The 2nd edition of the bowl previews gave me a tougher time with a few really tough match ups. There should be some very exciting games among these, especially that Boise State/Oregon State game. I’ll tell you right now that I will make sure to be watching that game. There should be plenty of action when those two line up next Tuesday.
While Tulane/ULL might not be a match up that makes you salivate on sound alone (***Editors note: was that a Pavlov reference, Insider? We think so), there are hidden gems buried within this contest that should intrigue you enough to waste a few hours on DFS CFB. These two teams are from the New Orleans area (or close by), so there should be a crazy scene as both teams need a win to help lift their spirits from the disappointing season. If that doesn’t excite you, then how about the fact that Joe Montana’s kid is the QB for Tulane? Get the gumbo ready!
Well, it’s time to get to the real preview for the bowl games. Enjoy!
New Orleans Bowl- Saturday, December 21st at 9pm
Tulane (7-5) vs UL Lafayette (8-4)
-Spread and Total– Pick Em,
– Tulane’s Key Players–
Orleans Darkwa, RB, averaged 4.5 yards per carry this season totaling 7809 yards on the ground. He also added 9 TDs scoring in three of his last four games. He gives up some carries to the backup RB, but he is clearly the best guy for Tulane. The ULL run defense has given up a rushing TD in nine straight games which is encouraging for a guy like Darkwa.
Ryan Grant, WR, had a very good year catching 70 passes for 926 yards and 9 TDs, but did most of his damage earlier on in the season. He has only 2 TDs in his last four games, but did have a huge game against UTEP going for 8/104/2. Grant would be more of a GPP option than anything as he has put up duds in multiple games this season.
-ULL’s Key Players–
Terrence Broadway, QB, is the best player on this ULL team, but it is unclear if he will be playing or not. If he does play then expect a very nice game due to his dual threat nature (421/8 on the ground 2,276/19 through the air).
Jamal Robinson, WR, is only an option in DFS CFB if Broadway plays. He has had a tough time producing with the backup QB and it showed against South Alabama last week when he recorded only 1 catch. He did catch a TD from the backup after Broadway got hurt two games ago, but you’re crazy to think no Broadway helps him. Robinson has 8 TDs on the season.
-Tulane’s Outlook– Tulane is headed to just their 11th bowl game in school history and just their first bowl appearance since 2002 when they won the Hawaii Bowl. Because of this and the fact that Tulane was just a 2 win team last season, I really think they will be excited and ready for this game. Head Coach Curtis Johnson has only two years total of head coaching experience and has never been the head coach for a bowl game.
-ULL’s Outlook– The spread has been severely impacted by the fact that Broadway probably misses this game. The team didn’t look very good at South Alabama on the 7th and there is concern that the backup really isn’t ready for a big game like this.
This marks the third season in a row that ULL has made it to a bowl game, but just the third time since 1970. The Ragin Cajuns are 2-0 in the New Orleans Bowl both under current head coach Mark Hudspeth.
-Projection– The past 8 New Orleans Bowl games have hit the over and although I currently don’t know the over it really makes me want to lean ULL. I think that if Broadway was healthy, ULL would easily win this game. Tulane’s defense has been very strong this season, but their offense has no real consistent weapons. I find it easier to believe that ULL can put up points on a defense like Tulane than Tulane’s offensive personnel scoring on ULL.
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl- Monday, December 23rd 2pm
Ohio (7-5) vs East Carolina (8-4)
-Spread and Total– East Carolina -13, Over/Under 63.5
-Ohio’s Key Players–
Beau Blankenship, RB, has averaged 4.6 yards per carry this season scoring 5 times. He has been pretty up and down this season, but has been great in his last two games. In those two games, Blankenship has run for 200 yards and 1 TD on 36 rushes. He’s the only option that I would consider against an East Carolina defense that has struggled against the run (5 rushing TDs last game and 9 in their last 5 games).
-East Carolina’s Key Players–
Shane Carden, QB, has been electric this season throwing for 3,866 yards and 32 passing TDs on the season. He struggled against Marshall, but before that had put up 24 total TDs in their last five games. Those are huge numbers and ones that can be repeated against Ohio who gave up big passing days to Louisville, Bowling Green, and Centrl Michigan.
Justin Hardy, WR, Hardy is the top WR for East Carolina putting up some big numbers for them (105/1,218/8). He has a TD in six of his last seven games and has five games of at least 10 catches. Hardy has even bigger game potential with two games of 16+ catches.
