Independence, Pinstripe, Foster Farms, Texas Bowls

Here's a look at today's 4 bowls.

Walk-On's Independence Bowl

Southern Miss (8-4, 6-2 C-USA) vs. Florida State (6-6, 3-5)

Independence Bowl Stadium, Shreveport, LA. (65,000)

12:30 PM CT

ESPN

Dave LaMont, Ahmad Brooks, Roddy Jones

Refs, MAC, Greg Sujack

FSU by 14 1/2 

Southern Miss running back Ito Smith has rushed for 1,321 yards and 13 TDs. He's excellent. Quarterback Kwandre Griggs has completed 135-of-240 passes, 56%, for 1,793 yards, 15 TDs against 2 ints. He's another guy who's done a nice job for the Golden Eagles. Korey Robertson is their leading receiver with 72 receptions on the season for 1,070 yards and 11 TDs. On defense, linebacker Paxton Schrimsher posted 11 tackles for loss and 5 1/2 sacks to lead the team. Nickelback Kelsey Douglas has 2 ints on the season both of which he's taken back to the house.

For Florida State, freshman James Blackmon took over in the first game of the season at the end of the Alabama game when Deondre Francois was lost for the season with a knee injury. Blackmon has talent and has gotten better and better. He completed 155-of-271 passes for 1,997 yards, 15 TDs and 11 ints. FSU beat Florida impressively on Nov. 25th, 38-22, and Blackmon tossed a pair of TD passes. He's had some pretty good moments and shows a lot of potential though Francois will be back next season and that could be an interesting competition particularly if Blackmon has a good game today. Cam Akers and Jacques Patrick are the workhorses at running back. Akers has rushed for 931 yards and 7 TDs and Patrick has 687 yards and 6 TDs this season. Nyquon Murray has caught 40 passes for 604 and 4 TDs. Auden Tate caught 35 passes for 464 yards and 7 TDs, and tight end Ryan Izzo is a good target,. He has only 14 receptions on the season, but Blackmon was not as proficient as Francois, thus the reason Izzo didn't get the ball more. He did post 3 TD receptions. He's a weapon. On defense, safety Derwin James is sitting this one out for the draft along with defensive end Josh Sweat and wide receiver Ermon Lane. Leading tackler linebacker Matthew Thomas is out for the game for undisclosed reasons. Defensive end Brian Burns has posted 12 tackles for loss and 4 1/2 sacks. Cornerback Levonta Taylor has posted 2 interceptions and taken 1 of them back to the house.

Note: Nyquon Murray is a late scratch for the game

Final Analysis

I don't know if FSU cares at all about being here, but maybe interim coach Odell Haggins can get enough out of them to get a victory over a Southern Miss team that will be pretty hungry. FSU has a long way to go before they can become elite again. Willie Taggert has his work cut out for him next year and beyond that. And this might be a tougher game than the Noles are anticipating. Ito Smith is an excellent running back, and with all the FSU defections, and some suspensions and injuries, FSU is limping in here. I like FSU, but it should be a competitive game for a good while.

Florida State 31, Southern Miss 24

 

New Era Pinstripe Bowl

Boston College (7-5, 4-4 ACC) vs. Iowa (7-5, 4-5)

Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York (54,251)

4:15 PM CT

ESPN

Kevin Negandhi, Mack Brown, Booger McFarland, Jen Lada

Refs: PAC-12, Terry Leyden

Iowa by 2 1/2

BC running back A.J Dillon has rushed for 1,432 yards and 13 TDs and safety Lukas Dennis has 7 ints this season, and, along with Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson and Florida Atlantic's Jalen Young, lead the country in that category. Boston College starting quarterback Anthony Brown was having a really good season but suffered a knee injury that kept him out of the last 3 games. Darius Wade has done a nice job in his place completing 46-of-passes for 528, 2 TDs and 1 int. I like the running game and the defense of Boston College to enable them to pull off the upset in the Bronx. . 

Boston College 31, Iowa 21

 

Foster Farms Bowl

Purdue (6-6, 4-5) vs. Arizona (7-5, 5-4)

Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, California, 68,500

7:30 PM CT

FOX

Joe Davis, Brady Quinn, Bruce Feldman

Refs: Big 12,  Brad Van Vark

'Zona by 3

I like Wildcats quarterback Khalil Tate, who threw for 1,289 yards and 9 TDs, against 8 ints though, and rushed for 1,353 yards and 12 more TDs, to have a huge game and lead Zona to the victory on the left coast.

Zona 42, Purdue 35

 

Academy Sports+ Outdoors Texas Bowl

Missouri (7-5, 4-4 SEC) vs. Texas (6-6, 5-4 Big 12)

NRG Stadium, Houston, 72,220

8 PM 

ESPN

Adam Amin, Dusty Dvoracek, Molly McGrath

Refs: PAC-12, Mark Duddy

MIssouri by 3

Mizzou quarterback Drew Lock completed 224-of-385 passes for 3,695 yards, 43 TDs against 12 ints, to lead the team. The Tigers lost offensive coordinator Josh Heupel and o line coach Glen Elarbee to Central Florida as Huepel was named the head coach, so that could be a factor. But I still like the Tigers because Texas is dysfunctional right now with suspensions, guys not playing because of the draft, and injuries. It will be a competitive game though. Tom Herman will get the most out of his team and his defense will keep the Horns in it. 

Missouri 24, Texas 20