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Deke Bellavia

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Email: bigchief@wwl.com

Deke?s Bowl Previews

Friday, December 28 2012
2012 Independence Bowl  - Time:  1PM ESPN

Location:  Shreveport, Louisiana

Teams:  Ohio Bobcats (8-4) vs UL Monore Warhawks (8-4)

ULM is basically playing a home game here as the Independence Bowl is not far at all from the ULM Campus.  The Warhawks can win their ninth game of the year with a win over a very good Bobcats Team. 

Ohio opened the season by knocking off Penn State and Coach Frank Solich has the Bobcats back in a bowl again this season.  ULM is the third team from Louisiana to play in a bowl.

Russell Athletic Bowl:  Rutgers Scarlet Knight (9-3) vs Virginia Tech Hokies (6-6)

Rutgers is one of many teams from the Big East that is leaving the conference.  The Knights will soon play in the Big Ten.  Virginia Tech had a bad season and nearly missed getting into a bowl with just six wins.

The Hokies are one of a handful of schools that will end their season with a  losing record if they do not win their bowl game.  Rutgers has been a solid team all season long but I think Coach Frank Beamer will get his troops to play well and prove to the nation that the Hokies are much better than their 6-6 record indicates.
Car Care Bowl:  - Time:  8PM ESPN

Location:  Houston

Team’s:  Minnesota Golphers (6-6) vs Texas Tech (7-5) 

Wow, one minute Texas Tech is undefeated and has the #1 defense in the land…and the next minute their coach leaves the dinner table while hosting recruits and takes the Cincinnati job.  That’s what I heard anyway! 

Texas Tech surprisingly found themselves looking for a new head coach when former coach Tommy Tubberville shockingly bolted to take the Bearcats job.  Now Red Raiders Fans are juiced about one of their own taking over the top job.

Former Texas Tech quarterback Kliff Kingsbury is the new head at Texas Tech.  But Kingsbury will not coach the bowl game interim coach Chris Thomsen will try to lead the Red Raiders past Minnesota on Dec. 28 in the Meineke Car Care Bowl at Houston's Reliant Stadium.
Saturday December 29, 2012

Armed Forces Bowl - Time:  10:45AM ESPN

Location:  Fort Worth, Texas

Teams:  Air Force Falcons (6-6) vs Rice Owls (6-6)

The loser of this game will have a losing season as both the Flacons and Owls come into the Armed Forces Bowl with an average 6-6 record.  However, I give a lot of credit to the Rice Owls as they could have easily packed it in when they were 2-6 after eight games.

Rice got hot and ended the season with a four game win streak to become bowl eligible.  On the flip side the Air Force Falcons have quietly become a model of consistency.  This game with Rice marks the sixth straight year that Air Force has advanced to play in a bowl game.  The Falcons love to run the football and senior running back Cody Getz is their bell cow as Getz enters the bowl game with 1,213 rushing yards with 9 TDs this season.

The Owls offense was as good as any in the nation the last four games of the season, and junior QB Taylor McHargue did a good job of limiting his mistakes in the passing game as he threw three touchdowns with just one interception in the Owls four game win streak.
Pinstripe Bowl -  Time:  2:15PM ESPN

Location:  New York

Teams:  West Virginia Mountaineers (7-5) vs Syracuse Orange (7-5)

This is a game that asks a simple question:  What teams show up here?  Will the WVU Team that started 5-0 be the team that comes to play and will the Orange Team that knocked off Louisville be the one that plays not far from their campus in upstate NY.

West Virginia still has one of the best offensive units in the nation and this battle of former conference teams (Big East) should be an entertaining one in the plush New York Yankees Stadium.  For some reason I think that WVU and QB Geno Smith end the season on a high note and come up with a big win over the Orange.  And by big I mean much bigger than the four points that the Mountaineers are spotting the Orange. 

Fight Hunger Bowl - Time:  2:15PM ESPN2

Location:  San Francisco

Teams:  Navy Midshipmen (8-4) vs Arizona State Sun Devils (7-5)

When you talk about one teams strength versus another’s weakness, this is the game to speak on.  The Midshipmen love to run the football and the Sun Devils hate stopping the run!  Navy’s grind-it-out style offense features three rushers that have gained 500 yards or more this season led by Noah Copeland who came up with 99 yards in the Midshipmen’s win over rival Army.

The Sun Devils give up on average 172 yards rushing per game and they can expect a heavy dose of rushing from Navy in this game.  Navy is sixth in the nation in rushing this season with an average 276 yards per game.

The Midshipmen's top offensive weapon is Gee Gee Green.  Green has totaled 1,088 yards from scrimmage this season.  Green is impressive averaging 8.7 yards per touch this season as Green has rushed for 765 yards and hauled in another 303 yards in receiving.

The Sun Devils offense features one of the top young passers in the Pac-12 Conference in Taylor Kelly Kelly completed over 65% of his passes this season with 2,772 yards and 25 touchdowns.  The Sun Devils are a 14 ½ point favorite in this game. 
Alamo Bowl - Time:  5:45PM ESPN

Location:  San Antonio, Texas

Teams:  Oregon State Beavers (9-3) vs Texas Longhorns (8-4)

Both of these teams got off to hot starts this season only to struggle down the stretch of their schedules.  The Longhorns were looking like they were going to get back to a BCS Bowl this year as they got off to a 4-0 start.  But Mack Brown’s Horns fell apart after an embarrassing 42 point loss to Oklahoma and Texas was a disappointing 4-4 in their final eight games. 

Brown looked as if he had finally found his man in QB David Ash, but he would later bench Ash before the Horns' final regular season game against TCU.  Now Brown has gone back to Ash as he will get the start in the Alamo Bowl.

Ash did show signs of being a good QB at times during the 2012 season, throwing for 2,458 yards with 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions.  Mack Brown still seemingly has the full support of the big-wigs at Texas, even though his program has posted a 21-16 record since making the nation title game back in 2010.

Out West, the Oregon State Beavers also got off to a hot start with an impressive 6-0 record.  Like Texas, OSU fell down the stretch posting a 3-3 mark in the final six games.  The Beavers have a tenacious defense that has forced 30 takeaways this season including 19 interceptions.

On offense keep an eye on the Beavers WR Markus Wheaton.  Wheaton became one of the nation’s best players as he hauled in 88 receptions for 1,207 yards with 11 scores. 
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl - 
Time:  9:15PM ESPN 

Location:  Tempe, Arizona

Teams:  Texas Christian University Horned Frogs (7-5) vs Michigan State Spartans (6-6)

If you want a game that features two teams that have been in some close games, this is a good match-up for you.  TCU beat Texas 20-13 in their last game of the regular season and they beat West Virginia in double overtime, while losing to Texas Tech in three overtimes.

Michigan State certainly knows a thing or two about being in close games.  The 6-6 Spartans lost five Big Ten Conference games by a total of 13 points. 

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Locations : ArizonaCincinnatiFort WorthHoustonLouisianaLouisvilleMinnesotaNew YorkOhioOklahomaSan AntonioSan FranciscoShreveportTempeTexasWest Virginia
People : Chris ThomsenCody GetzFrank BeamerFrank SolichGeno SmithKliff KingsburyMack BrownNoah CopelandTaylor McHargueTommy Tubberville

12/28/2012 1:38PM
Deke’s Bowl Previews
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