Bowl Season Continues On:
LITTLE CAESARS BOWL: Pitt edges Bowling Green 30-17 – Well, all that stuff I said about Pitt’s offense being weak was proven to be wrong, at least for this game. That is the beauty of football, anything can happen on any given day. The Panthers exploded for 487 yards including for 255 rushing yards on 39 attempts whereas they only attempted 22 passed. Talk about smash-mouth. Bowling Green was shutdown on the ground as the Falcons only accumulated 10 yards on 34 attempts. Matty D and Jake Goldberg both had Pitt in this one as the ACC wins its first bowl game of the season.
POINSETTIA BOWL: Utah State shuts down N. Illinois 21-14 – The Aggie’s Top-10 Rushing Defense did their job. Jordan Lynch could only gain a team-high 39 yards and had to take to the air where the Aggies picked him off. That’s really the story here. Utah State’s offense didn’t light up the scoreboard, they only scored two touchdowns, same as Northern Illinois. The Huskies were simply beaten by a great defense. Now it’s time to see Jordan Lynch off to the NFL, where he could have a great career if he’s drafted by the right team. We’ll discuss the right places for all prospects as we get closer to the NFL Draft. We all had Northern Illinois so no blood there.
Here are the Standings through Day Four:
1) Jake Goldberg: 5-3
T2) G-Man, JSB, and Matty D: 4-4
5) Ariel Glassberg: 3-5
Don’t forget to vote for who you think will win each game below the previews!
Maryland Teraphins (7-5, 3-5 ACC) vs. Marshall Thundering Herd (9-4, 7-1 C-USA) at 2pm on ESPN
Here we go. Maryland returns to bowl season for the first time since 2010 when they place in this Military Bowl when they defeated East Carolina 51-20. This time, it’ll be a much tougher opponent. Marshall rolls into this one the runner up in the Conference USA Championship game and having lost four games by an average margin of 7 and with an average winning margin of 33.1. The Thundering Herd post the 13th ranked offense averaging over 500 yards a game. The Terps of Maryland come ranked 77th averaging a little under 400 yards per game. The Terps’ season started off hot with four straight wins that led to them cracking the Top 25 Rankings. Then ACC play started. The Terps went 3-5 and while they did win at Virginia Tech, they only defeated Virginia by one point while letting the Cavaliers and NC State score 21+ on them. UVA and NC State combined for zero wins in ACC play this year. As their name may imply but we have no associate with, Matty D and I are going with the Thundering Herd of Marshall while JSB has Maryland winning this one.
Minnesota Golden Gophers (8-4, 4-4 Big Ten) vs. Syracuse Orange (6-6, 4-4 ACC)
Matty D is probably foaming at the mouth for this one. This is a pure, all running, smash-your-face-in match-up. Minnesota ranks sixth-to-last in pass attempts and BOTH teams rank in the Top 40 in terms of rushing. The difference will be the linemen, who can push the other back the most? The Gophers had a couple of four-game winning streaks that were both followed by back-to-back loses. All four loses to bowl-bound teams and three of them were ranked in the Top 20 at the time. And one of them they held to only two touchdowns on their home field, that team is your 2013 Big Ten Champ. The Cuse squeaked into bowl season in the last six seconds of their final game in a win over Boston College. It has been a roller coaster year for the Orange however. The beat who they should have beaten and fell who they should have fallen to. The difference maker for me, is the common opponent: Northwestern. Syracuse fell to the Wildcats early on 48-27 while Minnesota defeated Northwestern 20-17, both games were in Evanston. While the Wildcats were one of the bigger letdowns of the Big Ten season, and possibly of the entire FBS season, the 2013 team was still talented (5-7 in the tougher Legends Division), which is why the Gophers played so close. That is why all three of us are going with Minnesota. My apologies to the Prophet, a Syracuse alumnus.
FIGHT HUNGER BOWL
BYU Cougars (8-4, Independent) vs. Washington Cougars (8-4, 5-4 PAC-12) at 9:30 on ESPN
First of all, this game is being played at AT&T Park in San Francisco, that’s really cool. I love to see games being played at stadiums not designed for that sport (see: NHL Winter Classic) and I’m not just saying that because of the 2014 Lehigh-Lafayette Game at Yankee Stadium. Nonetheless, Washington Quaterbacks Coach Marques Tuiasosopo will be leading in the Cougars as Steve Sarkisian left to take the USC job. This game will be all-offense. Both teams rank in the Top 15 and combine for over 1000 yards per game. Watch out for Washington RB Bishop Sankey who ranks third in the nation with 1775 rushing yards while Senior QB Keith Price ranks 25th with a 65.5% completion percentage, 2843 passing yards, 20 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions, and only one pick in his five games. BYU features one of the best rushing offense in the nation with QB Taysom Hill and RB Jamaal Williams both rushing for more than 1200 yards and combining for 16 touchdowns. Hill has thrown almost as many picks as he has TDs (19/13 TD/Int) with a 54.3% completion percentage. Matty D has BYU winning this one while JSB and I have Washington.
See you tomorrow for Day Six!