Coastal Carolina vs Northern Illinois Cure Bowl 5 Thoughts, Instant Reaction, Final Score

5 Thoughts and Instant Reaction to Coastal Carolina’s Cure Bowl win over Northern Illinois.

Coastal Carolina vs Northern Illinois. 5 thoughts and instant reaction after the 47-41 win by the Chanticleers in the Cure Bowl.


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Coastal Carolina 47, Northern Illinois 41: Tailgreeter Cure Bowl

5. Let’s start with the end

For those who didn’t see it, down 47-41 in the final moments, Northern Illinois was deep in Coastal Carolina territory with time winding down. On 4th and 1, QB Rocky Lombardi connected with Miles Joiner for a four-yard play, Joiner hit the ground and the ball fell out of bounds.

It was ruled a catch, the officials weren’t sure, they got the ball to the line as the clock kept rolling, and Northern Illinois didn’t get another snap when it probably should’ve had one last-gasp tick on the final play.

Maybe.

It was all messed up, but even with the sloppy ending it was still a fantastic game.

4. It was a great showcase for both conferences

The star of the MAC this season showed off what life is going to be like under Thomas Hammock going forward.

The Northern Illinois program went from winless last year, to the conference championship, to within a tick of a huge bowl victory. It did it by being physical, tough, and with runners who kept working their way down the field. It was a power win by the MAC’s power team.

Coastal Carolina showed off just how fun the Sun Belt is. This was the offense and the team everyone fell in love with last year, and this win proved the program is going to keep on rolling.

It was the best of what both Group of Five conferences can be.

3. Northern Illinois was terrific … on offense

A 12-point underdog, the MAC Champion was totally disrespected – and it played like it from the start.

Yeah, the Coastal Carolina offense ripped through the Huskie defense without a problem, but the other side of the ball was dominant.

NIU had the ball for close to 40 minutes, it blasted away for a physical 335 yards, and it wore down the Coastal Carolina defense as the game went on. But again, the NIU defense just couldn’t come up with that one big stop late, and the game’s lone turnover – a fumble by Lombardi after a great run – turned out to be the one blink between the two sides.


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2. Coastal Carolina was terrific … on offense

The second half of the season was a grind for the Chanticleers.

Star QB Grayson McCall was banged up, there were a slew of tough battles, and the team that was supposed to roll to a Sun Belt championship struggled to get here.

Forget about controlling the clock – Coastal Carolina came up with huge play after huge play, averaging eight yards per carry and 10.5 yards per throw.

All of the stars came out. McCall threw for 315 yards and four scores, TE Isaiah Likely caught seven passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns, Braydon Bennett ran for 108 yards and two scores and caught four passes for 47 yards and a touchdown …

514 yards later, Coastal Carolina got its 11th win of the season.

1. Now THAT’S what you want an early bowl to be

Over 1,000 yards of total offense, big plays, a relatively clean game – outside of a key Northern Illinois fumble – and both teams doing what they do best. It was a whole lot of fun, there were a whole slew of big moments, and the two teams played like they really, really wanted to win – because they did.

It was Coastal Carolina’s first ever bowl win, it was a game for Northern Illinois to use as motivation all offseason, and it was pure bowl game entertainment to get the bowl season rolling.

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Coastal Carolina vs Northern Illinois: Tailgreeter Cure Bowl Prediction, Game Preview

Coastal Carolina vs Northern Illinois: Tailgreeter Cure Bowl prediction, game preview, how to watch, lines, and why each team might or might not win

Coastal Carolina vs Northern Illinois: Tailgreeter Cure Bowl prediction, game preview, how to watch: Saturday, December 18 


Coastal Carolina vs Northern Illinois: Tailgreeter Cure Bowl How To Watch

Date: Saturday, December
Game Time: 6:00 ET
Venue: Exploria Stadium, Orlando, FL
How To Watch: ESPN2, Live stream on ESPN+
Record: Coastal Carolina (10-2), Northern Illinois (9-4)

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Coastal Carolina vs Northern Illinois Tailgreeter Cure Bowl Preview

Be stunned if this isn’t among the best of the early bowls. Both Group of Five programs are coming off terrific campaigns, and both will be well motivated to close with a season-validating win.

This is all about the time of possession battle. Northern Illinois had the ball for over 33 minutes per game with the ground attack. Coastal Carolina had it for over 32 minutes with its quick hitting passing game.

Northern Illinois went from 0-6 in 2020 to the champion of the MAC in one year under head coach Thomas Hammock, getting the job done with a ball-control offense behind a tremendous offensive line and fantastic running game that finished fifth in the nation. Now this year’s breakthrough team has to hold down last year’s version.

