Rush job: LSU puts hopes of bowl victory on back, legs of star RB

12/29/15 by Matthew S. Vandriak

Bowl season begins to heat up as more of the ranked teams start to square off against others of that same ilk in match ups that are highly anticipated and leading into the BCS series as 2015 turns into 2016. Today's games feature an array of teams that boast high powered offenses, stout defenses or overall, well balanced attacks on both sides of the ball.
Armed Forces Bowl: Air Force vs California 12/29 at 2 pm
This will be a game of contrasting offensive styles as the aerial attack of the 7 and 5 Bears meets the ground assault of the 8 and 5 Falcons. California is led by quarterback Jared Goff, who's thrown for 4,252 yards and 37 touchdowns so far this season. Bryce Treggs, Kenny Lawler, and Trevor Davis have combined for 2,049 yards receiving and 18 TD's for the Bears. Air Force brings in the 2nd best rushing offense in college football, averaging 322 yards per game. The Falcons are led by Jacobi Owens, who's rushed for 1,009 yards and 6 touchdowns. QB Karson Roberts has thrown for 1,446 yards and 9 TD's while rushing for 674 yards and 9 more scores. After starting 5 and 0, California went 2 and 5 in their final 7 games. Air Force comes in having dropped their past 2 games. California has won 6 of the 8 eight all time meetings between these programs, including the most recent meeting, a 42 to 36 win in the 2007 Armed Forces Bowl.

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Citrus Bowl: #10 North Carolina vs #17 Baylor 12/29 at 5:30 pm
Points should be a plenty in this matchup between the 11 and 2 Tar Heels and the 9 and 3 Bears. Baylor averages 48 points per game and 605 yards per game while North Carolina averages 41 points per game and 487 yards per contest. North Carolina is led by Marquise Williams, who's passed for 2,829 yards and 21 touchdowns. RB Elijah Hood has rushed for 1,345 yards and 17 TD's. For Baylor it's more of who won't be playing. The Bears will be without their top two quarterbacks (Seth Russell and Jarrett Stidham), their starting running back (Shock Linwood), and their leading receiver (Corey Coleman), due to injuries. The Tar Heels won 4 of their final 5 games, while Baylor dropped 3 of their last 4 games.
Arizona Bowl: Colorado State vs Nevada 12/29 at 7:30pm
Due to the lack of bowl eligible teams, two Mountain West Conference rivals will collide in this matchup as the 7 and 5 Rams meet the 6 and 6 Wolf Pack. Nevada is led by QB Tyler Stewart, who's passed for 2,065 yards and 17 touchdowns. On the ground, the Wolf Pack is led by James Butler, who's rushed for 1,156 yards and 8 TD's. Colorado State is led offensively by QB Nick Stevens, who's thrown for 2,369 yards and 21 touchdowns. His top target has been Rashard Higgins, who has 66 catches for 933 yards and 8 TD's. These teams didn't meet in MWC play this season, but Colorado State won last years meeting 31 to 24 and has won 11 of the 13 all time meetings between these schools.
Texas Bowl: #20 LSU vs Texas Tech 12/29 at 9pm
Plenty of offensive weapons will be on display in this matchup of the 8 and 3 Tigers from the SEC and the 7 and 5 Red Raiders of the Big 12. LSU is led by RB Leonard Fournette, who's rushed for 1,741 yards and 18 touchdowns. He'll be facing a Texas Tech defense that allows 272 yards per game on the ground, which ranked 3rd worst in college football. The Red Raiders can get it done on offense however. Texas Tech ranked 2nd in the nation in points per game, total yards per game, and passing yards per game. The Red Raiders are led by QB Patrick Mahomes, who's thrown for 4,283 yards and 32 touchdowns. His go to guy has been Jakeem Grant, who has 80 catches for 1,143 yards and 7 TD's. On the ground Texas Tech is led by RB DeAndre Washington, who's rushed for 1,455 yards and 14 scores. LSU lost 3 of their final 4 games coming in, while Texas Tech has won their last 2 games. The Red Raiders have won their past 4 bowl games, while the Tigers have lost 3 of their past 4 post season games. This is the first meeting between these schools since 1957.

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