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‘College Football’ Articles

Arizona Bowl in Tucson to feature offensive juggernauts in Arkansas State (8-4) and Nevada (7-5)

Arizona Stadium home of the Arizona Wildcats in Tucson 2011 photo By Wcarlisle4 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most people think that the Arizona Bowl is new. Not exactly. It is in its fourth season, having inaugurated on December 29, 2015. Along with the Austin Bowl and the Cure Bowl, are the three newest among all bowls. And has been sponsored by Nova Loans since its inception.

It features the Sun Belt Conference against the Mountain West Conference.

This year’s game could be an offensive-explosion!

The Arkansas Red Wolves and the Nevada Wolf Pack are so evenly matched and playing to see who has the best team of Wolves. Pardon the pun here!

Both teams have experienced transfer QB’s in Justice Hansen of State and Ty Gangi of Nevada. On offense, State scored 31.8 and gave up 26.5 with Nevada scoring 32.3 and giving up 28.1 on defense. On defense, Arkansas State had 32 sacks and 10 interceptions while The Wolf Pack recorded 32 sacks and 8 picks.

The lone common opponent for both is UNLV. Nevada blew a 23-0 lead against the Runnin’ Rebels and lost 34-29. The Red Wolves won 27-20.

As far as bowls go, Arkansas State is making its eighth consecutive appearance. Nevada is back in the bowl season after a 2-year hiatus. They return to the Arizona Bowl where they defeated Colorado State in the first-ever game in 2015. There are still 13 members on the team from that bowl game. And in this game, Nevada will have depth and experience over the Red Wolves.

Justice Hansen (courtesy Arkansas State)

In this game, Hansen will clearly be the best player on the field.

Hansen is a dual-threat QB where he averages 3.3 yards per carry and has passed for more than 3,000 yards and has a 27-6 ratio for touchdown-to-interception. He will cause issues for the Nevada defensive unit.

 

 

 

2018 Sun Belt football standings
Conf Overall
Team W L W L
East Division
Appalachian State xy$ 7 1 11 2
Troy x 7 1 10 3
Georgia Southern 6 2 10 3
Coastal Carolina 2 6 5 7
Georgia State 1 7 2 10
West Division
Louisiana xy 5 3 7 7
Arkansas State x 5 3 8 4
Louisiana–Monroe 4 4 6 6
South Alabama 2 6 3 9
Texas State 1 7 3 9
ChampionshipAppalachian State 30, Louisiana 19
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
  • y – Championship game participant

As of December 23, 2018; Rankings from AP Poll

 

2018 Mountain West football standings
Conf Overall
Team W L W L
Mountain Division
No. 23 Boise State x 7 1 10 3
Utah State 7 1 10 2
Wyoming 4 4 6 6
Air Force 3 5 5 7
Colorado State 2 6 3 9
New Mexico 1 7 3 9
West Division
No. 19 Fresno Statex$ 7 1 12 2
Nevada 5 3 7 5
Hawaii 5 3 8 6
San Diego State 4 4 7 5
UNLV 2 6 4 8
San Jose State 1 7 1 11
ChampionshipFresno State 19, Boise State 16 (OT)
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
  • y – Championship game participant

As of December 27, 2018; Rankings from AP poll

STANDINGS COURTESY OF WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

Belk Bowl at Noon features South Carolina and Virginia, both 7-5

 

Bank Of America Stadium 2006 photo By Photo by Capt. Wayne Capps, USAFR, Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org

The other 12 noon game on this Saturday, is the Belk Bowl being played in Charlotte, North Carolina.

It has the SEC’s South Carolina Gamecocks against the ACC’s Virginia Cavaliers.

Deebo Samuel receiving ball South Carolina WR (courtesy Gamecocksonline.com)

South Carolina will be without their star player, WR Deebo Samuel. Just like most of the NFL prospects who are graduating or leaving early, Samuel is sitting out to protect from possible injury and preserve his draft status. He is a projected first round pick.

