Back to bowl: College games resume as action heats up

12/29/14 by Matthew S. Vandriak

After taking a break for the final day of the NFL season, college bowl season is back in full swing with 3 matchups to kick off the week leading into the first ever College Football Playoff. Let's see what's in store for Monday.
Liberty Bowl
Texas A&M vs West Virginia Dec. 29th @2pm

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There could be fireworks in this matchup of 7 and 5 teams. Both WVU and Texas A&M average over 30 points per game on offense and over 300 yards passing per game as well. And both teams defense give up more than 25 points per game on average as well. The Mountaineers will be without starting quarterback Clint Trickett, who decided to retire from playing football due to multiple concussions sustained over the past year. With that, WVU loses 3,285 yards passing and 18 touchdown passes. In his place Skyler Howard will start. A big advantage for Howard will be that he will have the Big-12 Conferences leading receiver to throw to in Kevin White. White caught 102 passes for 1,318 yards and 9 TD's in 2014. After starting the season 5 and 0, Texas A&M lost 5 of their final 7 games. WVU finished cold as well, losing 3 of their final 4 games.
Russell Athletic Bowl
#17 Clemson vs Oklahoma Dec. 29th @5:30pm
This matchup will pit a high powered offense against a tough defense as the 9 and 3 Tigers take on the 8 and 4 Sooners. Clemson is #1 in the FBS in total defense, third in passing defense, and #7 against the run. Oklahoma is led offensively by the duo of RB Samaje Perine and returning QB Trevor Knight. Perine has rushed for 1,579 yards and scored 21 touchdowns, while Knight comes back after missing three games due to a neck injury. He's passed for 2,197 yards and 14 TD's so far in 2014. Clemson finished 2nd in the ACC's Atlantic Division behind conference champion Florida State while Oklahoma finished 4th in the Big 12. Both teams can put points on the board, as the Tigers average 30.1 points per game and the Sooners average 38.9 points per contest. This is the first meeting between these teams since the 1989 Citrus Bowl, which Clemson won 13 to 6.
Texas Bowl
Arkansas vs Texas Dec. 29th @9pm
This matchup features two former rivals from the old SWC as both teams come in with 6 and 6 records. Texas will have to find a way to slow down the Razorbacks rushing tandem of Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams. Collins has rushed for 1,024 yards and scored 12 TD's so far this season, while Williams has gained 1,085 yards and scored 11 times. Texas is led by WR John Harris, who's caught 64 passes for 1,015 yards and 7 TD's. Arkansas will have to try to contain Harris without two starters in their defensive backfield. Both cornerback Carroll Washington and safety Rohan Gaines are suspended for the game for violating team policy. These teams last met in 2008, with Texas blowing Arkansas out by the score of 52 to 10.

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