2015 NCAAF Bowl – Tuesday night games preview

– Nevada (6-6 SU, 7-4-1 ATS) heads to the Arizona Bowl looking to put the brakes on a two-game losing skid and topple a red-hot Colorado State (7-5 SU, 6-5-1 ATS) team also from the Mountain West Conference.

– The Wolf Pack started the season 3-4 SU/ATS through the first season games and it appeared to be a lost season. However, a three-game winning streak from Oct. 24-Nov. 14 kickoff off a 4-0-1 ATS run in the final five games to make Nevada a friend of the bettor.

The Rams got off to an equally tough start, opening 2-4 SU and 2-3-1 ATS. But they were close, as two of those setbacks were against Minnesota and rival Colorado, games which were unable to be decided in regulation. After a 41-10 setback to Boise State Oct. 10, the Rams picked up a win against fellow bowl team Air Force before finishing the regular season 5-1 SU/4-2 ATS in the final six.

– QB Nick Stevens had a decent year for CSU, completing 61.8 percent of his passes for 2,368 yards, 21 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He isn’t a threat to run, but he did run for two scores. The Rams lead the running to RB Dalyn Dawkins, who led the team with 805 yards and two scores on 5.2 yards per tote. RB Jasen Oden is also shifty, posting 695 yards with five scores. RB Izzy Matthews is also capable, posting 5.9 yards per carry while hitting paydirt five times. In the receiving game it’s all about WR Rashard Higgins, who was by far the most impressive with 932 yards and eight scores. WR Joe Hansley had six scores, while TE Kivon Cartwright managed 15.5 yards per grab and two scores.

– Wolf Pack QB Tyler Stewart had big shoes to fill for the departed Cody Fajardo, but he did a more than adequate job. He threw for 2,064 yards with 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions while also running for 293 yards and four scores. The Pack had a pair of 1,000-yard runners in James Butler (184-1,156-8) and Don Jackson (220-1,026-8). WRs Hassan Henderson (50-709-4) and Jerico Richardson (64-707-5) have dependable hands, and TE Jarred Gipson is a big red zone threat with five scores this season.

– Nevada is 3-0-1 ATS in their past four against teams with a winning record, and 4-0-1 ATS in their past five overall. However, they’re 1-5-1 ATS in their past seven bowl games and 1-4-1 ATS in their past six neutral-site battles. The favorite is 5-1 ATS in their past six meetings in this series, and the ‘under’ has cashed in five straight battles between these two Mountain West clubs.

– Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Eastern streaming on CampusInsiders.com.

– Louisiana State (8-3 SU, 5-6 ATS) heads to the Advocare V100 Texas Bowl against Texas Tech (7-5 SU, 7-4-1 ATS) in a potentially high-scoring game. The Tigers had some uncertainty down the stretch on whether head coach Les Miles would continue on, but he was not fired and that drama appears to be a thing of the past and the team can concentrate 100 percent on the on-field issues again.

– LSU had a down year by their standards. They opened 7-0 SU (4-3 ATS), but they had a three-game losing streak from Nov. 7-21 with losses at Alabama, home to Arkansas and at Mississippi. All three of those games are bowling, and they wrapped up with a 19-7 win over Texas A&M. The Tigers were also 1-3 ATS in their final four games, too, and they were 1-4 ATS in their five forays away from Baton Rouge this season.

– The season was one of peaks and valleys for the Red Raiders. They opened 3-0, lost two straight to Texas Christian and Baylor at home, won two in a row, lost three in a row and then won their final two. All five of their setbacks came against bowl teams, so there were no embarrassing or shocking setbacks, and they had a nice win at Arkansas earlier in the season, as well as a 48-45 shootout win at Texas to exorcise some historic demons.

– The Red Raiders are led by QB Patrick Mahomes II, son of former MLB pitcher Pat Mahomes. The QB threw for 4,283 yards, 32 touchdowns and 14 interceptions while completing 65.0 percent of his passes. He also rushed for 484 yards and 10 touchdowns to serve as a true dual-threat option. WR Jakeem Grant is his favorite target, as he finished the regular season with 1,143 yards with seven touchdowns. WR Devin Lauderdale was good for 43 grabs, 639 yards and four touchdowns, but he was suspended indefinitely and will not play in the Texas Bowl. While that’s a big missing target, WR Reginald Davis had seven scores and RB Justin Stockton hauled in six balls for score and they will look to fill the void.

– LSU’s offense is RB Leonard Fournette, who was putting up mind-boggling numbers early in the season before settling down. He still finished with 1,741 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns while adding 209 receiving yards. RBs Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams found the end zone three times. QB Brandon Harris continues his on-the-job training. He showed glimpses of brilliance, but is a work in progress. He completed 53.1 percent of his pass attempts for just 1,904 yards, 12 touchdowns and five interceptions. He ran 64 times for 185 yards and three scores, but will need to play much better if the Tigers hope to keep pace with Texas Tech’s high-octane offense. WRs Malachi Dupre (39-602-6) and Travin Dural (28-533-3) are big-play options just looking for more opportunity.

– LSU will be making a bowl appearance for the 16th consecutive season. They’re just 2-4 in their past six bowl games, including a 31-28 setback to Notre Dame in the Music City bowl last season. The good news is that LSU has scored at least 20 points in 14 of their past 16 bowl games, so the offense tends to show up when bowling.

– Texas Tech has enjoyed great success in the postseason in recent seasons. Since a win in the 2002 Tangerine Bowl, the Red Raiders are 9-2 in their past 11 bowl games, and they enter on a four-game bowl win streak. Texas Tech did not go bowling in 2014.

– The Tigers are 0-4 ATS in their past four bowl games, but 3-0-1 ATS in their past four against Big 12 opponents.

– Texas Tech has been hot winning bowl games, but they’re just 2-6 ATS in their past eight bowl outings and 2-6 ATS in their past eight neutral-site games, too. However, they are 10-4-1 ATS in their past 15 overall and 5-2 ATS in their past seven following a straight-up win.

– Kickoff is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

 

December 30, 2015 by : Posted in College Football No Comments

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