2020 Mountain West Football Bowl Projections

First attempt at the Mountain West bowl lineups

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2020 Mountain West Football Bowl Projections


Ten momths away from bowl games, sure let’s predict them.


Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire

Some super early preseason fun

Yes, the bowl games are 10 months away but let’s have some offseason fun and try to predict where these Mountain West teams will go bowling. There are at least six bowl spots for the Mountain West and the option for more with the Cheeze-It Bowl being a backup or if the Mountain West champion goes to a New Year’s Six Bowl Game.

To figure out these bowl projections this early is to use our staff’s way-too-early power rankings and for the New Year’s Six spot for a Group of Five team we used a composite of the major preseason top 25 rankings to find the highest rated G5 team.

That composite that includes G5 teams has Cincinnati as the highest Group of Five team with Boise State close behind. So, this first one will not include a Mountain West team in a big money bowl game.

These bowl projections are a whole lot of fun to speculate nearly a year out so take these projections with that in mind before yelling at us on Twitter or Facebook.


A few notes about the bowl lineups. There is a new bowl lineup for 2020-26 with one game sort of a TBD with a game in the Dallas area. That game looks to be the Frisco Bowl (that is what FBSchedules.com has listed) which is in that Dallas region. The opponent is not locked down as the leagues mentioned are the American, C-USA and MAC; so, we will just toss some random team in this initial prediction.

The Las Vegas Bowl is no more and it is basically shifting the same matchup to the new Los Angeles Bowl at SoFi Stadium.

The Hawaii Bowl is also a weird option as it is a three-team mess with AAC and C-USA plus Hawaii. As usual, it makes the most sense that the Hawaii Bowl will host Hawaii if they are not in a New Year’s Six game.

Finally, if the Mountain West is the highest-rated team in the College Football Playoff then a New Year’s Six Bowl game.

  • College Football Playoff/New Year’s Six Bowl
  • Los Angeles (Bowl name TBA) vs. Pac-12, Los Angeles
  • Famous Idaho Potato Bowl vs. MAC, Boise, Idaho
  • New Mexico Bowl vs. C-USA, Albuquerque, N.M.
  • NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl vs. MAC, Tucson, Ariz.
  • SoFi Hawai’i Bowl vs. AAC or C-USA, Honolulu
  • Tropical Smoothie Café Frisco Bowl vs. AAC, C-USA, AAC
  • Cheez-It® Bowl vs. Big Ten or Big 12, Phoenix (MW is an alternate)

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Mountain West Football: Bowl Season Winners and Losers

We look at the biggest winners and losers from the Mountain West’s seven bowl games.

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Mountain West Football: Bowl Season Winners and Losers


We look back to take stock of the biggest winners and losers from the Mountain West’s seven bowl games.


Contact/Follow @MattK_FS & @MWCwire

Some encouragement and some letdowns from the postseason that was.

Well, it had to end sometime.

The Mountain West wrapped up bowl season with a 4-3 record and certainly brought with it a great deal of excitement. While it’s naive to tease out a lot of meaning from what amounts to seven exhibitions, we can still look back one last time to see who stood out and who might be thinking a lot about what might have been in the long off-season.

Here are Mountain West bowl season’s winners and losers.

Winners

Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl – Utah State wide receiver Siaosi Mariner. He didn’t get all that much attention in the vacuum to replace all of last year’s pass-catching star power, but Mariner’s bowl performance — seven catches, 113 yards, two touchdowns — helped to put a bow on what was arguably the best season by an Aggie wide receiver in the last ten years.

New Mexico Bowl – San Diego State running back Jordan Byrd. The Aztecs thumping Central Michigan was easily the most surprising result of the Mountain West’s bowl season, but the most pleasant part of that surprise was the surge from a running game that often scuffled in 2019.

Byrd, making a return home to his native New Mexico, finally put up the kind of numbers (17 carries, 139 yards and a touchdown) we’d been accustomed to seeing from San Diego State in years past, providing a glimmer of encouragement that, along with a young receiving corp, the pieces are in place to make a leap forward next fall.

Mitsubishi Las Vegas Bowl – Boise State defensive end Chase Hatada.  A lot of things weren’t pretty in the desert, but the senior Hatada finished his collegiate career with perhaps his finest effort. While Curtis Weaver was relatively quiet against Washington, Hatada finished with six tackles, four tackles for loss and two sacks.

