 Indep. Ole Miss 20, Texas Tech 17
1977 Tangerine Florida St 40, Texas Tech 17
1976 Astro-Blue Nebraska 27, Texas Tech 24
1974 Peach Texas Tech 6, Vanderbilt 6
1973 Gator Texas Tech 28, Tenn. 19
1972 Sun N Carolina 32, Tex Tech 28
1970 Sun Ga Tech 17, Texas Tech 9
1965 Gator G Tech 31, Texas Tech 21
1964 Sun Georgia 7, Texas Tech 0
1956 Sun Wyoming 21, Texas Tech 14
1954 Gator Texas Tech 35, Auburn 13
1952 Sun Texas Tech 25, Pacific 14
1949 Raisin San Jose St 20, Tex Tech 13
1947 Sun Miami Un 13, Texas Tech 12
1941 Sun Tulsa 6, Texas Tech 0
1938 Cotton St. Mary's (Ca) 20, Texas Tech 13
1937 Sun West Va 7, Texas Tech 6