College football bowl projections
Nic Shimonek 3, yards, 30 touchdowns will throw all over the place for the Red Raiders, but Quinton Flowers can will give Charlie Strong and the Bulls a victory in Birmingham. South Florida wins and covers the spread. Army quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw looks to lead the Cadets to another bowl victory, but they are up against a force in Rashaad Penny, a 2,yard rusher who makes the difference.
San Diego State wins and covers the spread. It's a rematch of last year's Camellia Bowl, which the Mountaineers won Toledo quarterback Logan Woodside leads the Rockets to revenge in this one, however, in a shootout with Taylor Lamb. Toledo wins but fails to cover the spread. All-American defensive tackle Ed Oliver is worth the price of admission, but the Bulldogs were just as good on that side under first-year coach Jeff Tedford. Fresno State ranked ninth in the FBS at West Virginia isn't the same offense without star quarterback Will Grier hand , and Utah will take advantage.
The Utes have won 13 of their last 14 bowl appearances and are under Kyle Whittingham. Utah wins and covers the spread. Duke's Shaun Wilson and Brittain Brown each averaged over 5. The Blue Devils win another bowl under Dave Cutcliffe. Duke wins and covers the spread.
Even with Josh Rosen, we like K-State. Kansas State wins and covers the spread. The Seminoles extended their bowl streak to 36 straight seasons, and it's a question of a motivation against a Golden Eagles team looking to pull the upset. Big game for freshman tailback Cam Akers here, and that sends him sky-rocketing up Heisman Trophy watch lists for Florida State wins and covers the spread.
Boston College won five of its last six games, but it will be up against another solid defense in Iowa, which features Josey Jewell and Josh Jackson. Iowa will be motivated by bowl meltdowns the last two seasons, too. Iowa wins and covers the spread. How expanded playoff would have looked in Purdue reached a bowl game with a hit-or-miss offense in Jeff Brohm's first season, and they'll be up against one of the nation's most exciting players in Khalil Tate.
The Boilers won three of their last four, but they lose a shootout here. Arizona wins but fails to cover the spread. The Longhorns, meanwhile, try to complete a winning season under first-year coach Tom Herman. It's a coin flip. Missouri wins and covers the spread. ESPN Why to watch: Virginia is back in the postseason for the first time since , and Kurt Benkert 3, yards, 25 touchdowns will let it fly against the Midshipmen, who lost last season's bowl after winning three straight.
The Cavs saw Georgia Tech's option offense earlier this season and won A pair of nine-win teams had higher expectations this season, but the excitement in this game revolves around quarterbacks Josh Jackson and Mason Rudolph. Oklahoma State wins but fails to cover the spread. Bryce Love needs 27 rushing yards to reach 2, for the season, and we're hoping he plays despite an ankle injury he dealt with in the Pac championship game.
TCU's Kenny Hill can cap an up-and-down with a bowl victory, too. Tough game to pick. We'll go with the team closer to home.
TCU wins and covers the spread. Nice contrast of styles between Mark Dantonio and Mike Leach. Both teams ranked in the top 15 in the FBS in total defense, too. Texas Tech's defense is significantly improved numberswise, but USF QB Quinton Flowers presents a huge challenge and will lead a talented Bulls team to its 10th win in his final game. Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: San Diego State vs.
Jeff Monken has done an incredible job boosting Army, which leads the nation in rushing But San Diego State has been tested more this season, boasts another stifling defense and the best player on the field in 2,yard running back Rashaad Penny.
This game will be quick, but SDSU wins. I really like the defenses in this game as Fresno State allowed 21 points or fewer in all but one league game, while Houston held USF to 24 points in a win. This is a really tough call, but Houston has the talent edge as Cougars DT Ed Oliver will come up with a late game-changing play.
Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl: There are few guarantees in bowls, but Utah coach Kyle Whittingham's record in bowl games comes close he's This isn't a great Utah team, but it has enough on defense to take down a West Virginia team missing star quarterback Will Grier.
The Blue Devils emerged from their midseason swoon with a good finish, and their speed on defense will give Northern Illinois' run-heavy offense some problems.