SoFi Hawaii Bowl – Hawaii quarterback Cole McDonald. Despite being briefly benched for some reason, McDonald put on an aerial show that rivaled some of the best performances of Hawaii quarterbacks past. In the process, he set the new Mountain West record for passing yards in a bowl game by throwing for 493 yards and four touchdowns on 28-of-46 pass attempts. It seems almost certain, then, that something will have to give in the Warriors’ ongoing quarterback shuffle, but we’ll probably have to wait until summer to learn more.

Cheez-It Bowl – Air Force running back Kadin Remsberg. Tailbacks in the Falcons offense don’t often receive a typical RB1 workload, but if anyone doubted that Remsberg had played at an all-conference level for two straight years before Air Force’s win over Washington State, consider that doubt removed.

Remsberg’s 26 carries were both a career high and the most by a Falcons runner this year and he made them count, rushing for 178 yards and a late touchdown that sealed the deal against the Cougars.

Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl – Wyoming running back Xazavian Valladay. Well, this one is an easy call. Any time someone accounts for nearly 300 yards of total offense like Valladay did against Georgia State (204 yards rushing and 7.8 yards per attempt, 91 receiving yards on three receptions, and two touchdowns), that someone is definitely a winner.

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl – Nevada wide receiver Elijah Cooks. Like Mariner, Cooks quietly put together a strong 2019 and saved the best for last. While the Wolf Pack may have come up short against Ohio, you can’t place too much blame on the junior wide receiver, who finished with 14 catches, 197 yards and a touchdown on 17 targets.

PODCAST: Mountain West Bowl Recap Part 1

Three Mountain West bowl games had varying results.

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PODCAST: Mountain West Bowl Recap Part 1


The Mountain West went 1-2


Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire

How did the bowl games turn out?

Jeremy goes solo to recap the first three games of the bowl season which include the Frisco, Las Vegas, and New Mexico Bowls. Well, they all did not go as planned with the league going 1-2 in those games with only San Diego State coming out on top in New Mexico.

Utah State’s offense showed up in the Frisco Bowl for the most part with a few miscues but the defense could not tackle and gave up an absurd 51 points. Boise State played one of its worst games in a very long time and had its poorest bowl performance ever in the 38-7 loss to Washington.

There is a lot of second-guessing for head coach Bryan Harsin in how he got ready for this game and specifically at the quarterback position.

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Bowl Season: Mountain West Conference Simulated Results

A simulation run using updated rosters for the EA Sports NCAA 14 Football game was done to see how the Mountain West did this Bowl Year.

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How did the MWC fair this Bowl Season?


Thanks to the NCAA 14 Football Game- We have all the Bowl Insights!


Contact/Follow @Sean or @MWCWire

Earlier this fall, we covered how the NCAA Football Game Dynasty by EA Sports was still alive and well, even after production of the game stopped in 2014. If you missed it, take a look here.

Using the newly updated rosters for every team on the game, we were able to create real simulation results based on these 2019 teams. We matched-up every team in the Mountain West with their 2019/2020 Bowl Opponent, using the actual locations and players. The games were completely simulated with no user interaction.

Let’s go Bowl by Bowl and see how things shook out!

FRISCO BOWL, DEC. 20: UTAH STATE VS. KENT STATE

If the simulation is any indicator, folks who take in the Frisco Bowl are in for a treat. Jordan Love pulls a George Costanza, and leaves the Aggies on a high note (both puns intended) racking up over 300 yards passing to edge Kent State by three, with a 31-28 victory.

The Utah State defense also came up big holding the Golden Flash to 40% in the Red Zone and forcing two turnovers.

NEW MEXICO BOWL, DEC. 21: SAN DIEGO STATE VS. CENTRAL MICHIGAN

Next up is the New Mexico Bowl which every Aztec fan would be thrilled to have the simulated results. The folks from Mt. Pleasant, Michigan may take umbrage with the notion of San Diego State racking up 41 points though.

I don’t question the Aztecs ability to pound the ball on the ground like the results reflect, behind a strong performance from Juwan Washington. But I do have to wonder what happened to ignite a 41 – 10 drubbing.

LAS VEGAS BOWL, DEC. 21: BOISE STATE VS. WASHINGTON

The kings of the (Mountain) West got reacquainted with their old coach, in most inhospitable fashion. Despite featuring the games most highly rated player in the MWC, Curtis Weaver, it wasn’t enough to knock off the Huskies.

I’m sure Jacob Eason of Washington would be very happy to showcase a near 400 yard passing performance in front of the scouts to increase his draft stock. Mountain West Wire’s resident Bronco, Raj may want to protest the results of this 13 point defeat.

