This may not be the most prestigious bowl game each year, but every once in a while we'll get to see a few players that may have decent success at the next level.
In tonight's match up, we'll see the 8-4 Southern Miss Golden Eagles take on the 6-6 Louisville Cardinals, who have improved this year under first-year-coach Charlie Strong. Although neither team really has a strong defense, the Cards defense could be their strong suite. They managed to put together two shut-outs this season. If the Cardinals want to head in to next year with some momentum, what better place than to start by winning the Beef 'O' Brady Bowl? Is it possible? Certainly... it's college football.
Below, we will take a look at some of the possible key-players in tonights game
SOUTHERN MISS GOLDEN EAGLES KEY PLAYERS TO WATCH
1. Austin Davis - QB: Davis has put together some solid games this year and will look to do so once again in this game. He has thrown just shy of 3000 yards this year with 18 TD's. His play will need to be pivotal in order for the Golden Eagles to come out with a win in this game.
2. Johdrick Morris - WR: He is a first team all-conference receiver and led the team with 46 receptions, most of which came from Davis. It is no secret that these two will be looking to hook up in the biggest game of the year for them.
3. Kelvin Bolden - WR: If Morris is tied up this afternoon, it may be possible that Davis targets his number two which statistically came close to matching what Morris did with 41 receptions. If Louisville ties up Morris, Bolden is not a bad second option to have.
4. Kendrick Hardy - RB: Southern Miss may come in to this game in an attempt to create balance between the run and pass game. The freshman running back has the skill set and the moves to create a name for himself in the pro scouting world if he can continue to progress each year. His carries have been split this year with Desmond Johnson, but in the past five or six games, Hardy has really staked his claim.
LOUISVILLE CARDINALS KEY PLAYERS TO WATCH
1. Bilal Powell - RB: Powell has been the bell cow for the Cardinals offense this year. The Golden Eagles will be keying on this young talented running back, but he may just be too much for the Eagles defense to contain. Powell will have to have a stellar game as it is a bit foggy with the quarterback situation as to who will play a majority of the game between Froman, Burke, and Stein.
2. Cameron Graham - TE: Graham has been the go-to guy as far as receiving goes. I had this big athletic monster ranked fairly high at the beginning of the year and he has so far proven me right. Graham is one of those guys that we quite conceivably see playing on Sundays next year. His presence in the middle of the field could potentially help open things up in the run game for Powell.
3. Rodney Gnat - DE: Gnat has put up 8.5 sacks this year and has been a menace for opposing quarterbacks to deal all season long. He will undoubtedly be wreaking havoc on Davis in this game as well. It would not surprise me to see some momentum swinging plays made by Gnat.
4. Johnny Patrick - CB: At 6'1", 190, Patrick is by and far the best defensive back for the Cards defensive squad. As far as the NFL is concerned, this senior could quite potentially make it as a nickel corner somewhere. He has 5 interceptions for 99 yards with a score, 1 sack, and 47 tackles on the season.
Summary: This game features a few players worth keeping an eye on for your NFL team. There may not be a plethra of pro-caliber-talent, however, the ones that are will no doubt shine in this 3rd annual Beef 'O' Brady Bowl.
Bowl History - 2008: USF Bulls 41, Memphis Tigers 14. 2009: Rutgers 45, Central Florida 24.
Coverage: ESPN/ ESPN3