 

 

 

 

 

Even without Samuel, the Gamecocks will air it out against the Virginia defense. Bryan Edwards with 52 receptions, 809 yards and seven touchdowns and Shi Smith with 39 catches, 597 yards and four scores will make Samuel’s absence not noticeable.

The Gamecocks usually do well in bowl games, having won five of the past six games in postseason.

The Cavaliers are very good on defense and will cause some problems for South Carolina. They have had 15 interceptions on the season and are ranked 14th in the nation in passing yards allowed at 180.1.

The Virginia offense is very explosive! Led by QB Bryce Perkins who along with Heisman Trophy winner and Oklahoma QB Tyler Murray are the only two players at that position who have accumulated at least 800 yards rushing and 2,400 passing yards this year. Just a junior, Perkins has set single-season school records in total offense (3,314 yards) and total touchdowns (31).

Joining Perkins in the backfield is senior RB Jordan Ellis, who average 4.9 yards per rush, nine TD’s and 920 rushing yards.

 

 

5 Bowl Games for Saturday: Peach Bowl kicks it off; #8 Michigan and #10 Florida do battle

 

Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia 2017 photo By Atlanta Falcons via webmPlay media, CC BY 3.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today, there will be five bowl games on television for all of you college football fans to enjoy. Peach, Belk, Arizona and the two College Football Playoff Games, Cotton and Orange. Enjoy yourselves!

Kicking it off will be the Peach and Belk Bowls at 12 noon.

The Peach Bowl in Atlanta will be played at the home of the Atlanta Falcons, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, an artificial surface. The game is on ESPN.

The game features the Big Ten’s Michigan Wolverines (10-2) and the SEC’s Florida Gators (9-3). Should be a good one, although Michigan has a 4-0 advantage all-time against Florida.

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh 2014 photo By Eric Upchurch - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

In his fourth season at his alma mater, head coach Jim Harbaugh has definitely improved the team from where it was when he took over for Brady Hoke back in 2015. He has returned the program to national prominence but like all of his prdecessors, has a tough time trying to beat their most-hated rival, the Ohio State Buckeyes. He is 0-4 against them, with three of the four games being blowouts.

This season, the Wolverines steamrolled everyone in what they called “The Revenge Tour” which meant beating Penn State, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Ohio State. They beat everyone but the latter.

Their only other loss was to Notre Dame.

A couple of weird things about Michigan is that they have never won the a Big Ten Division title or have advanced to the Big Ten Championship Game. Two things their fanbase is upset about.

The Wolverines offense has definitely benefitted from the transfer of QB Shea Patterson from Mississippi. His abilities upgraded a position that was a problem spot for years since the graduation of Denard Robinson.

Michigan has a great defense. Was stout all year and its only blemish was the 62 points against Ohio State, where they had issues with the Buckeyes speedy wide receiver corps. Overall, they still have the nation’s number 1 defense and the pass defense was ranked #2.

Florida head coach Dan Mullen 2018 photo By University Athletic Association, Inc. - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

The Gators are coached by Dan Mullen, who shocked Mississippi State fans when he left to go to SEC rival Florida. But it makes sense. He used to be an assistant to Urban Meyer when he was head coach at the Gainesville school.

Mullen has made progress in just one year for a team that did not make a bowl last year. He has doubled the win total, motivated the team and won the games he was suppose to win and re-invigorated a fanbase that was literally disgusted with former head coach Jim McElwain. Another high point was beating LSU and his former team, Mississippi State. The only low time was losing to Kentucky which ended a 31-game win streak for the Gators against that team.

Friday night’s final game is the Alamo Bowl, Washington State and Iowa State

 

Alamodome aerial view 2014 photo By Billy Hathorn - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas will be the sight for Friday night’s final TV game on ESPN.

The 9 pm start will pit the Washington State Cougars (10-2) of the Pacific 12 Conference against the Iowa State Cyclones from the offensive-minded and exciting, Big 12 Conference.