2019 Frisco Bowl How To Watch, Livestream Utah State vs. Kent State

2019 Frisco Bowl How To Watch, Livestream Utah State vs. Kent State The first Mountain West bowl game is here. Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire Get to ESPN2 Utah State is the first Mountain West team to take the field in its bowl game and they …

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2019 Frisco Bowl How To Watch, Livestream Utah State vs. Kent State


The first Mountain West bowl game is here.


Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire

Get to ESPN2

Utah State is the first Mountain West team to take the field in its bowl game and they are taking on Kent State out of the MAC. The Golden Flash are just an average team at 6-6 but they did have to finish strong to make it to a bowl game by winning its last three games.

This will be a test for Utah State’s defense as Kent State can score some points and averages 27 points in all of its game but in MAC play it increases to 35 points per game. The Aggies defense will be one of the best that Kent State will have faced this year, the best will be when they faced Wisconsin and Auburn. Look for Utah State to mostly keep Kent State’s offense in check.

The big overarching item in this game is the three Utath State players thate were cited with possession of marijuana. All are expeted to play and head coach Gary Andersen is not too happy with what has come out about that and he claims the information is not correct while standing by his players.

Bowl Season: Utah State (7-5) vs Kent State (6-6)

When: Friday, December 20th, 2019 – 5:30 pm MST

WHERE: Toyota Stadium; Frisco, Texas (20,500)

TV: ESPN2

STREAMING: Sling TV – Get a seven-day free trial.

RADIO: Utah State radio broadcast on 1280 the zone (1280 AM), 1280thezone.com

ODDS (via ESPN): Utah State -6.5

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2019 Frisco Bowl Expert Picks

Who will win the Frisco Bowl?

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2019 Frisco Bowl Expert Picks


Find out who likes Utah State and Ken State


Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire

Bowl game picks

Utah State takes on Kent State in the Frisco Bowl and here are picks from our staff and across the country. The line has the Aggies favored by five points.

Staff Picks

Jeremy: SU: Utah State | ATS: Utah State | Score: Utah State 34, Kent State 24

Josh F: SU: Utah State | ATS: Utah State | Score: Utah State 35, Kent State 24

Matt K.: SU: Utah State | ATS: Kent State | Score: Utah State 28, Kent State 24

Ted M: Utah State | ATS: Kent State | Score: Utah State 34, Kent State 17

Brandon T: SU/ATS Utah St 31 Kent St 21

Roger: Kent State 34 Utah St 28

Erik: ATS/SU: Utah State

USA TODAY

All six writers pick Utah State

Los Angeles Times

Three Utah State players including star quarterback Jordan Love were cited for marijuana possession. Will Love play in the game in Texas? Even if he doesn’t, the Aggies should still have better talent across the field. Utah State 26-20

The Action Cookbook

Much of the pregame discussion focused on the Aggies’ junior quarterback Jordan Love, who surprised many with his decision to enter the upcoming NFL draft. It had been a tough year for Love after a stellar 2018, but he showed the big arm that’s left many pro scouts salivating, throwing for 300+ yards and 4 TDs in a rout of the overmatched Golden Flashes. Utah State 42, Kent State 6

CBS Sports

While Kent State has the better story coming into this game, Utah State has the better team. Love has not played as well as expected, but he’s entering the NFL Draft for a reason. He’s an NFL talent, and Utah State is the more talented team overall. The Aggies should pick up a win here, as well as a cover. Pick: Utah State (-7.5) All pick Aggies to win outright.

ESPN

Prediction: Utah State 36, Kent State 28

Athlon Sports

All three college football writers pick Kent State to win against the spread.


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USU Football: Keys to victory over Kent State

Aggies and Golden Flashes square off in third annual Frisco Bowl for bragging rights

Contact/Follow @SamMcConkie & @MWCwire

USU looks to end season on strong note against Golden Flashes

Bowl Season: Utah State (7-5) vs Kent State (6-6)

When: Friday, December 20th, 2019 – 5:30 pm MST

WHERE: Toyota Stadium; Frisco, Texas (20,500)

TV: ESPN2

STREAMING: Sling TV – Get a seven-day free trial.

