HOUSTON -- Syracuse coach Scott Shafer wishes his team could have held its big lead over Minnesota and cruised to an easy win in the Texas Bowl on Friday night. Nets Jerseys China . But he found it fitting that the Orange had to eke out the victory considering the number of close games they played this season. Terrel Hunt scrambled 12 yards for a touchdown with 1:14 remaining to lift Syracuse to a 21-17 victory over the Golden Gophers. "It would have nice if we could have just knocked them out and won by 17 or something," Shafer said. "Thats kind of not our way this year. I think it was appropriate that we won in that fashion." Brisly Estime set up Hunts touchdown with a 70-yard punt return. Estime would have scored if not for a tackle by punter Peter Mortell. "Brisly is a quick as a jitterbug," Shafer said. "We felt that he could give us something." It was the second-longest punt return in Texas Bowl history. "We probably out-punted our coverage," Minnesota coach Jerry Kill said. Syracuse (7-6) led 14-3 entering the fourth quarter before Mitch Leidner threw two touchdown passes and a 2-point conversion to put the Gophers up 17-14. After the Orange regained the lead, Minnesota attempted two long passes to the end zone on the final plays. The first slipped through Drew Wolitarskys arms and the second, as time expired, was knocked down near the end zone. Minnesota (8-5) got a boost to start the second half when Kill returned to the sideline for the first time since Sept. 28 before Syracuse came back to send the Gophers to their sixth consecutive bowl loss and second straight in this bowl. Kill began the game in the press box, where he has observed his team since returning from a leave of absence because of epilepsy. Kill has had five seizures on game day in two-plus seasons at Minnesota. He took the leave of absence in October and returned a couple of weeks later. "I felt I would do anything I can to help," Kill said about joining his team on the sideline. "Im not sure if it helped or not. Evidently, it didnt because we didnt win the game." Hunt finished with 188 yards passing and 74 rushing with two scores to earn Most Valuable Player honours and a 10-gallon cowboy hat. Leidner finished with 205 yards passing, Maxx Williams had five receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown and Wolitarsky had 94 yards receiving and a score. Syracuse attempted a 45-yard field goal with about 3 1/2 minutes left, but it sailed wide right. Robert Welsh sacked Leidner on third down on the next drive to force a punt and set up the winning drive. The Gophers took their first lead when Syracuse bit on a play-action fake that left Wolitarsky wide open for a 55-yard touchdown pass that made it 15-14 early in the fourth quarter. Leidner then hit Mike Henry for the 2-point conversion to push the lead to 17-14. Players and coaches on the sideline jumped around wildly after the touchdown, while Kill smiled and stood nearly still amid the chaos. Hunt was penalized for intentional grounding on third down of the ensuing drive by Syracuse forcing a fourth-and-25 and a punt by the Orange. Jerome Smith rushed for 74 yards and a touchdown for Syracuse and Estime had five receptions for 47 yards. Minnesota cut it to 14-9 when Williams got in front of two defenders for a 20-yard touchdown reception from Leidner on the first play of the fourth quarter. It was the Gophers first touchdown on offence since the second quarter of a 24-10 win over Penn State on Nov. 9. Minnesota attempted a 2-point conversion, but Leidner was sacked. The Orange used a clock-eating 15-play drive capped by a 5-yard touchdown run by Hunt to push the lead to 14-3 with about three minutes left in the third quarter. Syracuse used run after run to pound the ball on that drive and had an 18-yard run by Smith and a 17-yard scamper by George Morris to keep it going. Syracuse took a 7-0 lead when Smith scored on a 1-yard run early in the second quarter. That drive was helped by a nifty catch by Christopher Clark, who stretched out to grab a 19-yard reception with a defender in his face just before stepping out of bounds. Minnesota cut it to 7-3 on Chris Hawthornes 41-yard field goal by as time expired in the first half. Brooklyn Nets Gear . -- Jonathan Diaz is easy to spot in the Blue Jays clubhouse. Stitched Nets Jerseys . If Vettel wins at Suzuka on Sunday, and his nearest rival Fernando Alonso finishes worse than eighth, the German driver will join his compatriot Michael Schumacher and Argentine Juan-Manuel Fangio as the only men to win four consecutive titles.VAL DISERE, France - Just four races back into her skiing career, Lindsey Vonn is on the verge of World Cup history.After clinching a second straight win — and third consecutive podium — with a victory in Saturdays downhill, the 30-year-old American now has the chance to secure a 62nd career win in Sundays super-G and move level with Austrian great Annemarie Moser-Proll for all-time wins.I have to get there first. If it happens tomorrow, great, said Vonn, a four-time World Cup champion. I feel like I have been talking about (the record) for a long time now and, if I keep talking about it, I feel like its never going to happen.It would have been a distant dream one year ago, however, when she re-injured her troublesome right knee on the same Oreiller-Killy course in Val dIsere and required surgery for the second time. The first knee operation came after she tore two ligaments following a spectacular fall at the world championships 10 months earlier.Aside from one small wobble in the middle of the course, Vonns run on Saturday was clean and she finished .19 seconds clear of early pace-setter Elisabeth Goergl of Austria and Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany, who tied for second.I trusted my body and my knee held up great, Vonn said. No problem, no pain, so all is good.Swiss skier Lara Gut placed 0.39 behind in fourth place, while overall leader Tina Maze of Slovenia finished half a second adrift in seventh.After nearly two years without a victory, Vonn won a downhill at Lake Louise, Canada, two weeks ago and finished second in super-G the next day.It feels amazing. I was a bit nervous today as I made some mistakees in training. Brooklyn Nets Store . . Its tough when you only have one training run, Vonn said. I skied aggressively today. It was definitely tough as we had a lot more speed.Vonn was 0.11 seconds ahead of Goergl on the first time split, up to 0.36 on the second, lost a little time and then sped up again at the bottom.As she crossed the line, Vonn leaned her head back, swung her right pole up in the air and then shook her head in relief, as if scarcely believing shed won again. She then blew a kiss to the camera.In Lake Louise, I won so many times that some people automatically assume that I should win there, Vonn said. I already knew I could win here today. It was for other people to understand that Im back to where I used to be.Prior to her success at Lake Louise, Vonns previous World Cup win was a giant slalom in January 2013 in Maribor, Slovenia, — and this was only her eighth race since then.After her injury at the worlds, Vonn then tried to get back in time for the Sochi Olympics — only to tear one of the reconstructed ligaments in a training crash.Then, four days before Christmas, she sprained her MCL in Val dIsere and needed surgery again.Meanwhile, it was the first podium of the season for both Goergl and Rebensburg — who also secured her first career podium in downhill.I think Im going to keep smiling until I go to bed, the 25-year-old Rebensburg said.The 33-year-old Goergl had not been on the podium since finishing second in downhill at Lenzerheide, Switzerland, in March.Overall, Maze leads with 596 points; Austrias Anna Fenninger is second with 327, while Vonn moves up to third with 312. ' ' '