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12/31/14

Dropping the ball: New Year's Eve for sports means highly competitive bowl games

The final day of 2014 brings 3 more bowl games. But unlike some of the previous slew of games, all 3 of these feature ranked teams meeting in bowls with some history. It wouldn't be New Years Eve without college football, right?
Peach Bowl
#6 TCU vs #9 Mississippi Dec. 31st @12:30pm
Two teams that had aspirations of being a part of the College Football Playoff will meet in this battle of Top 10 teams. TCU comes in at 11 and 1 and were ranked in the Top 4 heading into the last week of the regular season, before being passed on by the CFP committee for Ohio State. Ole Miss comes in at 9 and 3, and were ranked as high as #3 in the country heading into the final weekend of October. This is a classic matchup of a high powered offense against a stingy defense. TCU ranked second in the nation in scoring, averaging 46.8 points per game, while the Rebels defense was the best in college football, giving up an average of just 13.8 points against per game. The Horned Frogs are led by dynamic quarterback Trevone Boykin, who passed for 3,714 yards and threw 30 touchdown passes. Boykin also rushed for 642 yards and scored 8 rushing TD's. Ole Miss has a pretty good QB of their own in Bo Wallace. Wallace threw for 3,085 yards and 22 touchdowns during the regular season. Both of these teams have been very successful in the post season as well. Mississippi hasn't lost a bowl game since 2000, while TCU has won 6 of their past bowl games.
Fiesta Bowl

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#10 Arizona vs #20 Boise State Dec. 31st @4pm
If you like offense, you'll want to tune in for this one, as the 10 and 3 Wildcats take on the 11 and 2 Broncos. Boise State averages 39.8 points per game, while Arizona puts up 34.8 points per contest. Both defenses will be challenged trying to stop the offensive talent each team has on their respective side. Boise State is led by quarterback Grant Hedrick, who passed for 3,387 yards and 22 touchdowns. Hedrick also rushed for 568 yards and scored 8 rushing TD's as well. RB Jay Ayaji rushed for 1,689 yards and scored 25 touchdowns for the Broncos. Arizona's offense features QB Anu Solomon, who threw for 3,458 yards and 27 touchdowns. On the ground, Nick Wilson leads the way for the Wildcats, rushing for 1,289 yards and 15 TD's so far in 2014. Arizona won the Pac 12 South Division before losing to Oregon in the title game. The Wildcats defeated the Ducks in their regular season matchup. Boise State are the champions of the Mountain West Conference and have won 8 in a row coming into this game.
Orange Bowl
#7 Mississippi State vs #12 Georgia Tech Dec. 31st @8pm
On paper, these teams look pretty even. Both have won 10 games in 2014. Both put points on the board, as the Bulldogs average 37.2 points per game, while the Yellow Jackets put up 37 points per game. Mississippi State is led by quarterback Dak Prescott, who's put up nearly 4,000 yards in total offense so far this season. Prescott passed for 2,996 yards and 24 touchdowns, and rushed for 939 yards and scored 13 times on the ground. The Bulldogs rushing attack is also powered by RB Josh Robinson, who rushed for 1,128 yards and scored 11 TD's. QB Justin Thomas is the catalyst of the Georgia Tech offense. Thomas threw for 1,594 yards and 17 TD's, and led the Yellow Jackets in rushing with 965 yards and scored 5 touchdowns. Georgia Tech also averages 333.6 yards rushing per game, which ranks 3rd in college football. Georgia Tech won 5 of their final 6 games, with their only loss being a 37 to 35 defeat to Florida State in the ACC Championship. After winning their first 9 games in 2014, the Bulldogs have lost 2 of their last 3.

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