The Cyclones are always a team who can get an upset at anytime, just ask Oklahoma State and West Virginia. But the question for this game is can their defense, which is has been banged up late in the season, stop a very potent Cougars offensive attack? Iowa State’s defense is very good leading the conference in allowing just 22.5 points a game. It is led by safety Greg Eisworth who as a sophomore, was named Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year. He had 84 tackles and two forced fumbles leading the team in both categories.

The 13th-ranked Cougars, who only lost to USC and Washington, has one of the nation’s best offenses, ranking in the top 25 in both yards 462 per game and points 38.3. Furthermore, they also led the nation in passing yards per game 379.8 and number 2 in completion percentage 70.5.

The Cyclones have a very dangerous offense led by RB David Montgomery and WR Hakeem Butler. Both players were all-Big 12 second team gaining more than 1,000 yards each.

2018 Pac-12 football standings
Conf Overall
Team W L W L
North Division
No. 9 Washington xy$ 7 2 10 3
No. 12 Washington Statex 7 2 10 2
Stanford 6 3 8 4
Oregon 5 4 8 4
California 4 5 7 6
Oregon State 1 8 2 10
South Division
No. 20 Utah xy 6 3 9 4
Arizona State 5 4 7 6
USC 4 5 5 7
Arizona 4 5 5 7
UCLA 3 6 3 9
Colorado 2 7 5 7
ChampionshipWashington 10, Utah 3
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
  • y – Championship game participant

As of December 28, 2018; Rankings from AP Poll

 

2018 Big 12 football standings
Conf Overall
Team W L W L
No. 4 Oklahoma y$^ 8 1 12 1
No. 14 Texas y 7 2 9 4
No. 25 Iowa State 6 3 8 4
No. 15 West Virginia 6 3 8 3
TCU 4 5 7 6
Baylor 4 5 7 6
Kansas State 3 6 5 7
Texas Tech 3 6 5 7
Oklahoma State 3 6 6 6
Kansas 1 8 3 9
ChampionshipOklahoma 39, Texas 27
  • ^ – College Football Playoff participant
  • $ – Conference champion
  • y – Championship game participant

As of December 28, 2018; Rankings from AP Poll

 

 

CONFERENCE STANDINGS COURTESY OF WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

 

Today’s Camping World Game featuring teams with high-powered offenses, West Virginia & Syracuse

Camping World Stadium in Orlando 2015 photo By Kitch - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

This afternoon’s contest between West Virginia and Syracuse will feature two teams with high-powered offenses and suspect defenses.

The last time these two teams faced each other was in 2012 in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl where there was 52 points scored. However, Syracuse collared West Virginia, 38-14.

The Mouintaineers (8-3) from the Big 12 Conference, are ranked 16th in the recent polls, are led by QB Will Grier, senior WR’s Gary Jennings Jr. and David Sills V. That offensive unit is ninth nationally in scoring 42.3 points per game and third best passing attack at 358.1 yards per game and eighth in offensive yards per game with 520.4.

17th-ranked Syracuse (9-3), has made incredible strides under head coach Dino Babers. They have won more games in a season since 2001 and making their first bowl appearance since the 2013 Texas Bowl, a 21-17 win over Minnesota.

The Orange have had a successful season due to their record-breaking senior QB Eric Dungey. Their offense ranks 12th nationally in points per game 40.8, tied for 18th in total offensive yards 468.8.

Both teams hold their breath when it comes to defense.

The Mountaineers rank 74th in yards allowed 405.5 per game. The Orange rank even worse, 89th in total defense 426.8 per game.

West Virginia QB Will Grier had a stellar game against Oklahoma throwing for 539 yards and 4 touchdowns in the 59-56 loss in the regular season finale

Orange QB Eric Dungey threw for 2,565 yards and 17 touchdowns. Athletic and very mobile, He rushed for 732 yards and led the team with 15 rushing TD's. Has 17 school records

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