Record in Bowls: 10-4
Overall: 239-76, 76%
ServePro First Responder Bowl
Boston College ( 7-5) vs. Boise State (10-3)
Cotton Bowl, Dallas, 92,100
12:30 PM CT
Lowell Galindo, Ahmad Brooks, Kris Budden
Whistles: PAC-12, Kevin Mar
Boise State by 2 1/2
Boise State had another excellent season and went for back to back 11 win seasons under coach Bryan Harson. They also finished 10-3 in 2016 but lost their bowl game, the then Motel 6 Cactus Bowl in Phoenix, to Baylor, 31-12. Last year they defeated Oregon in the Las Vegas Bowl, 38-28, to cap off an 11-3 season.
They can get it done both on the ground and through the air. Running back Alexander Mattison rushed for 1,415 yards and 17 TDs this season. He’s a workhorse who gets better with more carries. Good between the tackles and has take it to the house speed. Quarterback Brett Rypien completed 301 of 447 passes, 67%, for 3,705 yards, 30 TDs against only 7 ints. The senior has been around the block and knows how to get his teams past the sticks and into the end zone. Rypien’s top targets are Sean Modster, who pulled in 68 receptions for 978 yards and 8 TDs, and A.J. Richards, who caught 54 passes for 825 yards and 8 TDs as well. On defense, linebacker Curtis Weaver posted 15 tackles for loss and 9 1/2 sacks. NIckelback Kekaula Keniho leads the defense with 3 ints. Corner Tyler Horton has only 1 interception, but he made the most of it, taking it back to the house 99 yards.
For the Eagles, running back A.J. Dillon is their workhorse. He rushed for 1,108 yards and 10 TDs. Quarterback Anthony Brown has completed 158 of 285 passes, 55%, for 2,121 yards, 20 TDs against 9 ints. On defense, Connor Strachan leads the team in tackles with 91. Zach Allen has the team lead in tackles for loss with 15 and added 6 1/2 sacks. Wyatt Ray posted 11 1/2 tackles for loss and a team leading 9 sacks. Cornerback Hamp Cheevers leads the nation with 7 ints, and he’s taken 1 back for a house call. The Eagles lead the country with 18 ints.
BC has a good defense, but dropped their last 3 to Clemson, 27-7, Florida State, 22-21, and Syracuse, 42-21. The Broncos lost out in the Mountain West Conference Championship game to Fresno State, 19-16, in overtime on their home turf, Albertson’s Stadium, a place they barely lose at. Before that, they had won 7 in a row including a 24-17 victory over Fresno State at home. I like the Broncos better in this one. While this game is pretty evenly matched, I like Mattison and Rypien to be the difference.
Boise State 30, Boston College 27
Quick Lane Bowl
Minnesota (6-6) vs. Georgia Tach (7-5)
Ford Field, Detroit, 65,000
4:15 PM CT
Mark Neely, Ray Bentley, Allison Williams
Stripes: Big 12, Scott Campbell
Tech by 6
Paul Johnson is retiring after 11 seasons at Georgia Tech and 22 overall as head coach. The 61 year old is 82-59 at Tech with 1 ACC Championship in 2009 and 4 Coastal division titles. He is 189-58 overall including 2 national titles at FCS Georgia Southern in 1999 and 2000. Johnson spent 6 seasons at Navy. from 2002 to 2007. I like the Yellow Jackets to send their coach out in a big way with a convincing victory over the Golden Gophers.
Georgia Tech 42, Minnesota 31
Chase Field, Phoenix, 48,519
8 PM CT
Jason Benetti, Kelly Stouffer Olivia Dekker
Whistles, SEC, Marc Curles
Cal by 1
TCU finished an uncustomary 6-6 this season, but 7 defensive starters were lost for the season early in the year. Third string quarterback Grayson Muehistein came in the last 2 games of the season to replace injured second stringer Michael Collins after starter Shawn Robinson, who had been banged up some, decided to transfer. Muehistein led the Frogs to 2 victories to finish off the season, 16-9 over Baylor on the road, and 31-24 over Ok State at home to get the Frogs eligible for a bowl game. He completed 28 of 43, 65%, for 328 yards, 3 TDs and 0 ints. His main target is Jalen Reagor, who caught 71 passes for 1,053 yards and 9 TDs. Darius Anderson led the running game with 598 yards and 3 TDs. On defense, defensive end Ben Banogu posted 17 TFLs and 7 1/2 sacks.
Cal played a lot of excellent defense this season. Inside linebacker Evan Weaver posted 144 tackles this season, 4th best in the country. Cal picked off 16 passes. Free safety Antoine Davis led the team with 4, taking 1 back the distance. The defense posted 4 ints that they took back to the house. .On offense, quarterback Chase Garbers completed 147 of 241 passes, 61%, for 1,418 yards, 16 TDs against 7 ints. His leading target was Vic Wharton, who pulled in 50 passes for 502 yards and 1 score. Jordan Duncan registered 19 receptions for 234 yards and a team leading 4 TDs. Patrick Laird rushed for 935 yards and 5 TDs.
This is a close call but I like Gary Patterson’s Horned Frogs to pull it out over Justin Wilcox’s Bears and catapult the Frogs into 2019.