We're back continuing the postseason college football Bowl match-ups. There are six slates of games for our day after Christmas Bowl extravaganza. So, throw away all the crumpled and torn wrapping paper scattered throughout your home, heat up some Christmas dinner leftovers, and sit back and enjoy some college football action. Out shopping for the day after Christmas Clearance sale? Well, take advantage of the Watch ESPN stream app and display your excellent vision, watching college football while stacking and shedding fellow shoppers rummaging through the discount bins. Happy Holidays everyone!
* = indicates junior status
** = indicates redshirt sophomore status
+= injury status
St. Petersburg Bowl
Connecticut Huskies vs. Marshall Thundering Herd
Location: St. Petersburg, FL | Tropicana Field
Game time: 10:00 AM PT
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Bowl gift swag: Gift suite; Oakley backpack and Turbine sunglasses; commemorative football.
Connecticut (6-6) enters today's game winning three of their last four games and looking to finish the season with a winning record for the first time in five years. Defense will be the name of the game, where the Huskies are allowing 19.8 points per game (17th nationally). Moreover, the stingy defense is also only allowing 352.2 yards per game. The Huskies' secondary is an opportunistic unit, plucking 17 interceptions, tied for 13th nationally. With two stingy defenses facing off, points will be at a premium, and with the Huskies' offense ranked 120th out of 128th, they will need to get their points anyway they can (keep an eye out for a few trick plays here and there).
Connecticut's Draft Prospects:
DT Julian Campenni, No. 90, 6'0 - 302 lbs., 5.00 40 - (UFA)
DE Kenton Adeyemi, No. 95, 6'4 - 287 lbs., 4.92 40 - (UFA)
FS Andrew Adams, No. 22, 5'11 - 197 lbs., 4.58 40 - (7th)
Marshall (9-3) is another very stout and stingy defense ranking 14 nationally in points allowing 18.4 points per game. The Thundering Herd's offense has been inconsistent, but they are lead by impressive freshman quarterback Chase Litton who has thrown for 2,387 yards and 22 touchdowns giving up 7 interceptions. Marshall enters the postseason with three straight 10 win seasons, but are limping into the Bowl game losing two of their last three games. There is a possibility the Thundering Herd's impressive running back, Devon Johnson, may play in today's game. Johnson has been battling injuries (back) as of late, but when healthy, Johnson is a quick footed power back with excellent production.
Marshall's Draft Prospects:
RB Devon Johnson, No. 47, 6'1 - 243 lbs., 4.64 40 - (6th)
WR Davonte Allen, No. 6, 6'2 - 200 lbs., 4.52 40 - (7th-UFA)
WR Deandre Reaves, No. 19, 5'10 - 175 lbs., 4.49 40 - (UFA)
+OT Clint Van Horn, No. 78, 6'5 - 310 lbs., 5.28 40 - (7th-UFA)
Hyundai Sun Bowl
Miami Hurricanes vs. Washington State Cougars
Location: El Paso, TX | Sun Bowl
Game time: 1:00 PM PT
Live Stream: No Video Stream
Bowl wag gift: Gift suite; Timely Watch Co. Silvertone watch; Majestic Pro Base fleece pullover; Ogio Politan backpack; cap; commemorative coin.
Miami (8-4) has gone through a hectic year with the firing of Head Coach Al Green after the beat down by Clemson in Week 8 (58-0), but under the tutelage of interim Coach Larry Scott, the Hurricanes have won four of their last five gaining a Bowl birth. The recently fired Georgia Head Coach, Mark Richt, will now be Miami's head honcho going in to the 2016 season, but Scott will continue his path in finishing the 2015 season strong. The 27th ranked Hurricanes pass offense is lead by sophomore quarterback Brad Kaaya, who has thrown for 3,019 yards and 15 touchdowns giving up only 4 interceptions. Safety Deon Bush is one of the leaders on an opportunistic defense excelling in turnovers with a turnover margin at plus-13, which is tied for 5th in the nation. Look for Miami to win its first Bowl game since 2006 after going 0-5 during the last five Bowl games.
