Supreme similarities: Bowl teams take to field as mirror images of one another

12/24/15 by Matthew S. Vandriak

Today's bowl matches feature teams that will face off with plenty of things in common, whether that's a world class offense or rushing attacks that won't necessarily go head to head but will battle for supremacy with every juke, cut back or huge hole up the middle of the offensive line. Here's a look at today's games:
Bahamas Bowl: Middle Tennessee State vs Western Michigan 12/24 at 12pm
Two very similar teams will meet in this matchup of Conference USA's Blue Raiders and the Mid American Conference's Broncos. Both teams come in with 7 and 5 records. Both teams are close in average points scored, as Middle Tennessee State averages 34.3 points per game while Western Michigan averages 35.3. The Broncos average 480.6 yards per game while the Blue Raiders average 458.7. Both teams also have an outstanding quarterback and receiver tandem. Middle Tennessee State is led QB Brent Stockstill, who's thrown for 3,678 yards and 27 TD's versus 8 interceptions. WR Richie James has caught 100 passes for 1,220 yards and 6 scores. Western Michigan's Zach Terrell has passed for 3,225 yards and 27 TD's against 8 interceptions. WR Daniel Braverman has 103 catches for 1,266 yards and 12 touchdowns. Defensively the numbers are pretty even as well, with Middle Tennessee State giving up 25.1 points per game on average while Western Michigan allows 28.1. The Blue Raiders allow an average of 247 yards against the pass and 141.3 yards rushing yards per game. The Broncos give up 224.8 yards passing and 186.6 yards passing. Middle Tennessee State has won their past 4 games coming into this one, while Western Michigan lost 2 of their last 3 games.

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Hawaii Bowl: San Diego State vs Cincinnati 12/24 at 8pm
The 10 and 3 Aztecs come in as the champions of the Mountain West Conference, while the 7 and 5 Bearcats represent the American Athletic Conference. This game will be a matchup of a strong rushing offense in San Diego State versus Cincinnati's passing attack. The Aztecs average 235 yards per game on the ground, while the Bearcats average 373 yards through the air. However Cincinnati will be without starting quarterback Gunner Kiel, who passed for 2,777 and 19 touchdowns. In his place under center will be Hayden Moore, who will be looking to Shaq Washington, who has 88 catches for 971 yards and 6 TD's. The Bearcats will have to stop the ground game, in particular Donnel Pumphrey, who rushed for 1,554 yards and 16 touchdowns. Cincinnati has a slight edge in scoring, averaging 36.1 points per game versus the Aztecs 31.4. But San Diego State has a significant edge on the defensive side of the ball, ranking in the top 10 nationally in three categories. The Aztecs rank 5th in total defense, 6th in rushing defense, and 10th in scoring defense. They'll face a Cincinnati offense that's averaging 559.4 yards per game. But defensively the Bearcats allow 30.3 points per game on average and 414.7 yards per game as well. San Diego State comes in riding a 9 game winning streak, while Cincinnati won 2 of their final 3 games.

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