This might be tricky. A Baylor team with a coaching staff heading out the door stunned Boise State last year. Can UCLA do something similar? Bill Snyder will avenge the Alamo Bowl loss. Motivation level is a factor in a matchup like this, and the Seminoles brought the energy for interim coach Odell Haggins on Saturday and should want to send the coaching staff out with another win. Running back Cam Akers will end his freshman season with a big performance. New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Iowa's recent postseason no-shows make it hard to remember when the Hawkeyes performed well in bowls.
They will finally get back on track with running back Akrum Wadley as the difference-maker in a low-scoring slog at Yankee Stadium. This will be a really fun game as first-year Purdue coach Jeff Brohm takes the Boilers to their first bowl since the season. Both offenses are dynamic and Arizona QB Khalil Tate will deliver some highlights, but Purdue is so much better on defense.
This is a huge springboard game for both teams, pitting a very talented Texas defense, anchored by Poona Ford , against a Missouri offense led by QB Drew Lock. Texas will have the home crowd but won't be able to keep up on the scoreboard.
Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman: Both of these teams are slumping, having each dropped five of their past six games Navy still can get on track by beating Army on Saturday.
The Midshipmen's defense will be the difference on their home field. One of the best postseason pairings features Mason Rudolph , James Washington and a Cowboys offense averaging I don't see the Hokies keeping pace as Rudolph will shine in his final game. Two of the game's more solid programs and coaches Stanford's David Shaw and TCU's Gary Patterson match up in what should be a highly competitive contest.
Both teams are solid defensively and in the running game, but I think Stanford freshman quarterback K. Costello will make a big jump in bowl practices and lead a game-winning drive for the Cardinal. Both of these teams had quality home wins and some clunkers away from familiar soil. Appalachian State's defense will be the big difference, as the Mountaineers are stingy, especially on third down 15th nationally in conversions.
Appalachian State 28, Toledo Both teams will be motivated, but UCF is playing 25 minutes from campus and, led by the remarkable Shaquem Griffin , subdues the Red Wolves with defense. UCF 26, Arkansas State Southern Miss 40, Louisiana-Lafayette The Golden Hurricane keep it rolling against a Central Michigan team that faded considerably down the stretch.
Tulsa 45, Central Michigan Western Kentucky 7 p. These teams combine to average Western Kentucky has had four point games, while Memphis scored 77 on Sept. Memphis seems more battle-tested after playing in the AAC, and the uncertainty about coach Jeff Brohm's future makes me leery about the Hilltoppers. Memphis in a shootout. Memphis 45, Western Kentucky But Kalani Sitake's team played a much tougher overall schedule and held its own every time out.
BYU's defense is deciding factor in a low-scoring affair. BYU 26, Wyoming Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Colorado State 7 p. Nick Stevens is an emerging star, and the Rams quarterback has a big night in Boise. Colorado State 45, Idaho Old Dominion 1 p. Robinson National Stadium, Nassau, Bahamas Chris Creighton did an incredible job coaching Eastern Michigan to seven wins, especially with a rash of injuries, but a balanced Old Dominion offense led by quarterback David Washington and running back Ray Lawry will be too much to handle.
Old Dominion 45, Eastern Michigan Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas Both teams dropped league championship games on Saturday, but Navy endured the more painful setback, losing quarterback Will Worth and slotback Toneo Gulley on the same play.
Louisiana Tech 43, Navy Both teams had nice midseason stretches before fading late, but Troy has the edge at quarterback with Brandon Silvers , who puts up a big fourth quarter in the win.
Troy 33, Ohio Middle Tennessee 8 p. Still, it's hard not to pick the Blue Raiders, with an offense that scored points in the final two games without Stockstill. Middle Tennessee 40, Hawaii Mississippi State 11 a. Petersburg, Florida Mississippi State is and Miami Ohio went from to , so sizing up this one is tricky. But Bulldogs dual-threat quarterback Nick Fitzgerald will make the difference against a good Miami defense, as another squad finishes with a bowl victory. Mississippi State 33, Miami Ohio It comes down to which squad makes the most strides during bowl preparation.
Boston College gets it done in Motown. Boston College 24, Maryland Camping World Independence Bowl: Neither offense gets much going, but NC State star Matthew Dayes reaches the end zone in the final minute for the win. NC State 20, Vanderbilt Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl: Army is in its first bowl game since What's not so exciting?