David Cobb (27) runs for Minnesota against Penn State earlier this season. Cobb, an Ellison graduate, returns to Texas with the Golden Gophers on Dec. 27 for the Texas Bowl against Syracuse in Houston. The game starts at 5 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.

Brace Hemmelgarn | Minnesota Athletics

Getting to Reliant Stadium in Houston from Ellison High School may take more than three hours on the road, but for Minnesota running back David Cobb, today will be another homecoming.

Cobb returns to his home state when Minnesota takes on Syracuse (6-6) in the Texas Bowl at Reliant Stadium. A former Eagle, Cobb had a breakout season in 2013, leading Minnesota (8-4) in rushing with 1,149 yards and seven touchdowns.

Minnesota lost to Texas Tech 34-31 in the 2012 edition of the bowl game.

Cobb finished the season on a high note by surpassing the 100-yard rushing mark in five of his last six games.

Cobb’s career best day came in a 42-39 win at Indiana in which he rushed for 188 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries. The junior also ran for 101 yards in a road game against No. 3 and eventual Big 10 champion Michigan State.

Minnesota looks to rebound from a rivalry loss to No. 19 Wisconsin followed by another loss to Michigan State.

Cobb and the Minnesota offense face an Orange defense that is ranked 59th nationally and allowed 26 points per game.

The Orange defense has had a tough time limiting opponents’ run offenses in two late-season games against Boston College and Florida State.

The Seminoles rushed for 225 yards and averaged 11.8 yards per rush against the Orange. The Eagles ran for 191 yards and 5.8 yards per carry.

Sophomore quarterback Philip Nelson leads the Gopher air attack, throwing for 1,288 yards and nine touchdowns. He was intercepted six times and sacked 14 times.

Contact Albert Alvarado at alvarado@kdhnews.com

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