Mid majors bowl preview 2013/14

Famous Idaho Potato Dec 21
Buffalo (MAC) vs. San Diego State

Buffalo Bulls had a strange November going .500. Licata, Oliver,  and Neutz are a potent trio when they’re on. The SD St Aztecs  were doing well in November until UNLV leveled them. Aztecs  O trio of Kaehler, Muema , and Ruffin will be a tad more potent and lead SD St to a 46-44 win.

12/22/13

I nailed this one , Aztecs started quickly and cruised to a 49-24 win. Big props to SDST RB Adam Muema who scored three touchdowns and rushed for 230 yards,

R+L Carriers New Orleans Dec 21
Tulane (CUSA) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette  (SUNBELT)

Tulane has  leveled off but they have a decent D and Joe Montana’s son Nick at QB. ULL ‘s QB Terrance Broadway leads a Cajuns O that plays well, at times.  Tulane’s D should save them. Tul 20 ULL 16

12/22/13

I was wrong ULL 24 TuL 21. Neither starting QB was effective  and  starting RB Darkwa almost carried (3 rushing TDs) Tulane to win.  Cajuns D deserves some props.

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg Dec 23
East Carolina (CUSA) vs. Ohio (MAC)

Ohio has been erratic and ECU  was rolling behind S. Carden( 358 504 3866 yards 32TDs) until a tough late-season loss to Marshall. Pirates beat ACC teams UNC & NC St, and lost a squeaker to VTech. ECU 31 Ohio 16

12/25/13- I wasn’t too far off on this one  ECU won 37-20, Carden & Cooper  had great days:

Passing: S. Carden (ECU) – 273 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: V. Cooper (ECU) – 25 CAR, 198 YDS, 2

Little Caesars Pizza Dec 26
Pittsburgh vs. Bowling Green (MAC)

I’m was leaning toward  BG after their impressive MAC title game win but Coach Clawson’s exit for Wake Forest has me wavering. BG RB Travis Green  rushed for over 1500 yards  and averaged five plus yards a carry. Pitt defeated Duke and Notre Dame  but lost to  Navy & UNC. I’ll  take Pitt (ACC) in a nailbiter.

12/27/13:  Pitt hung on (30-27) against the fiesty Falcons led by  M.Johnson (BGSU) – 272 YDS, 2 TD.

S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia Dec 26
Utah State vs. Northern Illinois (MAC)

Lynch   & the Huskies  will bounce back after the loss to Bowling Green and beat  the Utah St. The Ags QB Chuckie Keeton has had a decent season but  their improving has been  the key. The Huskies in a low-scoring game 20-16.

12/27/13: Utah St  held Lynch to 39 yards rushing and won 21-14. Rough Thursday night for the MAC.

Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman   Dec 27
Marshall (CUSA) vs. Maryland- First time these  two schools have played  a football game against each  other and I expect an ugly game. Rakeem Cato has thrown 36 TDs and only 9 INTs, but I look for the Terps to make a few picks and  their O should take advantage of a Marshall D that  gave up a lot of points in the CUSA.  Terps 23 Marshall 19 and  keep your eyes on  Gator Hoskins,  a solid TE for the Herd who’ll be playing on Sundays.

12/27/13: I was right about Hoskins and so wrong about my Terps. Props to Rakeem Cato 28-44-337-0 , too. Marshall 31 MD 20

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Dec 30

Middle Tennessee (CUSA) vs. Navy

Middies  are 1-5 in their last six bowl games and rely heavily on  their QB Keenan Reynolds- 25 TDs (19 rushing, 7 passing). MTSU won five in a row to finish the regular season and will need the D to play big. I predict a tie but the NCAA undid that option.

12/31/13: Navy  played better than I thought against the erratic Blue Raiders in a 24-6 W.

AutoZone Liberty  Dec 31
Rice (CUSA) vs. Mississippi State

Miss St saved their season by beating Ol Miss. They have too much talent to lose to Rice. I look for the Bulldogs D-line to punish the Owls.

1/1/14: Miss St 44 Rice7 Final score says it all

HEART OF DALLAS BOWL @ COTTON BOWL – DALLAS, TX Jan 1

My apologies for not making a  prediction. Mean Green woke up in the second half  behind Derek Thompson  who threw for 256 yards and two touchdowns and won in their first bowl appearance in nine years.

North Texas  36  UNLV 11

GoDaddy  Jan 5
Arkansas State (SUNBELT) vs. Ball State (MAC)

Ark St loses another head coach (Harsin to Boise St) to a bigger program and it’s hard to argue with  these numbers  from Ball St’s QB Keith Wenning(3,933 yards, 34 touchdowns, six interceptions).

Can Ball St  help the MAC avoid a winless bowl season?

1/6/14: Ark St did  a solid job slowing down Wenning,  scored last, and won 23-20. Nice stat line for: RB Rushing:  J Edwards (BALL) – 28 CAR, 146 YDS, 1 T

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