Miami's Draft Prospects:
WR *Stacy Coley, No. 3, 6'1 - 187 lbs., 4.39 40 - (4th-5th)
WR Rashawn Scott, No. 11, No. 6'2 - 205 lbs., 4.46 40 - (7th-UFA)
WR Herb Waters, No. 6, No. 6'1 - 195 lbs., 4.52 40 - (7th-UFA)
DT Ufomba Kamalu, No. 47, 6'5 - 295 lbs., 5.00 40 - (7th)
FS Deon Bush, No. 2, 6'1 - 205 lbs., 4.54 40 - (3rd-4th)
Washington State (8-4) is entering postseason winning three of their last four games and will be going to their second Bowl in three seasons. The Cougars bring to the game a high powered prolific air attack offense leading the nation in passing offense at 397 yards per game. Conducting the air attack under Coach Mike Leach's Air Raid system is sophomore quarterback Luke Falk who leads the nation with 4,266 yards and 36 touchdowns giving up 8 interceptions. Look for the game to be a pass happy affair keeping the secondaries of these two teams on their heels. One interesting thing of note in regard to both teams and the 49ers is that all three teams were coached by Dennis Erickson. Happy times for one team (Miami), not so much for the other two.
Washington State's Prospects:
WR Dom Williams, No. 80, 6'2 - 192 lbs., 4.53 40 - (7th)
OT/OG Joe Dahl, No. 56, 6'4 - 303 lbs., 5.29 40 - (7th)
OG Gunnar Eklund, No. 63, 6'6 - 305 lbs., 5.37 40 - (UFA)
Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl
Washington Huskies vs. Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles
Location: Dallas, TX | Cotton Bowl Stadium at Fair Park
Game time: 1:20 PM PT
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Bowl gift swag: Gift suite; Ogio backpack with hydration bladder; commemorative football; beanie.
Washington (6-6) will be facing Southern Mississippi (9-4) for the very first time. The Huskies roll into the postseason coming off two consecutive wins prior to two consecutive losses. After losing some special defensive talent the year prior (Marcus Peters, Danny Shelton, Shaq Thompson, and Hau'oli Kikaha), the Huskies still possess a potent and stout defense, which leads the PAC-12 in total defense at 350 yards per game and scoring defense at 17.8 points per game. One of the leaders of the Huskies' stingy defense is outside linebacker Travis Feeney, a quick slender athlete who is great against the run, solid in coverage, outstanding in special teams, and has the skill-set to be an in-the-box safety with excellent sideline-to-sideline speed and burst. Going to their sixth straight Bowl game, look for the Huskies to hit .500 in Bowl appearances over the last six years after going 2-3 in Bowl games.
Washington's Draft Prospects:
WR Jaydon Mickens, No. 4, 5'10 - 174 lbs., 4.55 40 - (7th)
TE Joshua Perkins, No. 82, 6'3 - 226 lbs., 4.68 40 - (7th-UFA)
DT Taniela Tupou, No. 90, 6'2 - 293 lbs., 5.06 40 - (7th-UFA)
OLB Travis Feeney, No. 41, 6'3 - 223 lbs., 4.64 40 - (4th)
Southern Mississippi soars into the postseason winning sixth of their last seven games and looking for an opportunity to reach a 10-win season for only the third time in team history. The Golden Eagles are lead by junior quarterback Nick Mullens who has thrown for 4,125 yards and 36 touchdowns giving up 12 interceptions. Mullens leads the Golden Eagles with a 12th ranked passing offense averaging 336 yards per game and 40.6 points per game (ranked 11th nationally). Moreover, the passing attack is aided by two talented running backs in senior Jalen Richard and sophomore Ito Smith, both rushing for over 1,000 yards each.
Southern Mississippi's Draft Prospects:
WR Michael Thomas, No. 88, 6'1 - 186 lbs., 4.52 40 - (7th-UFA)
New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Indiana Hoosiers vs. Duke Blue Devils
Location: Bronx, NY | Yankee Stadium
Game time: 2:30 PM PT
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Bowl gift swag: Variety of New Era products.
