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Bowl Previews, Open Thread: LaTech-Miami in Shreveport, Pitt-EMU in Detroit

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These seem like pretty apt matchups and locations for the day after Christmas.

NCAA Football: Eastern Michigan at Illinois Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

I had some hilarious lead-in for this, but then West Ham lost to Crystal Palace—a day removed from every single one of my wife’s shit-eating in-laws grinning at me and asking what happened to Northwestern this year, like, fuck you, I hope Oregon beats the badgers by 100—and I’m really just annoyed that I cheer for such shitty sports teams.

Also D2L went down all day yesterday, which was super awesome for getting grades uploaded. So I hope you all got what you wanted for Christmas, unless you’re a prick, in which case I hope your tree fell over and broke something.

December 26

Independence Bowl: Louisiana Tech Bulldogs vs. Miami-Florida Hurricanes

Independence Stadium, Shreveport, LA
3pm | ESPN | Mia -6.5 | O/U 49.5

Here are the teams (and Sagarin ranks) that LaTech beat in 2019:

  • Grambling (187): W, 20-14
  • at Bowling Green (179): W, 35-7
  • FIU (120): W, 43-31
  • at Rice (145): W, 23-20 (OT)
  • UMass (231): W, 69-21
  • Southern Miss (96): W, 45-30
  • at UTEP (194): W, 42-21
  • North Texas (131): W, 52-17
  • UTSA (158): W, 41-27

That averages out to 160.1. [Their losses were at Texas, at Marshall, and at UAB, an average of 70.3.] So...uh...yeah. Not great.

Now, that’s also had the effect of depressing the Bulldogs’ advanced stats, particularly in FEI, where their 73rd rating is entirely a function of their averaged adjusted opponent rating being dead fucking last—everything else implies that this is a Top 50 offense at worst. J’Mar Smith is a dynamic QB who will crack 3000 passing yards in this matchup, and Justin Henderson is a threat out of the backfield.

Hopefully that brings out the best in Miami Fluoride, though Manny Diaz’s club has been hemorrhaging good players, from injuries to RB Deejay Dallas and WRs Brevin Jordan (questionable for tonight) Cam’ron Harris (probable). QB Jarren Williams should still have enough playmakers to work with, and LaTech DB Amik Robertson (he of 16 PBUs) being out to declare for the NFL Draft could hurt the Bulldogs.

Like any game, just hope this one turns into a stupid shootout. The Canes should have the playmakers to get by, but LaTech can sniff out a 10-3 season and a big ACC scalp (though, to be honest, FIU winning the Battle of Coral Gables really took the air outta that).

What’s a Walk-On’s?

My Pick: Miami Fluoride (12 pts)

Poll

Ugh. Pick.

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    LaTech
    (20 votes)
  • 47%
    Miami Fluoride
    (18 votes)
38 votes total Vote Now

Quick Lane Bowl: Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Eastern Michigan Eagles

Ford Field, Detroit, MI
7pm | ESPN | Pitt -11 | O/U 49

This game is everything bowl season in the Midwest should be.

I can’t for the life of me figure out what the Pitt offense actually is. Does Pat Narduzzi know? Hell, does OC Mark Whipple know? It has looked to me like Kenny Pickett just kind of whips the ball around a lot with no real purpose or point—and they don’t even find the end zone that often? Anyways, Maurice Ffrench is questionable, and in his absence the question becomes whether the Panthers can just get speedsters like All-Name Candidate Shocky Jacques-Louis—SHOCKY JACQUES-LOUIS—or WR Taysir Mack into space to just bully the undersized Eagles.

Then again, this would be a second P5 feather in the cap of the Eagles, who will hopefully bring a loud and boisterous 10,000 people to Ford Field, just like when Northwestern played a road game there against EMU in 2008 (never forget). Anyhow, Shaq Vann is a fun little bowling ball in the EMU arsenal (I really should’ve shoehorned a bunch more “Factory” references in here) and Mike Glass III chucks it all over the place, irrespective of team (21 TDs and 10 INTs), including to security blanket Dylan Drummond and deep threat Arthur Jackson III.

Once again—if the Eagles spread this sucker out and get after Pickett, perhaps there’s a chance. I don’t think I buy it, but EMU has shown some pluck at the right times.

My Pick: Pitt (40 pts)

Poll

Who wins the Little Caesar’s Quick Motor City Lane Bowl?

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    Pitt
    (20 votes)
  • 50%
    EMU
    (20 votes)
40 votes total Vote Now

There’s other stuff—probably the NBA!—on tonight, but I can’t bring myself to care. Boxing Day soccer until 3pm, then bowl games until the cows come home. Usual rules apply, have a good time.