I’d like to have even more than I presently do. However, the NCAA has relaunched their site and are going through upgrades that have made their vast library of stats unavailable at the moment. But I shall struggle through, for I am a sports blogger. Distributor of truth and BS.
Champs Sports Bowl: NC State 23, West Virginia 7
Many bought in that NC State was a good offense in a down year defensively in the ACC. 378 yards on one of the stingiest defenses in the country says that’s wrong. Forcing five turnovers says the Wolfpack defense was up for the challenge.
Insight Bowl: Iowa 27, Missouri 24
I gave up on this game after Mizzou scored 14 straight and went up 24-20. No one told the Hawkeyes they were done. With a freshman tailback leading them, they overcame the loss of most of their top offensive weapons to upset the Tigers. Marcus Coker will be a serious threat next year, rushing for 218 yards and 2 TDs in place of suspended Adam Robinson. A pleasant surprise for the Big 10.
Military Bowl: East Carolina vs. Maryland
This one will come down to how well the Terps can slow down the Pirates’ pass attack. Dominique Davis leads the 8th best passing offense in the nation that scores over 38 points a game. Their defense is another story, having given up almost 55 points a game over their last 3. Maryland freshman QB Danny O’Brien has a great debut season, throwing for 2,257 yards and 21 TDs to just 6 picks. He’ll need to pick apart a weak secondary to make sure that the Terps can keep pace with the high-flying Pirates and complete their turnaround. Also, is anyone else confused that the military isn’t being represented in the Military Bowl? Maybe it’s just me…
Our Picks: Armando – East Carolina, Casey and TJ – Maryland
Texas Bowl: Baylor vs. Illinois
The Bears are making their first postseason appearance since the 1994 Alamo Bowl. Baylor QB Robert Griffin III has been everything for the Bears, averaging 315 yards a game of total offense. He leads an offense that ranks 12th in the FBS in total yards up against a defense that’s giving up nearly 30 points a game. It’s not all doom and gloom for the Illini though. They’ve got a dual-threat QB of their own in Nathan Scheelhaase, whose thrown for over 1,500 yards and added another 800 on the ground. If the Bears can keep All-American rusher Mikel Leshoure (1,514 yds. 14 TD) out of the end zone, they’ve got a chance to run away with what has the potential to be another shootout. Baylor won the only other match up between these 2 in 1976.
Our picks: Armando – Illinois, Casey and TJ – Baylor
Alamo Bowl: Arizona vs. #14 Oklahoma State
The Wildcats will get all of the nation’s top offense they could want and then some. Brandon Weeden, Justin Blackmon, Kendall Hunter. You’ll hear those names a lot. Zona’s D allows over 21 points a game and they’ll need to tighten up big time in order to control an offense that scores 45 points a game. They’ll need a huge effort from the defense to force turnovers and put their offense in a position to score and keep up with the Cowboys juggernaut. A few of Blackmon’s stats: 1,665 yards and 18 TDs, 154 yards per game, tied NCAA record with 11 straight games with 100 yards and a TD, 1st team All-American, Biletnikoff Award winner, Big 12 Player of the Year. And Hunter’s added another 1,516 yards and 16 TDs on the ground. Good luck Wildcat D, you’re gonna need it.
Our Picks: Armando, Casey and TJ – Oklahoma State
Armed Forces Bowl: Army vs. SMU
Pinstripe Bowl: Kansas State vs. Syracuse
Music City Bowl: North Carolina vs. Tennessee
Holiday Bowl: Nebraska vs. Washington
By the way, our standings remain the same as we all had WVU and Mizzou. Our bad.