RADIO: Utah State radio broadcast on 1280 the zone (1280 AM), 1280thezone.com / Tunein.com

ODDS (via ESPN): Utah State -6.5

Three Keys to a Utah State victory

1. Get excited

It’s no secret just how uninspired and unmotivated USU looked against New Mexico in the regular season finale. Yes, Utah State won the game by double digits, but they didn’t look good for much of it. Thanks to a quick avalanche of mistakes and turnovers by New Mexico, the Aggies posted a dominant second quarter. However, the Aggies got outscored in the second half. In the final quarter, they didn’t score at all and looked like they were just trying to get out of Albuquerque as soon as possible.

Against Kent State, a flat performance could prove costly and end this season on a sour note. Kent State is going to a bowl game for the first time since 2012, and this is just their third bowl appearance in school history. The Golden Flashes are going to be plenty motivated to win this game and snap their winless postseason streak. Coming into the game, they’ve won three in a row, all within one possession. USU has done well in close games themselves this season, so they must take this upset-minded team seriously and come out swinging.

2. Lean heavily on the run game

Gerold Bright has a great opportunity to finish his senior year with a bang. He’s rushed for a solid 827 yards and eight touchdowns through the regular season. Against an extremely poor run defense like Kent State’s, he should be able to have a career game. He may not eclipse his season-high of 179 rush yards against Colorado State, but a monster performance is very much within reach and would put him close to 1,000 yards for the year. If Jaylen Warren is finally healthy enough to consistently help out, both of these backs can do some heavy damage to the Golden Flashes.

3. Contain Dustin Crum

Though Kent State will be hard pressed to win a defensive struggle against the Aggies, they can give themselves an excellent chance at winning in a shootout. QB Dustin Crum fuels Kent State’s offense with a good arm and dangerous rushing ability. He not only leads his team in net rushing yards, he rarely makes mistakes. Crum set a school record by completing over 68 percent of his passes, and his 18:2 touchdown to interception ratio is one of the best in college football. The sheer number of yards he’s responsible for on the season may not look eye-popping, but he’s made every one of them count. 

This quarterback plainly has enough offensive balance to keep USU’s defense guessing. The Aggies have gotten burned on deep passes a lot this season, and that trend will continue unless the Aggie D-line can generate some much needed pressure. USU has only gotten a moderate number of sacks this season, coming in at 83rd in the NCAA with 22. It’s time for this defense to step up its game or risk getting an embarrassing loss.

Final Thoughts

USU has significantly improved its program in the last decade, making bowl games eight of the last nine seasons. Kent State is only in a bowl for the third time, having never won in the postseason. USU may look to end this decade on a winning note, but Kent State will be gunning for it extra hard.

This is going to be a close, hard-fought game. Even one or two mistakes could spell doom for either squad. In Jordan Love‘s last collegiate game, I expect him to have a convincing stat line burnished by a strong ground game from Bright and Warren. The Golden Flashes will never go away, but depth will come into play in the fourth quarter and the Aggies will come out and secure another trophy.

Utah State 38 – Kent State 34

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Mountain West Bowl Picks and Prediction

Find out what the best picks are?

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Mountain West Bowl Picks and Predictions


Bowl season is close to being underway.


Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire

Bowl picking time!

Don’t let anyone tell you that the college football bowl season has too many games. There is a finite number of these contests and we must cherish them all so more bowl games the better.

Plus, it gives us another opportunity to make some bowl picks for Mountain West games since odds for the bowl games have been updated after being out for a few weeks.

Frisco Bowl: Utah State vs. Kent State (+5)

This one is a bit interesting since Utah State had a few players get in trouble with law enforcement as Jordan Love, Gerold Bright and Sean L. Carter were charged with possession of marijuana. There is no work on them not playing this game on Friday but if they play the Aggies should be able to top Kent State since Utah State has the better overall talent on the field.

Pick against the spread: Utah State

New Mexico Bowl: San Diego State vs Central Michigan (+3.5)

San Diego State is going to be led by its defense, no surprise there, but the really good news is that quarterback Ryan Agnew is expected to be healthy and ready to go in the bowl game this weekend against Central Michigan.

This is going to be a battle of the strengths as the Aztecs are allowing just 12.8 points per game and the Chips are putting up 31.9 points per game. Usually, the Aztec defense can slow down any attack and look for that to be the same.

Pick against the spread: San Diego State

Las Vegas Bowl: Boise State vs. Washington (-3.5) 

Washington head coach Chris Petersen is not happy his final game is against his former team. The Huskies were a preseason top 20 team but now that distinction belongs to the Broncos. The big question for Boise State is who will play at quarterback. Redshirt senior Jaylon Henderson was the third quarterback to start the year but he is now the starter and is 4-0 as a starter.

