Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:00 AM
Frisco Bowl Preview
Editor's Note: Brian Edwards cashed a pair of easy winners last night with UAB and the 'over' to improve to 4-1 during the bowl season! Don't miss out on his next pay-if-it-wins-only-selection for tonight, or get signed up for the rest of the postseason and winners galore!
Ohio and San Diego State are poised to collide Wednesday night at Toyota Stadium for the DXL Frisco Bowl in Frisco, TX.
As of Tuesday evening, most books had Ohio (8-4 straight up, 7-5 against the spread) installed as a 2.5-point favorite with a total of 53.5. The Aztecs were +120 on the money line (risk $100 to win $120).
San Diego State (7-5 SU, 3-9 ATS) opened the season with a 31-10 loss at Stanford, but it responded with six straight wins. The Aztecs won vs. Arizona State (28-21), vs. Eastern Michigan (23-20 in overtime) and at Boise State (19-13) during their six-game surge.
However, Rocky Long’s club lost three games in a row and four of its last five to close the regular season in extremely disappointing fashion. The Aztecs have been particularly tough on their betting supporters lately, going 1-6 ATS in their past seven games with the lone spread cover coming by one point.
San Diego State lost at home vs. UNLV by a 27-24 count as a 24-point home favorite. Next, it went down 23-14 at Fresno State before closing the year with a 31-30 overtime loss to Hawaii as an 18-point home ‘chalk.’
Juwan Washington rushed for 158 yards and two TDs on 31 carries in the loss to the Warriors. Senior QB Christian Chapman completed only 9-of-19 throws for 149 yards and one TD without an interception. Senior WR Fred Trevillion had a pair of receptions for 88 yards and one TD.
San Diego State led Hawaii 14-3 at the end of the first quarter, only to see the Warriors outscore it 21-0 in the second to take a 24-14 advantage into halftime. The Aztecs held Cole McDonald and Co. scoreless in the second half so when they scored on a 13-yard TD pass from Ryan Agnew to Isaac Lessard with 6:07 remaining, the game was tied at 24-24.
Hawaii had possession first in the extra session, getting a 10-yard TD pass from McDonald to JoJo Ward to go ahead 31-24. San Diego State quickly answered on Washington’s 25-yard TD dash, but Long decided to go for two and the win. The move backfired when a two-point conversion pass failed. We could see both Agnew and Chapman under center Wednesday. Chapman started 29 games in his first three seasons, but a shoulder injury in Week 2 forced him to the sidelines for two months. He has split time with Agnew since returning in a 31-23 win at New Mexico on Nov. 3.
Chapman has connected on 57.5 percent of his throws for 774 yards this year. He has a 4/1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. For his career, Chapman has an excellent 39/12 TD-INT ratio. Agnew, a junior who played high school at Southake Carroll in the Dallas area, had only nine career pass attempts coming into the season. He completed 104-of-199 passes (52.3%) for 1,525 yards with a 10/5 TD-INT ratio. Agnew also produced 131 rushing yards, but he was limited to 2.4 yards per carry.
Washington missed four games in a row after sustaining an injury in the win over EMU. Like Chapman, he returned for the win at UNM, rushing for 95 yards and two TDs on merely 11 carries. For the season, Washington has produced 870 rushing yards, 10 TDs and a 4.8 YPC average. Sophomore RB Chase Jasmin has run for 592 yards and five TDs with a 4.3 YPC average.
Trevillion has 22 receptions for 598 yards and three TDs. The senior wideout averages 27.2 yards per catch. Kahale Warring has 31 grabs for 372 yards and three TDs.
San Diego State is ranked 21st in the nation in total defense, third in run defense and 29th in scoring ‘D’ (21.8 points per game). Junior LB Kyahva Tezino has enjoyed a sensational season, racking up 120 tackles, 8.5 sacks, seven QB hurries, six tackles for loss and two passes broken up.
San Diego State has been an underdog four times this season, compiling a 3-1 spread record with a pair of outright victories. Since midway through the 2015 campaign, Long’s team is an incredible 9-1 ATS with eight outright wins in 10 games as an underdog.
This is the Aztecs’ ninth consecutive postseason appearance, but they’ll fail in their bid to post a fourth straight double-digit win total. They went 11-3, 11-3 and 10-3 in 2015, ’16 and ’17, respectively.
Long has taken his program to the postseason eight times during his eight-year tenure. The Aztecs are 3-4 SU in those seven previous bowl games. They won back-to-back seasons over Cincinnati (42-7) at the 2015 Hawaii Bowl and 34-10 over Houston at the 2016 Las Vegas Bowl. But San Diego State was denied a third straight postseason victory by Army at the 2017 Armed Forces Bowl (42-35).
Frank Solich’s team went 2-2 both SU and ATS in non-conference play. Ohio beat Howard (38-32) and UMass (58-42) at home, but it lost 45-31 to Virginia in Nashville and 34-30 at Cincinnati.
The Bobcats went 4-1 in its first five MAC games to leave them in a three-way race with Buffalo and Miami (OH) in the East Division. However, the RedHawks captured a 30-28 win as 4.5-point home ‘chalk’ when Ohio came to town. Solich’s bunch would bounce back to trash Buffalo by a 52-17 count as a 2.5-point home favorite the following week. Nevertheless, the Bulls finished 7-1 in league play to win the division.
Ohio is led by junior QB Nathan Rourke, who has completed 61.3 percent of his passes for 2,225 yards with a 22/7 TD-INT ratio. Rourke can make plays with his legs, too, rushing for 816 yards and 13 TDs while averaging 6.5 YPC. His favorite target is Papi White, who has 58 catches for 897 yards and nine TDs. Andrew Meyer has 34 receptions for 445 yards and four TDs.
