Monday 24th December
Fresno State vs SMU
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl @ 01:00 on ESPN
This Christmas Eve clash sees a three loss Fresno team lead by Derek Carr (brother of the infamous David Carr), take on a SMU team, who barely made it into postseason play and are lead by former Texas Longhorns QB Garrett Gilbert. In the end I think this is a rather weak bowl matchup that should see the Mountain West newbies bully their way past the Mustangs of SMU.
Players to Watch
Fresno State: I have already mentioned his name, but he is probably known to most college fans due to his family ties rather than his outstanding play this year, Derek Carr (QB #4). He has a QB rating of 160.6 with 36 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions on the season, so look for him to be slinging the ball all over the field in Hawaii.
SMU: Zach Line, RB #48. This senior will hope to have a big impact in his last game for the Mustangs and he needs to if SMU are going to have any chance against the Bulldogs. It’s the age-old football story of keeping the ball out of the oppositions explosive offense’s hands, Line needs to pound the rock and take some of the pressure off of the shaky Gilbert.
My Pick: Fresno State.
Wednesday 26th December
Western Kentucky vs Central Michigan
Little Caesars Bowl @ 00:30 on ESPN
How do you choose between two average teams from the MAC and the Sun Belt conference? And no, it’s not a joke. For me, the schedules revealed a lot about both sides with Central Michigan having been beaten up by mostly running teams, whilst the Hilltoppers are a good running offence and have only lost to some of the countries surprisingly good teams this year. If it sounds like I’m clutching a little at straws here, it’s because I am, having not watched either of these teams this season I’m probably in the dark as much as you guys.
Players to Watch
Western Kentucky: Antonio Andrews, RB #5. The workhorse of the Western Kentucky offence, he has amassed 1609 yards on the ground as well as another 411 through the air, showing that he’s a big part of their game plan.
Central Michigan: Justin Cherocci, LB #41. The tackling machine in the Chippewa defense that needs to scythe down Andrews on every play, look for him to always be around the ball.
My Pick: Western Kentucky