This Huskies team might be the best Henderson has faced and the Washington defense just might be able to find a way to slow down Henderson with a few weeks to prepare. Even with that time, the Boise State defense should be able to slow down a Washington offense that is 61st in yards per play.

Pick against the spread: Boise State

Hawaii Bowl: Hawaii vs. BYU (-1.5)

This one could go a lot of different ways because Hawaii sometimes plays to the level of competition, and BYU has been up and down but mostly up as of late. The Warriors have won low-scoring games like the 14-11 victory over San Diego State and have won shootouts like the 42-40 shootout vs. San Jose State.

BYU recently played San Diego State and managed just three points but that was against a really good Aztecs defense. Expect this game to have a decent amount of points as the Cougar offense has shown this year to put together some solid drives.

Pick against the spread: Hawaii

Cheez-It Bowl: Air Force vs. Washington State (+3)

This game is going to be one of the most interesting of all of the bowl seasons. The contrast of styles makes it a must-watch with the Falcons run-option attack vs. Mike Leach’s “air raid” attack. The Air Force defense will give up points and yards but its offense will counter that behind QB Donald Hammond III by controlling the time of possession.

Pick against the spread: Air Force

Arizona Bowl: Wyoming vs. Georgia State (+7.5)

Wyoming has an issue at quarterback as they are down to only Levi Williams as starter Sean Chambers is out and Tyler Vander Waal announced his intention to transfer. The Cowboys defense will keep them in any game and will do so against Georgia State. The Panthers do have an offense that will make it tough on the Cowboys with QB Dan Ellingtion who has a modest 21 touchdowns to seven picks, and also its running back Tra Barnnett who has 12 rushing touchdowns on 1,389 yards.

Pick against the spread: Georgia State

Idaho Potato Bowl: Nevada vs. Ohio (-7.5)

The Nevada Wolf Pack have been all over the board this year with multiple major blowouts or close games. It seems there is no real in-between. What will make this game difficult to win is that the Wolf Pack are down four starters who were involved in the altercation vs. UNLV in the season finale.

The Mountain West determined that defensive backs Austin Arnold and Daniel Brown, defensive lineman Hausia Sekona, and linebacker Gabriel Sewell were all in violation of the conference’s sportsmanship rule.

Arnold earned a two-game suspension, Brown and Sekona were each handed one-game suspensions, and Sewell will be suspended for one half.

Pick against the spread: Ohio

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What Mountain West Bowl Games Provide A Betting Value?

What Mountain West Bowl Games Provide A Betting Value? Not all bowl games are created equal. Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire What games earns your cash? The Mountain West bowl season is approaching quickly and the odds for the games have …

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What Mountain West Bowl Games Provide A Betting Value?


Not all bowl games are created equal.


Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire

What games earns your cash?

The Mountain West bowl season is approaching quickly and the odds for the games have fluctuated and finally have settled and with the lines fairly stable we will provide the best value of games to put a few bucks down for some college football betting. Since the betting season has started, we believe that this will be helpful for many of our readers.

There are seven Mountain West bowl games and we will rank these from the worst value to the best betting value in our opinion.

7. Frisco Bowl: Utah State vs. Kent State (+5)

This one would be much higher but with the news that a trio of Aggie players have been charged with possession of marijuana. There is no word yet on if Jordan Love, Gerold Bright and Sean L. Carter will play this Friday. If they play the five-point line seems like a good bet for the Aggies but now anyone looking to toss a few bucks may want to steer clear of this game.

6. Hawaii Bowl: Hawaii vs. BYU (-1.5)

Former WAC rivals meet on Christmas Eve. This one could be tight but only if the BYU offense can make waves against a Warriors defense that is just so-so. This Warriors offense is arguably the best passing attack BYU has seen all year. However, the Hawaii offense can get placed in check against teams with decent to solid defenses.

Also, to consider is that BYU ended the season pretty good but the final game was poor performance against San Diego State where they scored three points. If that team shows up then Hawaii should win big but if the good BYU team that beat Boise State then this will be a close one.

5. Cheez-It Bowl: Air Force vs. Washington State (+3)

Talk about contrasting styles. The pass-happy Cougars attack against a Falcons ground game that is one of a kind. The Falcons being a favorite is a slight surprise but Air Force has 10 wins, a quarterback in Donald Hammond III that not only runs well but passes well. The Falcons defense does give up 7.5 yards per attempt and Washington State averages 8.0 yards per pass attempt. This game will come down to what defense makes a stop against the opposing teams strength.