Coastal Carolina played exactly like it was supposed to over the first half of the season, ripping through everyone with one of the nation’s most efficient attacks. It spreads out defenses, dominates on third downs – it led all of college football in passing efficiency and third down conversions – but two close losses by a total of five points ruined a repeat of the 2020 magic.

Why Coastal Carolina, Northern Illinois Will Win
Prediction, What’s Going To Happen, History
Tailgreeter Cure Bowl Top Players To Know

NEXT: Why Coastal Carolina Will Win, Why Northern Illinois Will Win, Tailgreeter Cure Bowl Prediction

MAC Championship: Kent State vs Northern Illinois Prediction, Game Preview

MAC Championship: Kent State vs Northern Illinois prediction, game preview, how to watch, lines, and why each team might – or might not – win on Saturday.

MAC Championship: Kent State vs Northern Illinois prediction, game preview, how to watch: Saturday, December 4


MAC Championship: Kent State vs Northern Illinois How To Watch

Date: Saturday, December 4
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Venue: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
How To Watch: ESPN
Record: Kent State (7-5), Northern Illinois (8-4)
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MAC Championship: Kent State vs Northern Illinois Game Preview


Why Kent State Will Win

The Kent State offense is going to do the Kent State offense thing.

It’s the No. 1 offense in the MAC – averaging 490 yards per game – with one of its most impressive performances coming in the 52-47 win over Northern Illinois in early November.

The FlashFast style goes a million miles per hour – time of possession means nothing to this team – with a tremendous balance and always at peak efficiency.

In the first go-round against the Huskies, the Golden Flashes came up with 360 rushing yards, and 322 yards through the air, and it all worked.

Northern Illinois does a whole lot of things right, but it doesn’t come up with takeaways – it’s dead last in America with just one pick – and Kent State is among the best teams going in turnover margin. As frenetic as this attack is, it doesn’t screw up.

Kent State has turned it over just ten times this season. It’s 1-5 when giving the ball away – eight of the ten giveaways game in the five losses – and it didn’t turn the ball over in any of the wins until the key victory over Miami University in the regular season finale to get here.

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Why Northern Illinois Will Win

The Kent State defense is going to do the Kent State defense thing.

The Golden Flashes almost play defense like they want the other side to score just so the offense can get the ball back faster.

Kent State took Northern Illinois totally out of its game, and it still almost won.

In a perfect Huskie world it runs, runs some more, controls the game, and almost none of that happened in the first meeting with Rocky Lombardi throwing for 532 yards and three touchdowns.  However, NIU was still able to control the clock – keeping it for over 35 minutes.

Kent State just doesn’t stop the run. It allowed over 300 yards three times and over 200 yards to other times – it’s 1-4 when giving up 200 yards or more. Northern Illinois ran for 131 yards the first time around, and it’s about to pound up in this.

However …

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What’s Going To Happen

It would be better for Northern Illinois to play outside in the elements.

Kent State has shown it can rock on offense no matter what, but inside at Ford Field it’s going to be just a half-click quicker.

It’s all about which defense can hold serve, and Northern Illinois just doesn’t generate enough of a pass rush and doesn’t take the ball away.

They won’t combine for 1,345 yards of total O and 99 points like they did the first time around, but they won’t be far off.

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MAC Championship: Kent State vs Northern Illinois Prediction, Lines

Kent State 41, Northern Illinois 37
Line: Kent State -3.5, o/u: 74
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2

Must See Rating: 4.5

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Western Michigan vs Northern Illinois Prediction, Game Preview

Western Michigan vs Northern Illinois prediction, game preview, how to watch, lines, and why each team might – or might not – win this Tuesday.

Western Michigan vs Northern Illinois prediction, game preview, how to watch: Tuesday, November 23


Western Michigan vs Northern Illinois How To Watch

Date: Tuesday, November 23
Game Time: 7:00 ET
Venue: Huskies Stadium, DeKalb, IL
How To Watch: ESPNU
Record: Western Michigan (6-5), Northern Illinois (8-3)
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Western Michigan vs Northern Illinois Game Preview


Why Western Michigan Will Win

Really, how much does Northern Illinois care about this?

It has bigger fish to fry with whatever comes out of the East in the MAC Championship next week, and Western Michigan is looking to score a stronger bowl slot in the MAC pecking order.

The Broncos have been a massive disappointment – they’re the ones who were supposed to be going to Detroit next week – and lost three of their last four games to biff the shot.

