New Year’s Eve Eve Bowls By the Numbers

Yesterday’s Games:
Military Bowl: Maryland 51, East Carolina 20
This was a straight whuppin’. I don’t have much to say about it since I didn’t watch any of it.

Texas Bowl: Illinois 38, Baylor 14
The Illini end the season on a positive note behind Mikel Leshoure’s record-setting performance. He set Illinois records on single-season rushing yards, single-season scoring, touchdowns in a season, 100-yard games in a season and consecutive 100-yard rushing games. Robert Griffin II threw for over 300 yards and 2 TDs, but turned it over twice.

Alamo Bowl: #14 Oklahoma State 36, Arizona 10
Justin Blackmon set the tone early with a 71-yard, wide open receiving touchdown before the Wildcats even got one play in. The Cowboys went up 14-0 early in the 1st quarter and never looked back. Nick Foles was bottled up, threw 3 interceptions. Zona lost a fumble as well, had 6 first half possessions inside Cowboys territory and only managed one TD out of those. Arizona is not a bad team and Nick Foles will get another year to prove himself as an elite QB, but the Cats were just over matched.

Armando looked rather foolish when his upset pick of ECU got trounced, then he got revenge when TJ and I put too much faith in Baylor and we all saw the Cowboys rolling. So everyone ended the day 2-1.
So getting into the heart of bowl season, Armando has a 2-game lead on TJ at 10-4 to 8-6. I’m one behind TJ at 7-7.

Armed Forces Bowl: Army vs. SMU

The Black Knights will do what they’ve done all year long: run the ball. They’re the 10th ranked rushing offense in the nation, running the triple option. They pass the fewest in the nation, while SMU employs June Jones’ run n’ gun. Kyle Padron has thrown for over 3,500 yards and 29 TDs this year. The scoring defenses here are relatively equal, each giving up around 27 points a game. As always, turnovers will be the key here. This is the first time these two are meeting since 1967. The Mustangs have never beaten Army.
Our picks: Armando, Casey and TJ: SMU

Pinstripe Bowl: Kansas State vs. Syracuse

The Orange are making a return to the postseason after a 6-year absence. They haven’t been impressive offensively. They’ve been getting it done with defense, allowing 18 points a game. They’ll have to step up to stop K-State’s leading rusher Daniel Thomas (1,4495 yds, 16 TDs). Syracuse’s balance offense had been lead by QB Ryan Nassib (2,095 yds, 16 TD) and RB Delone Carter (1,035 yds, 7 TD). If K-State’s Carson Coffman can open up the passing game and get downfield, it could be a long day for Syracuse.
Our Picks: Armando and TJ – Kansas State, Casey – Syracuse

Music City Bowl: North Carolina vs. Tennessee

Both of these teams have faced adversity to get to the postseason. Tennessee started the year 2-6, while UNC was rocked by a recruiting scandal that saw a good chunk of their defense suspended for the year. Senior TJ Yates has carried the team at times with the 22nd passing attack in the nation. Freshman Tyler Bray took over for the Vols midseason and threw of 12 touchdowns in the team’s last 4 games. The Heels are coming in missing a starting linebacker, offensive linesman, and running back Anthony Elzy, who took over for starter Johnny White when he broke his collarbone. This has the potential to be an expected shootout on the arms of Bray and Yates.
Our picks:Armando and Casey – North Carolins, TJ – Tennesse

Holiday Bowl: #18 Nebraska vs. Washington

This seems like one of the biggest mismatches of the bowl season. Nebraska demolished the Huskies in Seattle back on September 18, 56-21. Jake Locker was just 4 of 20 for 71 yards in that game and he’s never really recovered. The preseason favorite for #1 pick in next year’s NFL Draft has stumbled to 17TDs and 2,200 yards in his senior season. On the other side, Nebraska’s spark plug has been dual-threat freshman QB Taylor Martinez. He’s thrown for 1,500 yards and 9 TDs and ran for another 900 and 12 TDs. Ray Helu Jr. also threw in another 1,200 yards and 11 scores, leading the Huskers to the 9th best rushing offense. Washington’s got their own star rusher in Chris Polk. He’s managed over 1,200 yards and 8 scores this year, but the Huskies have not been able to keep pace with their opponents. Washington’s D has allowed 31 points a game and that’s not going to get it done against Nebraska. The Huskers will walk into the Big 10 on the heels of another Holiday Bowl blowout win.
Our Picks: Armando, Casey and TJ – Nebraska

Tomorow’s Games:
Meineke Car Care Bowl: Clemson vs. South Florida
Sun Bowl: Miami vs. Notre Dame
Liberty Bowl: Georgia vs. #25 UCF
Chick-fil-A Bowl: #23 Florida State vs. #20 South Carolina

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