Potato Bowl (played in Boise, Idaho) on Dec. 22nd
CMU vs. Wyoming (even), total 46.5
Draft “experts” have Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen in the top three of quarterback prospects that are entering this year’s NFL draft. Draft-guru, Mel Kiper Jr. has Allen as the top-rated quarterback. . . it’s just amazing that a guy who’s numbers this year are as follows: 1,658 passing yards, 13 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Excuse me, as I pick my jaw up from the floor. . . Playing out of the Mountain West Conference, he knew that his marquee games would come against teams from Power 5 Conferences. . .he was embarrassed by both Oregon and Iowa.
Allen suffered an injury in Wyoming’s win over Air Force on Nov. 11, but is going to play in the Potato Bowl. Allen will be going up against a Central Michigan pass defense that is one of the best in all of college football. This defensive unit holds the opposition to a completion percentage of 54.6 percent and is second, nationally, in the interceptions category with 19 (tied with Akron and Iowa). Another impressive stat by this secondary is that they’ve only given up 13 touchdowns through the air this year. Take a guess at which team these stats kind-of run neck-in-neck with. . . ? Yup, Wyoming. Wyoming has allowed only 10 touchdowns through the air, nabbed 16 interceptions and have held the passing yards against them to a total under 2,000 yards this season. The under in this game seems to be the play, and for the win, the Central Michigan Chippewas just have better players and really no pressure in this game.
The Pick: CMU and the Under
Armed Forces Bowl (played in Fort Worth, Texas) on Dec. 23rd
Army +6 vs. San Diego State, total 46
If you like watching teams that run the ball then this is the game for you. Just good ol’ smash mouth football. San Diego State attempts about twenty passes a game while Army attempts five. . . 5. Yes, five. Good thing Army runs the ball. They freakin’ better. . . Army leads the nation with 4,270 rushing yards, at a 6.1-yard clip. Army’s offense is a marvel of college football tradition, as they run the triple-option-flexbone attack. This is usually a problem for opposing defenses because they don’t see this very often, but San Diego State sees this formation when they go against their conference rival Air Force.
Adding into the mix are the formidable rushing attacks of UNLV, New Mexico and Colorado State – the San Diego Aztecs see their fair share of rushing attacks. San Diego State fares well against all of them. They are seventh in the nation in fewest rushing yards allowed and their run defense allows only 3.5 yards a rush – just like Penn State and Georgia. San Diego State’s rushing attack is led by the phenomenal Rashaad Penny. Penny received AP All-American College Football First Team Honors this week and still feels he needs to prove something to the world. A large portion of fans think Penny was snubbed in the Heisman race, and that he was overshadowed by the likes of Penn State’s Saquon Barkley and Stanford’s Bryce Love. Penny isn’t “on the fence” about playing in this bowl game and actually feels he needs to show the world one last time just how dominant of a runner he is. He’ll be going up against an Army defense that allows five yards a rush (after calculating Penny’s 7.4 yards a carry, Penny has a smash-average-advantage of 6.2 yards per carry). Army has had a nice season, but this one gets ugly with the Aztecs literally running away with this one.
The Pick: San Diego State -6
Dollar General Bowl (played in Mobile, Alabama) on Dec. 23rd
Appalachian State +7 vs. Toledo, Total 61.5
Appalachian State is a confusing squad. They have an 8-4 record, co-champions of the Sun Belt conference and have an offense that scores 33 points per game. Yet, they somehow manage to lose against teams like Louisiana-Monroe and UMass. . . This is football in the Sun Belt conference, I guess. . . Regardless of that, App State has put together an impressive season once again. Senor quarterback Taylor Lamb has put up some impressive stats this year and is hoping to impress scouts one last time in this Dollar General Bowl. Lamb has 27 touchdown passes and only 6 interceptions this year and in his entire four years as starting quarterback has stood at a 61 percent completion percentage. The offensive line (three of gained made All-Sun-Belt-First-Team honors in front of Lamb has done a great job for him and his stable of running backs – most notably Jalen Moore who is 88 yards away from a 1,000-yard season.
Those are the kind of things that doesn’t bode well for a below average Toledo rush defense that allows 4.7 yards a carry. Toledo is giving up 25 points a game this year, and although they are holding opposing quarterbacks to a completion percentage of 52.7 percent but they’ve had a tendency to give up the big plays. . . Toledo’s offense is a powerhouse though. Quarterback Logan Woodside has thrown for over 3,700 yards with 28 touchdown passes and his targets Dionte and Jon’Vea Johnson are a sweet receiving duo. Appalachian State’s tough defense will definitely be pushed to their limits in this one. App State is going to take their time on drives while Toledo might find themselves getting frustrated against this Mountaineer defense. . . Should be a good game, but look at this one as a chess match.
The Pick: The Under at 61.5
Good Luck and Wager Wisely!