However, the offense has been great – it cranked up close to 1,500 yards over the last three games and the defense is fantastic on third downs helped by a great pass rush.

Northern Illinois doesn’t generate a whole lot of pressure, but …

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Why Northern Illinois Will Win

The offense has gone ballistic, averaging well over 500 yards per game over a four game stretch.

The passing attack rolled against Kent State – the one loss since dropping the date against Michigan in mid-September – and the ground attack just rumbled over Buffalo for over 300 yards.

What’s Western Michigan’s issue? It seems to change every week, but it’s been wildly inconsistent overall.

No, Northern Illinois doesn’t need this game, but …

What’s Going To Happen

It’s Senior Night. It’s a chance to make some noise on national TV, and it still needs to keep working considering the run defense has to be a whole lo better and the team has played with fire a bit too often.

The last seven games have been decided by a touchdown or less, and the Huskies have shown the strength to come through in six of them.

But there’s going to be a letdown.

The Western Michigan running attack will take over in the fourth quarter to control the clock better than the Huskies will.

Again, Northern Illinois has bigger things to prepare for.

College Football Schedule: Week 13 Predictions, Lines

Western Michigan vs Northern Illinois Prediction, Lines

Western Michigan 41, Northern Illinois 34
Line: Western Michigan -3.5, o/u: 61
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2

Must See Rating: 3

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MAC Football Predictions, Schedule, Game Previews, Lines, How To Watch: Week 12

MAC Week 12 college football predictions, schedule, game previews, lines, how to watch, and TV listings. Toledo at Ohio, Western Michigan at Eastern Michigan, Bowling Green at Miami University, Northern Illinois at Buffalo, Central Michigan at Ball State, Kent State at Akron

MAC football predictions, schedule, game previews, lines, how to watch, and TV listings for Week 12 of the season.


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MAC Results So Far
SU: 67-19, ATS: 47-36, Point Total: 44-39-2

Tuesday, November 16

Toledo at Ohio

7:00, ESPN+
Line: Toledo -7, o/u: 54.5

Western Michigan at Eastern Michigan

7:30, ESPN2
Line: Western Michigan -5.5, o/u: 66

Bowling Green at Miami University

8:00, ESPNU
Line: Miami University -17, o/u: 51.5

Week 12 Schedule, Predictions, Game Times

Wednesday, November 17

Northern Illinois at Buffalo

7:00, ESPN2
Line: Northern Illinois -1.5, o/u: 62.5

Central Michigan at Ball State

7:00, ESPNU
Line: Ball State -1.5, o/u: 61

Saturday, November 20

Kent State at Akron

12:00, ESPN+
Line: Kent State -13.5, o/u: 75

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Northern Illinois vs Buffalo Prediction, Game Preview

Northern Illinois vs Buffalo prediction, game preview, how to watch, lines, and why each team might – or might not – win Wednesday night.

Northern Illinois vs Buffalo prediction, game preview, how to watch: Wednesday, November 17


Northern Illinois vs Buffalo How To Watch

Date: Wednesday, November 17
Game Time: 7:00 ET
Venue: UB Stadium, Buffalo, NY
How To Watch: ESPN2
Record: Northern Illinois (7-3), Buffalo (4-6)
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Northern Illinois vs Buffalo Game Preview


Why Northern Illinois Will Win

It’s right there for the taking. Win this, win the MAC West and go play for the conference championship.

The defense has been a tad sketchy over the last few weeks, but the offense has found the explosion through the air now that everyone has loaded up to stop the run.

Buffalo can’t stop any of it.

The Bulls are getting roasted through the air over the last two weeks – you’re doing something wrong if you’re getting blown up by Bowling Green and Miami University – but this should be about the run defense. UB gives up 200 yards per game on the ground with too much ease.

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Why Buffalo Will Win

The Buffalo offense has to keep up at home.

It went bye-bye last week in the blowout loss to Miami University, but it rolled for close to 500 yards against Bowling Green after coming up with 454 against Akron.

Okay, so big days on those two might not seem like that bit a deal, but the Northern Illinois pass defense doesn’t make enough big things happen and the run D was rolled by Ball State and Kent State for over 600 yards over the last two weeks.

What’s Going To Happen

Can Buffalo keep its bowl hopes alive – it needs to win this and beat Ball State next week – all while making Northern Illinois work for the West? It’ll be up in the first half as it comes out smoking in the final home game of the season.

But the Huskies will get the passing game going in the second half as Rocky Lombardi stays hot after a fantastic last three weeks. The balance will kick in late with two big scoring drives to finally pull away.