Vintavius Cooper, RB, is the third best player in this offense, but it doesn’t make him a bad player. The guy has 5 TDs in his last three games and over 350 yards rushing during that time. If you can find Cooper and any of these guys for a good price then they are all guys I love.
-Ohio’s Outlook– Ohio is only 2-5 in their history in bowl games, but they have won two straight. Those wins came against UL-Monroe and Utah State. Well known Frank Solich is the head coach of the Bobcats and has a 4-6 career record in bowl games. He has a 2-3 record with Ohio.
-East Carolina’s Key Players– Ruffin McNeill has had a lot of success in his past two seasons with the Pirates, but has not won a bowl game with them. He is 0-2 with the Pirates, but did lead Texas Tech to an Alamo Bowl win in 2009. ECU lost to Marshall in their last game which would have taken them to the Conference USA championship game.
-Projection– I think this is one of the easier picks this bowl season in terms of who will win straight up and even against the spread. ECU’s offense is so high powered that they should put up points on any smaller school in the NCAA. Ohio has struggled enough against passing teams to make me think that the Bobcats don’t really have a chance. There should be enough points on the Ohio side to make this over the winner.
Hawaii Bowl- Tuesday, December 24th at 8pm
Boise State (8-4) vs Oregon State (6-6)
-Spread and Total– Oregon State -2, Over/Under 63
-Boise State’s Key Players–
Joe Southwick, QB, is returning from an injury that held him out for over a month, but he should be 100% by Christmas Eve. He threw two passes against New Mexico and one went for a TD. Before the injury, Southwick has thrown for almost 1,600 yards and 11 TDs in six games. With all of that time off, I suspect he’ll be low priced which should make for a great value play. Oregon State has been much better against the pass in the second half of the season, but they did give up 3 TDs to Oregon in their last game.
Jay Ajayi, RB, has been pretty huge for Boise State all season with or without Southwick under center. He recorded 17 rushing TDs on the season with 9 of them coming with Southwick at QB. Although there is plenty of time between the bowl game and his last two games, but Ajayi was very impressive in those games. He recorded over 400 yards and 3 TDs in those two games.
Mike Miller, WR, has been one of the best WRs in the NCAA in the last four weeks and there’s no way around it. Statistically his numbers are insane (30/420/9) and there’s no reason for him to not do well against Oregon State. Miller becomes an even better play this bowl season if the second best WR, Shane Williams-Rhodes, is sidelined for their game with his ankle injury.
-Oregon State’s Key Players–
Brandin Cooks, WR, is a top 3 WR in the NCAA and should be a first round draft pick this season. Cooks’ numbers are phenomenal (120/1,670/15) and although his TD production hasn’t been as great as early in the season, he is still producing fantasy points. Cooks has at least 9 catches in 10 of 12 games on the season including his last three games. Mannion will be targeting Cooks a lot
Sean Mannion, QB, started the season off with an amazing stretch of games, but recently he hasn’t been as great. He has only 7 TDs in his last five games and only eclipsed 300 yards two times during that stretch. Mannion is only a guy I would consider if his price was reduced due to those performances.
-Boise State’s Outlook– Boise State hasn’t had any long win streaks this season, but they do come into this game winning three of their last four games. They are among the best in points scored per game (17th), but their schedule has been pretty soft facing many weak defenses. Former head coach, Chris Peterson, has moved on to Washington and has left Boise State without their X-Factor.
Boise State’s toughest games have been at Washington, at BYU, and at Utah State. In those three games they are 1-2. On the road they are 2-4 on the season and a game at Hawaii without their head coach of eight seasons they might not be able to handle such a big away game.
-Oregon State’s Outlook– The Beavers are on a huge slide coming off five straight losses, but did play a close and competitive game against Oregon in the Civil War in the season finale. To be fair to the Beavers, the teams that they played were very good (Oregon, Stanford, Arizona State, USC, and Washington).
Mike Riley has had a lot of success in bowl games in his career (5-2) and has even won 2 Grey Cups (random fact of the day), so I’m not scared of his team will come prepared for this game.
-Prediction– Oregon State is the favorite and I think that’s a fair assessment after looking at this game. This will easily be one of my lowest confident point games when bowl pick ‘em season is underway. I think that OSU has the advantage with coaching and preparation for a Hawaii bowl game, but Boise State seems to compare well to them in terms of talent. The OSU pass defense has struggled at times, but for a while there had some very good games against good offenses (Stanford, Arizona State, and Washington). Because of the recent play of the Beavers pass defense, I like them to be able to hold off Boise State in the fourth quarter.
Oregon State -2