First Responder Bowl: Boston College Eagles vs Boise State Broncos -2.5
The Boise State Broncos enter bowl season winners of 7 of 8 with the only loss coming in the MWC Championship game to Fresno State. They are set for a matchup with the Boston College Eagles who opened the season on a tear at 7-2 before injuries doomed them to three straight losses to end the campaign.
Eagles QB Anthony Brown and RB AJ Dillon are both set to play in this game which will make a huge difference for a team that has been lost on the offense without their two playmakers. The Eagles also have to face a defense that hasn’t given up more than 24 points since back in October. Boston College will struggle to score
The Broncos will have QB Brett Rypien who averaged 285 yards per game this season adding 30 touchdowns to just 7 interceptions. Rypien will have had three weeks to prospect his adversaries in this one, making him even more lethal. Rypien along with Junior RB Alexander Mattison will make for a stronger punch then the aforementioned Brown and Dillon.
Both teams have stronger defenses than offenses, but the edge on both ends has to go to a healthy Boise State team that seems to have a history of beating power five teams. Take Boise State to cover because of their defense.
Boise State -2.5
Quick Lane Bowl: Minnesota Golden Golphers vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets -6
Georgia Tech is going to run the ball…duh. Can the Minnesota Golden Gopher defense stop that run game…. no. Minnesota’s defensive strength is their pass rush which will be completely negated by the fact that the Yellow Jackets never really throw the ball.
Both Georgia Tech “Quarterbacks” TeQuon Marshall and Tobias Oliver ran for over 800 yards, while as a team Georgia Tech averaged an astounding 334.9 yards per game during the regular season. This will be a huge problem for a Minnesota team that dug deep in the regular season to salvage themselves a shot at a bowl game.
Minnesota has some nice wins on their schedule including victories over MWC Champion Fresno State, Purdue and at Wisconsin. But the rushing attack of Georgia Tech and the inexperience at QB with their second freshman starter of the year Tanner Morgan makes this seem like an insurmountable task for Head Coach PJ Fleck and company. Minnesota had a nice season but they don’t cover the six points.
Georgia Tech -6
Cheez-It Bowl: California Golden Bears -1 vs. TCU Horned Frogs
The TCU Horned Frogs may want 2018 to ended worse than any other team in the country. A pre-season top 25 team was the definition of injury riddled this year, entering the Cheez-It Bowl with their 3rd string QB and 2nd string RB. This would be bad news for any team but a matchup with the surprisingly stingy California Golden Bears makes this a nightmare after Christmas. The Golden Bears featured the No. 24 scoring defense in all of college football holding offense juggernauts like Washington to just 10 points and Washington State to 19 points.
TCU will start senior Grayson Muehlstein at QB, coming off a great victory against the uninspired Oklahoma State Cowboys in the final week of the season. Big 12 defenses, especially after two tough games the previous week are usually not the toughest of opponents so that win doesn’t carry the weight it may have earlier in the season.
TCU has a lot of talent on both ends despite the missing pieces but California will just make it too tough for them to score. Still believe TCU makes this a game based on the fact that despite all of the injuries the spread is only at 1 point. I have to go with California to pull off the victory by at least 3 points.