4. Las Vegas Bowl: Boise State vs. Washington (-3.5) 

This will be an emotional game for Chris Petersen who is stepping down as the Huskies head coach and it might be a bit awkward for him to go up against his former team.

Nov 29, 2019; Fort Collins, CO, USA; Boise State Broncos quarterback Jaylon Henderson (9) and offensive lineman John Ojukwu (70) celebrate a score in the second quarter against the Boise State Broncos at Sonny Lubick Field at Canvas Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

There is no word on what quarterback will play for Boise State but Jaylon Henderson has been playing at a high level in his starts in the final third of the season. The Huskies were a preseason top 20 team so there is talent there but they have not met expectations.

3. Arizona Bowl: Wyoming vs. Georgia State (+7.5)

The confidence level is high on this one since the Wyoming defense is one of the best in the nation. The offense has been good running the ball but the quarterback position is not in good shape.

Sean Chambers is out with an injury and Tyler Vander Waal announced he is transferring. It may not matter too much in this game but the line is pretty big and the Cowboys are not a team that will blow out other teams so expect it to be within a touchdown.

2. Idaho Potato Bowl: Nevada vs. Ohio (-7.5)

This is a lot of points for Ohio to be favored. They score a lot of points and put up 34.7 points per game. The Wolf Pack are only averaging 21.3 per game but they have had five games of scoring 30 or more points. Expect this to be a shootout as Ohio gives up 27 points per game and Nevada allows 32.1 points per game. Expect points but not a blowout.

1.New Mexico Bowl: San Diego State vs Central Michigan (+3.5)

San Diego State’s defense is really, really good and can shutdown nearly any defense they face. The Aztecs also are getting back QB Ryan Agnew who is expected to be healthy but the big question is still running back Juwan Washington who has been hobbled by an ankle injury most of the year. Central Michigan puts up nearly 32 points per game but they have not seen a defense like the Aztecs and will struggle to score. 

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Frisco Bowl: Three Kent State players to look out for against Utah State

Kent State has a handful of good players that will factor heavily in the 2019 Frisco Bowl

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Contact/Follow @SamMcConkie & @MWCwire

Kent State has a few notable players

It would be easy to dismiss a team like Kent State. The Golden Flashes only managed to go 6-6 in a relatively down season for the MAC. They also don’t have any particularly strong NCAA stats to boast of this season. This team only ranks in the top 10 in one  NCAA statistical category – 4th down conversion percentage – and they rank in the bottom 10 in total defense and run defense. None of these facts would strike much fear in opposing teams.

With that being said, the Golden Flashes have some good talent on their team that could prove pesky for the Aggies on December 20th. Here are three Kent State players to keep an eye on during the bowl game. They’ll play extremely prominent roles in the contest and will provide Kent State’s best chance of scoring their first ever bowl win.

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1. QB Dustin Crum (Jr)

Kent State isn’t exactly known for great quarterbacks, but Dustin Crum has quietly had a solid season for this team. He has thrown for 2,336 yards and 18 touchdowns with only two interceptions along the way.

At any level, those are admirable stats that show the signal caller rarely makes mistakes. Coupled with his strong arm, he’s rushed for five touchdowns and a little over 46 yards per game this season. Through the year, he actually is the leading rusher on the team. His relatively good offensive balance brings stability to an offense that has had some struggles this season, not unlike the Aggies. If he can stay upright, he could pose some moderate to big issues for USU’s poor secondary.

2. CB Jamal Parker (Sr)

This solid cornerback is a bright spot on a defense that has struggled mightily to stop opposing offenses. He’s helped anchor a decent secondary and has a team-high three interceptions on the year, a worrisome stat for an Aggie team that has turned the ball over a lot this season. Parker has also racked up a healthy 58 total tackles during the regular season. On top of his defensive duties, he’s put in good work on kickoff returns, including a 96-yard kick return for a touchdown against Eastern Michigan in the season finale win. It never hurts to have versatility.

3. WR Isaiah McKoy (So)

Adding some explosiveness to a just alright offense, speedy receiver Isaiah McKoy leads the team with 767 receiving yards and seven touchdown grabs. He’s produced some monster plays for the Golden Flashes when they’ve needed it and he appears to only be getting better. Season over season, his YPC total has increased from 10.1 to 15. Coupled with Crum’s arm, Utah State’s pass defense will need to be on point or risk getting burned. McKoy’s stats look a lot like USU’s Siaosi Mariner, so his role in the offense cannot be understated or underestimated.

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