College Football Schedule: Week 12 Predictions, Lines

Northern Illinois vs Buffalo Prediction, Lines

Northern Illinois 38, Buffalo 34
Line: Northern Illinois -1.5, o/u: 62.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3

Must See Rating: 3

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MAC Predictions, Schedule, Game Previews, Lines, How To Watch: Week 11

MAC Week 11 college football predictions, schedule, game previews, lines, how to watch, and TV listings.

MAC college football predictions, schedule, game previews, lines, how to watch, and TV listings for Week 11 of the season.


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MAC Results So Far
SU: 61-18, ATS: 42-35, Point Total: 40-37-2

Tuesday, November 9

Akron at Western Michigan

7:00, CBS Sports Network
Line: Western Michigan -26, o/u: 62

Buffalo at Miami University

7:00, ESPNU
Line: Miami University -7, o/u: 57.5

Ohio at Eastern Michigan

8:00, ESPN2
Line: Eastern Michigan -6, o/u: 60.5

College Football Schedule, Predictions, Game Previews, Week 11

Wednesday, November 10

Ball State at Northern Illinois

7:00, ESPN2
Prediction: Northern Illinois 30, Ball State 27
Line: Ball State -2.5, o/u: 62.5

Toledo at Bowling Green

7:00, CBS Sports Network
Prediction: Toledo 41, Bowling Green 24
Line: Toledo -10.5, o/u: 50.5

Kent State at Central Michigan

8:00, ESPNU
Prediction: Central Michigan 41, Kent State 37
Line: Central Michigan -2.5, o/u: 74.5

College Football Expert Picks, CFN Week 11

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Ball State vs Northern Illinois Prediction, Game Preview

Ball State vs Northern Illinois prediction, game preview, how to watch, lines, and why each team might – or might not – win on Wednesday night.

Ball State vs Northern Illinois prediction, game preview, how to watch: Wednesday, November 10


Ball State vs Northern Illinois How To Watch

Date: Wednesday, November 10
Game Time: 7:00 ET
Venue: Huskies Stadium, DeKalb, IL
How To Watch: ESPN2
Record: Ball State (5-4), Northern Illinois (6-3)
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Ball State vs Northern Illinois Game Preview


Why Ball State Will Win

Ball State hasn’t been quite constant enough, the running game has been hit-or-miss, and the defense has several flaws that could quickly be exposed by Northern Illinois, but it’s here.

It’s here with a chance to take full control over the MAC West race, and for a program that got the job done with a 2020 MAC Championship, it’s not going to be be fazed by the moment.

That’s all well and good, but can the defensive front hold up against the run? That’s what Northern Illinois does so very, very well, and it’s going to need to pound away to win.

The Cardinals have problems with the good passing games, but they’ve been great against the run – they haven’t allowed more than 130 yards in any of the last four games. They’re just good enough to come up with stops early to force tough third down chances, and that’s a problem for a Huskie team that doesn’t move the chains.

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Why Northern Illinois Will Win

All is not lost for Northern Illinois with a loss, but a win puts them – at worst – 1.5 games up on everyone close in the MAC West race with three to play.

Yeah, it likes to run, and yeah, that’s how everything works best, but Rocky Lombardi and the passing attack have gone off over the last two weeks with 351 yards against Central Michigan and 532 in the wild shootout loss to Kent State.

The offense is more versatile than it seems, but when it runs for 165 yards or more it’s 6-1. The team lives for controlling the clock, it’s going to have the ball for well over 35 minutes against a fast-paced Cardinal team.

What’s Going To Happen

Can Northern Illinois finally come through with the big win the program has been waiting to come up with in the Thomas Hammock era?

It’s been a push and a rebuilding job to get here, and now it’s very, very close to making a trip to the MAC Championship with just two more wins.

Ball State has the experience, talent, and make-up to pull this off, but Northern Illinois will do a strong job of controlling the clock and the game.

College Football Schedule: Week 11 Predictions, Lines

Ball State vs Northern Illinois Prediction, Lines

Northern Illinois 30, Ball State 27
Line: Ball State -2.5, o/u: 62.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3

Must See Rating: 4

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Northern Illinois vs Kent State Prediction, Game Preview

Northern Illinois vs Kent State prediction, game preview, how to watch, lines, and why each team might – or might not – wins on Wednesday night.