Senior RB A.J Ouellette has run for 1,142 yards and 12 TDs with a 6.2 YPC average. Malek Irons is a force as well, rushing for 831 yards and eight TDs while averaging 6.6 YPC.
Ohio was a single-digit favorite three times, going 2-1 both SU and ATS. The Bobcats are bowling for the fourth straight season and are hoping to perform the way they did last year at the 2017 Bahamas Bowl, where they blasted UAB 41-6 as seven-point favorites to end a three-game losing streak in the postseason. During Solich’s 14-year tenure, Ohio has gone 3-6 in nine bowl games.
Ohio is ranked 17th in the nation in total offense, ninth in rushing yards and 10th in scoring with its 41.2 points-per-game average. The Bobcats are 35th in the country in run defense, 66th in total defense and 61st in scoring ‘D’ (26.7 PPG).
The ‘over’ is 7-4-1 overall for the Bobcats after hitting in their last two regular-season games. They’ve seen their games average combined scores of 67.8 PPG. This is the second-lowest total of the season for Ohio, which saw the 45 combined points drop ‘under’ the 52-point tally at No. Illinois back on Oct. 13.
The ‘under’ is 8-4 overall for the Aztecs, but they saw the ‘over’ go 3-2 in their last five regular-season contests. They’ve seen their games average combined scores of 44.1 PPG. This is San Diego State third-highest total of the year.
According to weather.com, there's an 80-percent chance of showers in Frisco early tonight. There will also be winds gusting at up to 5-10 miles per hour and a low temperature of 44 degrees.
Kickoff on ESPN is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets
-- San Diego State’s win total (8.5) dropped ‘under,’ while Ohio’s (8.5) also slithered South of the number.
-- USA Today reported early Monday night that Georgia true freshman QB Justin Fields is exploring transferring possibilities. Fields, a five-star recruit, played in 12 of UGA’s 13 games. He rushed for 266 yards and four TDs on 42 attempts, averaging 6.3 YPC. Fields completed 27-of-39 throws (69.2%) for 328 yards and four TDs without an interception. With the SEC Championship Game tied at 28-28 with about three minutes remaining, Kirby Smart inserted Fields into the game on the punt team with the Bulldogs facing a fourth-and-11 play near midfield. In a cataclysmic coaching error, Smart inexplicably called a fake punt. The snap went directly to Fields, who you would think was supposed to throw the ball. He ran instead and didn’t come anywhere close to getting first-down yardage. Whether or not Fields screwed up the play or not, all the blame lies with Smart for making the knucklehead decision. UGA starting QB Jake Fromm is a true sophomore and whether he’s a guy who turns pro early or stays in Athens for four seasons is debatable at this point. Fields apparently doesn’t want to hinge his future on finding out, and that’s understandable. He’ll be in high demand on the transfer market. At this point, it’s unclear if Fields will play in the Sugar Bowl vs. Texas. There’s been some chatter among SEC media member that Mississippi St. could be a landing spot for the talented signal caller. The thinking here is that Fields has a long relationship with Joe Moorhead, who was the OC for James Franklin at Penn St. during Fields’s recruiting process. Before deciding to sign with UGA, Fields had been verbally committed to PSU. A report from The Toledo Blade on Tuesday suggested that Ohio St. was the front-runner to score Fields’s services.
-- Nick Saban provided ESPN.com with an update on Heisman Trophy runner-up QB Tua Tagovailoa’s progress after undergoing ankle surgery a couple of weeks ago. “He’s doing well. I think he’s probably ahead of schedule. He’s been able to take a lot of reps. He’s been able to throw the ball from the pocket. He can run…I don’t think he’s 100 percent in terms of change of direction yet. But he’s already going 100 percent on the gravity treadmill. So he’s been able to practice and he’s made really, really good progress. So we’re encouraged by that.”
-- Iowa QB Nate Stanley will return to the Hawkeyes for his senior season in 2019. Stanley, who announced his decision on Monday, threw for 2,638 yards with a 23/9 TD-INT ratio this year. He had a 26/6 TD-INT ratio as a sophomore in 2017.
-- Stanford RB Bryce Love won’t play in his team’s Sun Bowl game vs. Pittsburgh in order to focus on staying healthy and preparing for the NFL Draft. Other key players for the Cardinal who won’t be in uniform against the Panthers included OG Nate Herbig, CB Alameen Murphy, DE Dylan Jackson and safety Ben Edwards. Although he’s listed as ‘questionable,’ gamblers shouldn’t expect to see TE Kaden Smith in action, either. Herbig and Smith were both first-team All-Pac-12 selections in 2017. Smith was one of three finalists for the Mackey Award. Love finished his collegiate career with 3,865 rushing yards and 30 TDs. David Shaw’s team is favored by six points versus Pitt.
-- According to GameCockCentral.com, South Carolina returned to the practice field Monday in preparation for a Dec. 29 date with Virginia at The Belk Bowl in Charlotte. The Gamecocks welcomed back senior LB Bryson Allen-Williams and Jaycee Horn, and Will Muschamp said both players will play vs. UVA. Williams missed the last four games of the regular season, while Horn was ‘out’ for the last two. Deebo Samuel won’t play for USC against the Cavaliers in order to prepare for the NFL Draft.
Follow Brian Edwards' sports gambling opinions on Twitter at @vegasbedwards.