Indiana (6-6) and Duke (7-5) will meet for the fourth time and the Hoosiers look to even the series at 2-2. Duke's secondary will have their hands full with a prolific Indiana offense. Hoosiers' senior quarterback Nate Sudfeld leads the Big Ten in passing yards averaging 289.5 yards per game. Sudfeld bestows an NFL caliber frame at 6'5" - 240 pounds with a good strong lively arm, quick release, sound mechanics, high character, pocket presence, and good accuracy. Although he has shown some inconsistency with his game, Sudfeld is capable of making all NFL level throws. The Pinstripe Bowl will be the first Bowl game for the Hoosiers since 2007 (Insight Bowl), and their last Bowl win was in 1991 (Copper Bowl); therefore, look for Indiana to end the Bowl losing drought.
Indiana's Draft Prospects:
QB Nate Sudfeld, No. 7, 6'5 - 240 lbs., 4.96 40 - (5th)
RB *Jordan Howard, No. 8, 6'1 - 225 lbs., 4.59 40 - (3rd)
OT Jason Spriggs, No. 78, 6'6 - 305 lbs., 5.07 40 - (2nd)
OG *Dan Feeney, No. 67, 6'4 - 305 lbs., 5.12 40 - (2nd-3rd)
Speaking of droughts, even though Duke is appearing in their fourth straight Bowl game, the Blue Devils have not won a Bowl game in over 50 years, last win was back in the 1961 Cotton Bowl. The Blue Devils are looking to change their losing ways in the postseason and will do so under the helm of dual-threat junior quarterback Thomas Sirk. Sirk has not only passed for 2,462 yards with 15 touchdowns giving up 6 interceptions, but he's also rushed for 648 yards with 6 rushing touchdowns. The balanced offense averages 30.5 points per game, with a breakdown of 253 passing yards per game and 178 rushing yards per game. Look for Duke to take advantage of a very week Indiana defense, which is last in the Big Ten and ranked 116th nationally. Additional note: All American senior safety, Jeremy Cash, will miss today's action after undergoing wrist surgery.
Duke's Draft Prospects:
TE Braxton Deaver, No. 89, 6'5 - 240 lbs., 4.86 40 - (7th-UFA)
C Matt Skura, No. 62, 6'3 - 305 lbs., 5.32 40 - (7th-UFA)
SS Jeremy Cash, No. 16, 6'1 - 208 lbs., 4.56 40 - (2nd)
P Will Monday, No. 41, 6'3 - 210 lbs., 5.10 40 - (7th-UFA)
Camping World Independence Bowl
Tulsa Golden Hurricane vs. Virginia Tech Hokies
Location: Shreveport, LA | Independence Stadium
Game time: 4:45 PM PT
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Bowl gift swag: Gift suite; Timely Watch Co. watch; New Era knit skull cap; commemorative football.
Tulsa (6-6) is in a resurgence under first year Head Coach Philip Montgomery and is looking to continue their postseason success after winning three of their last four Bowl appearances. The Golden Hurricanes fast paced hurry-up offense ranks 11th nationally in passing yards at 329.8 per game and the team averages roughly 36 points per game. Senior wide receiver phenom, Keyarris Garrett, is currently third in the nation in receiving yards with 1,451 yards and 7 touchdowns. Tulsa will need all the points possible, since they are a 14 point underdog, which is the largest spread of all the Bowl games this year.
Tulsa's Draft Prospects:
WR Keyarris Garrett, No. 1, 6'3 - 221 lbs., 4.54 40 - (4th)
Virginia Tech (6-6) will make their 23rd consecutive postseason appearance under the retiring Head Coach Frank Beamer. Defense is the name of the game for the Hokies, ranking 31st in total yards allowed and giving up 24.2 points per game. Although the Hokies offense is not a prolific offensive threat, they are going up against a mediocre Tulsa defense, which ranks 119th in allowed points per game (38.6) and are allowing 293 passing yards per game. Beamer has been with the Hokies since 1987 and his 236 wins with the program are the sixth most all-time in the FBS; therefore, look for the players to galvanize under their beloved and admired coach, sending him out on top.
