2014 Boca Raton Bowl results: Marshall caps 13-1 season
The Thundering Herd cap one of the best seasons in school history with a blowout of a fellow conference champion.
The Boca Raton Bowl is just one of a handful of new bowl games this season, joining the likes of the Bahamas Bowl, Camellia Bowl and the Miami Beach Bowl. This year, it’ll be Marshall vs. Northern Illinois, according to ESPN.
What should we expect from the Boca Raton Bowl moving forward? It has conference tie-ins with MAC and Conference USA in 2014, though the American Athletic Conference will get one of the bids starting in 2015. It will be played at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Fla., giving it one of the smallest crowd capacities of all the bowl games, if not the smallest. It should also be a lot of fun considering teams from the MAC and Conference USA tend to put up a bunch of points in their bowl games.
Here is everything you need to get ready for game day:
Date and time, ET: Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014, 6 p.m. ET
TV channel: ESPN
Location: Boca Raton, Fla.
Stadium: FAU Stadium, 30,000
Northern Illinois (11-2, 7-1 MAC)
The Huskies had a chance to avenge their MAC Championship loss to Bowling Green from last year, and they took full advantage in their 51-17 drubbing of the Falcons in the 2014 edition of the MAC title game. NIU lost at Arkansas (no shame in that) and at home to Central Michigan (a little shame in that, but CMU is bowl eligible). The Huskies will enter their bowl game on a seven-game winning streak and full of confidence.
Northern Illinois led the MAC in rushing yards per game (252.9) which was also good enough to be 14th in the nation. The Huskies rushing attack is a Cerberus (dog references!) with quarterback Drew Hare gaining 850 yards on the ground and two tailbacks, Cameron Stingily and Joel Bouagnon rolling up 895 and 573 yards respectively. Hare also threw for 2,097 and 17 touchdowns with only two interceptions. The Huskies refused to beat themselves and were the least penalized team in the conference.
Last bowl game: 2013 Poinsettia Bowl vs. Utah State, 21-14 loss
All-time bowl record: 5-8
Head coach’s bowl record: Rod Carey, 0-2
Marshall Thundering Herd (12-1, 7-1 C-USA)
There was a long time where no one really knew what to do with Marshall. The Thundering Herd played one of the weakest schedules in the nation and won their first 11 games fairly convincingly. It wasn’t convincingly enough to get them into the playoff rankings until after their 11th win — which they then followed up with an overtime loss to Western Kentucky.
Marshall has been led by a dynamic and balanced offense this season, scoring 45.1 points per game. Quarterback Rakeem Cato is one of the nation’s best, and has a top target in former high school teammate Tommy Shuler. The secret is running back Devon Johnson, who ran for 1,602 yards with 16 touchdowns this season.
Last bowl game: 2013 Military Bowl vs. Maryland, 31-20 win
All-time bowl record: 8-3
Head coach’s bowl record: Doc Holliday, 2-0