Northern Illinois vs Kent State prediction, game preview, how to watch: Wednesday November 3


Northern Illinois vs Kent State How To Watch

Date: Wednesday, November 3
Game Time: 7:00 ET
Venue: Dix Stadium, Kent, OH
How To Watch: ESPN2
Record: Northern Illinois (6-2), Kent State (4-4)
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Northern Illinois vs Kent State Game Preview


Why Northern Illinois Will Win

So how can Northern Illinois stop the high-powered Kent State attack that goes 100 miles per hour?

Slowwwwwwwwww it down.

Duh, that’s what everyone tries to do, but Northern Illinois can actually do it.

Western Michigan isn’t necessarily an offensive juggernaut. It comes up with a whole lot of yards but not a lot of points – it hung 64 on Kent State. And why?

It had the ball for 37:41 and rolled up 648 yards of total offense. It was able to do what it does better, only slower.

Northern Illinois can keep the ball for close to 34 minutes per game, and it does it with a pounding ground game behind an offensive line that’s the best in the MAC.

The Huskies will get off the bus with 250 rushing yards against the Kent State D. However …

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Why Kent State Will Win

Kent State is used to it.

It’s more than happy to give the offense some rest so it can go on a sprint.

QB Dustin Crum has been running this offense for forever and doesn’t screw up – he threw two picks in the opener against Texas A&M and hasn’t given one away since.

The defense might not be anything special, but it’s amazing at generating takeaways – 19 on the year with two or more in six of the eight games – and again, Crum and company don’t turn it over.

Kent Stat leads the nation in turnover margin, it’ll be +2 against the Huskies, and it should be able to answer long scoring drives with fast, efficient ones. It all comes down to …

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What’s Going To Happen

Can the Kent State defense ever get off the field if it’s not forcing takeaways?

Northern Illinois does a whole lot of grinding, but it doesn’t convert a whole lot of third down tries. That won’t be too much of an issue against a defense that allowed 12 rushing touchdowns in the last three games and three, 300-yard rushing days.

Northern Illinois won’t win the MAC West with this, but it’ll come very, very close. Kent State will still be okay with the tough loss – it’ll almost certainly meet the Huskies again in a few weeks for the MAC title.

College Football Schedule: Week 10 Predictions, Lines

Northern Illinois vs Kent State Prediction, Lines

Northern Illinois 38, Kent State 34
Line: Kent State -3.5, o/u: 68.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1.5

Must See Rating: 3.5

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Northern Illinois vs Central Michigan Prediction, Game Preview

Northern Illinois Huskies vs Central Michigan Chippewas prediction, game preview, how to watch, lines: Saturday, October 23

Northern Illinois vs Central Michigan prediction, game preview, how to watch: Saturday, October 23


Northern Illinois vs Central Michigan How To Watch

Date: Saturday, October 23
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Venue: Kelly/Shorts Stadium, Mount Pleasant, MI
How To Watch: ESPNU
Record: Northern Illinois (5-2), Central Michigan (4-3)
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Northern Illinois vs Central Michigan Game Preview


Why Northern Illinois Will Win

Is Northern Illinois really ready to make a big step forward in the MAC race? It all starts with ten running game.

It took a few years, but this is how the program is supposed to roll with 240 rushing yards or more on the ground against everyone but Michigan and Georgia Tech.

It’s getting a massive year out of its offensive front, the O controls games by dominating the time of possession battle, and the formula might just be good enough to counteract Central Michigan’s biggest strengths.

Can the Chippewas stop the run? Sort of, but it hasn’t played too many teams that gave it much of a shot. Central Michigan allows more than four yards per carry, and …

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Why Central Michigan Will Win

The defensive front is great at getting into the backfield.

Northern Illinois might be outstanding at preventing defenses from getting to the quarterback, but Troy Hairston and company are about to provide a huge test.

The Chippewas lead the MAC in tackles for loss and are second in sacks – they’re going to be happy to make Northern Illinois try to win this through the air.

Week 8 College Football Schedule, Predictions, Game Previews

What’s Going To Happen

Both teams have been involved in tight battle after tight battle. Five of the seven Northern Illinois games were decided bay a touchdown or less, and three of the last four Central Michigan games have been close.

The Northern Illinois ground game will control the clock and the tempo for a while, but the Central Michigan defense is too good at getting off the field – it’s outstanding on third downs.

The Huskies will have to throw the ball late, and it’s not going to work.

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Northern Illinois vs Central Michigan Prediction, Line

Central Michigan 27, Northern Illinois 23
Line: Central Michigan -5.5, o/u: 56.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2.5
10 Best Picks Against The Spread: Week 8

Must See Rating: 3

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