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Reply To: NCAAF • "Christmas Eve Bowl Games" • Thursday 12/24/15

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Robinson Stadium, Nassau, Bahamas

Mid-Tenn St. v. W. Michigan (-3/63) Noon ET ESPN

Mid-Tenn St. finished on a solid 4-0 SU ATS run to get this Bowl bid with a 7-5 SU record. A closer inspection shows the last 3 of those wins to be against towel-tossers, Florida Atlantic, N. Texas and UTSA. Against the cream of the CUSA crop, Mid-Tenn lost by 30 at Western and 29 at LA Tech. Were they fortunate they did not play S. Mississippi! They were led down the stretch by QB Stockstill, who completed 70% of his passes in the last half of the season with a 27/8 ratio. He is ably abetted by WRs James and Battles. Western Michigan counters with the momentum of a (35-30) season-ending win at Toledo that knocked the Rockets out of the Title Game. This team was good enough to cover against Michigan St. and Ohio St. in September but bad enough to lose key November division encounters on consecutive weeks to Bowling Green and NIU, knocking them out of Title contention. QB Terrell is the straw that stirs the drink, backed by a trio of runners in Bogan, Franklin and Bellamy. Must feel they are a bit better of a team that can get this victory only if they can focus following their season-ending upset.


Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

Cincinnati (-1 ½ /57) v. San Diego St. 8:00 ET ESPN

Signal caller issues abound in this game with SD State QB Maxwell Smith (knee) out for the season, while Cincinnati QB Kiel is listed as questionable at this writing due to “personal” reasons. Despite huge offensive potential, which saw the Bearcats average 36/559 on offense, it was their defensive ineptitude against quality teams that makes questions abound. Against the quality teams in the AAC, the Bearcats went 0-4 SU vs. Memphis, Houston, USF and Temple, allowing a whopping 44 PPG. They will be facing a San Diego St. team who brings the momentum of a 9-0 SU winning streak into this contest. Fundamentals speak loudly in favor of the Aztecs. Their 67% run/pass balance puts the onus on the RB tandem of Pumfrey and Price. Replacement QB Chapman should be decent now that he has 2 games under his belt, including the Title Game victory (27-24) on his home field against Air Force. Bearcats’ highly potent offense could well struggle against the Rocky Long 3-3-5 defense which allows just 18/288. Aztecs’ fundamental excellence was confirmed with a (+19) net TO margin (best in the land). Topping it all off is the fact they played in Hawaii this season, recording a confidence-building (28-14) victory against the Rainbow Warriors on October 10th.