Virginia Tech's Draft Prospects:
TE **Bucky Hodges, No. 7, 6'5 - 249 lbs., - (3rd)
TE Ryan Malleck, No. 88, 6'4 - 252 lbs., 4.77 40 - (7th)
DT Luther Maddy, No. 92, 6'1 - 293 lbs., 4.96 40 - (5th)
DE Corey Marshall, No. 96, 6'1 - 262 lbs., 4.65 40 - (7th-UFA)
OLB Dadi Lhomme Nicolas, No. 90, 6'3 - 236 lbs., 4.58 40 - (5th)
+CB *Kendall Fuller, No. 11, 6'0 - 197 lbs., 4.48 40 - (1st-2nd)
Foster Farms Bowl
UCLA Bruins vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers
Location: Santa Clara, CA | Levi's Stadium
Game time: 8:15 PM PT
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Bowl gift swag: Gift suite; Fossil watch.
UCLA (8-4) enters postseason after a dreaded defeat against their in-town rivals USC; however, the Bruins have won four of their last six games and are looking to end the season on a high note facing a struggling Nebraska (5-7) team. The match-up with Nebraska will be the 12th meeting in the series, which is tied at 6-6. The Bruins are lead by their impressive true freshman quarterback Josh Rosen, who has thrown for 3,350 yards and 20 touchdowns giving up 9 interceptions. Moreover, the Bruins also have the PAC-12's leading rusher in junior running back Paul Perkins, who has rushed for 1,275 yards and 13 touchdowns. Perkins will have his hands full against a stout run-stopping Nebraska defensive front; however, look for the Bruins to take advantage of the Cornhusker's secondary, which allows the seventh-most passing yards per game in the nation.
UCLA Draft Prospects:
RB *Paul Perkins, No. 24, 5'10 - 210 lbs., 4.50 40 - (2nd)
WR Jordan Payton, No. 9, 6'1 - 213 lbs., 4.54 40 - (5th)
OT *Conner McDermott, No. 68, 6'8 - 310 lbs., - (2nd)
OT *Caleb Benenoch, No. 74, 6'5 - 305 lbs., - 5.32 40 - (4th)
OG *Alex Redmond, No. 51, 6'5 - 305 lbs., 5.43 40 - (4th)
C Jake Brendel, No. 54, 6'3 - 290 lbs., 5.16 40 - (7th)
DT *Kenny Clark, No. 97, 6'3 - 308 lbs., 5.22 40 - (1st)
+OLB/ILB *Myles Jack, No. 30, 6'1 - 232 lbs., 4.56 40 - (1st)
+CB Fabian Moreau, No. 10, 5'11 - 195 lbs., 4.52 40 - (4th)
K Ka'imi Fairbairn, No. 15, 6'0 - 190 lbs., 4.96 40 - (6th)
Well, I first have to preface my wife is a huge, and truly devoted, Nebraska Cornhuskers' fan (along with my in-laws and a cornucopia of relatives from my wife's side of the family, and I do mean a cornucopia); therefore, any negativity I write towards her beloved Cornhuskers may be met with harsh and undesired consequences on my end, where family banishment could be in play, but I digress. The Cornhusker's are going through some turmoil, and it is safe to say the new regime has left some fans throwing their hands up in disdain. Amazingly, Nebraska earned a Bowl birth and is just one of three teams playing in a Bowl game with a losing record (5-7), so with the struggles of first year head coach Mike Riley, it is safe to say the Cornhusker's are just happy to be here. Although UCLA is the favorite in the game (UCLA by 6 1/2), do not underestimate the Huskers, who like to keep games very close (average margin of loss is 4.4 points). Look for Nebraska's junior wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp to make one sensational draw-dropping reception.
Nebraska's Draft Prospects:
OT Alex Lewis, No. 71, 6'6 - 297 lbs., 5.17 40 - (7th)
OG/OT Zach Sterup, No. 57, 6'8 - 320 lbs., 5.38 40 - (7th-UFA)
DT *Maliek Collins, No. 7, 6'2 - 300 lbs., 5.06 40 - (1st-2nd)
DT *Vincent Valentine, No. 98, 6'2 - 320 lbs., - (3rd)