College Football Open Thread: Little Caesars Bowl, Poinsettia Bowl

Brian Kersey

We take a look at Thursday's bowl games and the notable prospects in them.

It's the day after Christmas, and if you're not busy returning gifts and using gift cards, there are some bowl games to watch.

Little Caesars Bowl 3 P.M. PT (Pittsburgh 6-6 vs. Bowling Green 10-3)

A bowl name that screams mediocre pizza features a team with a mediocre record. This still could be a good game, as it does feature some NFL ready prospects, both from Pitt.

The biggest and baddest in this game is DT Aaron Donald. He won some big accolades this season, including the Chuck Bednarik award for best defensive player, and the Bronco Nagurski Award for most outstanding player. He also hauled in the Outland trophy for best interior defensive lineman, while being selected First Team All-ACC and First Team All-American. Sounds like a sure top ten pick, right? Maybe not. Donald is just 6' and 285 and has been deemed undersized by a lot of scouts. While that may be the case, his numbers say that his weight and height shouldn't matter all that much, as he was a force to be reckoned with this season. The undersized lineman notched 10 sacks and 26.5 tackles for loss. He shows impressive strength to go a long with good speed. Justin Smith weighs just 285 also, food for thought.

On the offensive side of the ball for Pitt there's an intriguing option that will be around day two or three, receiver Devin Street. Street hasn't received a ton of love so far from scouts but that could change in the coming months. I feel he is a good route runner with shiftiness in the open field, while also having reliable hands. At 6-3" 185 lbs, Street may need to bulk up, but he's also shown he can take a big hit with his present frame and not be phased. However, the NFL features a lot more hard hitters.

Poinsettia Bowl 6:30 P.M. PT ( Utah State vs. No. 23 Northern Illinois)

This game is going to be fun to watch because of Northern Illinois' quarterback, Jordan Lynch. A Heisman finalist, Lynch runs all over the field, running for 1,881 yards and 22 touchdowns this season. He's shown decent accuracy as well, posting a 63.1 completion percentage. Someone is going to draft Lynch, and he should be considered at quarterback until proven otherwise in NFL camp. Lynch has more talent than Denard Robinson as a passer, when it comes to both accuracy and decision making. However, I wouldn't be surprised if they try to change his position to "offensive weapon". Expect some big plays from him tonight that will excite.

On defense for Northern Illinois there is strong safety Jimmie Ward. He already has an invitation to the Senior Bowl and will be looking to build momentum leading up to it in tonight's bowl. Ward has shown good coverage skills this year, with six interceptions and 14 passes defended. Ward appears to be a mid round prospect and could potentially rise with pre-draft buzz.

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