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NCAAF

Dec 30, 2018

Monday's Late Bowl Tips

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Missouri vs. Oklahoma State

Liberty Bowl History

-- The Missouri Tigers (8-4 straight up, 7-5 against the spread) from the Southeastern Conference will battle the Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-6 straight up, 6-6 against the spread) from the Big 12 Conference in the Autozone Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn.

-- Mizzou has a pretty extensive bowl history, and they have had a resurgence under head coach Barry Odom over the past couple of seasons. Gary Pinkel built the program into a perennial contender, but they had a couple of lean years from 2015-16. Odom has led them back, although their loss in the Texas Bowl last season snapped a three-game bowl winning streak. This will be their first bowl game against Oklahoma State since the Cotton Bowl Classic in 2013, a 41-31 win. These two teams used to be conference mates in the Big 12 for many years, too.

-- Oklahoma State enters on a two-game bowl winning streak, including the 30-21 win against Virginia tech in the Camping World Bowl in Orlando last season. The Cowboys have appeared in a bowl in 13 consecutive seasons, and they're 6-2 SU over the past eight. This will be their first-ever appearance in the Liberty Bowl.

-- The Tigers fired out of the box with three straight wins, scoring 40 or more points in each of the outings. However, they fell short by a 43-29 count against Georgia on Sept. 22 before a 37-35 loss at South Carolina. They also were clubbed by Alabama 39-10 on Oct. 13, slipping to 3-3. They lost an absolute heartbreaker to Kentucky on the last play of the game Oct. 27 in Columbia, but that was the last time they suffered defeat. That loss galvanized the team and they ripped off four straight wins while going 3-1 ATS, including a 38-17 win at Florida on Nov. 3.

-- The Cowboys also opened 3-0 SU/2-1 ATS in their first three before getting tripped up 41-17 at home against Texas Texh. Their best win of the season might have been a 38-35 victory against Texas as short 'dogs at home on Oct. 27, ruining the playoff chances of the Longhorns in the process. They nearly turned the trick against Oklahoma, too, but came up just short in a 48-47 classic in Norman. The Cowboys were able to drop West Virginia out of the picture on Nov. 17.

 -- Oklahoma State finished 10th in total yards (499.2 YPG) with 306.7 passing yards per contests to finish 12th in that area. They're also 14th in the country with 38.4 points per game (PPG), with their only weakness in the rushing game. Defensively they had major issues, too, like most Big 12 clubs, ranking 99th in total yards allowed (437.1 YPG), 108th against the pass (258.2 YPG) and 97th in points allowed (32.4 PPG).

-- Missouri can hang in the pass game, ranking 27th with 271.6 YPG, while checking in 16th in total yards (468.8 YPG). They were also 19th in the land with 36.9 PPG. Defensively their hot spot was against the run, checking in 21st with just 122.9 YPG. They were dinged for 256.1 YPG to finish 104th overall, while yielding just 24.4 PPG to finish 45th.

-- Cowboys QB Taylor Cornelius took the baton from Mason Rudolph and rolled up 3,637 passing yards, 28 touchdowns and 11 interceptions with 385 rushing yards and 10 scores. WR Tylan Wallace is the next star in the pass game, racking up 1,398 receiving yards with 11 scores.

-- Tigers QB Drew Lock is the start and a future first-round pick in the NFL perhaps. He threw for 3,125 yards, 25 touchdowns and eight interceptions with six rushing scores. RB Larry Rountree III rumbled for 1,012 yards and 10 touchdowns, while RB Damarea Crockett chipped in with seven scores on the ground.

-- Missouri is 5-2 ATS in the past seven outside of the conference, but they're just 1-4 ATS in the past five against Big 12 foes and 1-8 ATS across the past nine played in the month of December.

-- Oklahoma State is 8-1 ATS in the past nine non-conference tilts, and they're 5-1 ATS in the past six against teams with a winning record. The Cowboys are also 4-1 ATS in the past five neutral-site contests.

-- The over is 4-1 in Missouri's past five bowl games and 3-0-1 in their past four non-conference battles while going 5-2 in their past seven neutral-site affairs.

-- The under has hit in four in a row during bowl season, while going 7-1-1 in the past nine games in the month of December. The under is also 5-1 in their past six against the SEC.

-- Kickoff is slated for 3:45 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

Northwestern vs. Utah

Holiday Bowl History

-- The San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl is a matchup between the Northwestern Wildcats (8-5 straight up, 6-7 against the spread) from the Big 10 Conference against the Utah Utes (9-4 straight up, 7-6 against the spread) from the Pac-12 Conference at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif. in a battle of Top 25 teams.

-- The Wildcats appeared in just one bowl game before Gary Barnett took them to the Rose Bowl in 1995. One. The late Randy Walker took over and led them to three bowl games in 2000, 2003 and 2005. However, it's been Pat Fitzgerald who has transformed the program into a perennial contender, and they're winning bowl games now, too. In their first 10 bowl games they won just once, in 1948. They topped Mississippi State in 2012 in the Gator Bowl, they topped Pittsburgh in the Pinstripe Bowl in 2016, and they dumped Kentucky last season in the Music City Bowl. This will be their first-ever apperance in the Hoiliday Bowl.

-- Utah puts a five-game bowl winning streak on the line against Northwestern. They spanked West Virginia 30-14 in the Heart of Dallas Bowl last season, and they have won 14 of their past 15 appearances during bowl season. While they have never appeared in the Holiday Bowl, they won a pair of Poinsettia Bowl appearances in this stadium in 2007 against Navy and 2009 against California.

-- The Wildcats didn't get off to a great start, going 1-3 SU/2-2 ATS through the first four games, including losses at home to Duke and Akron. However, they ended up winning seven of their final eight contests to win the Big 10 West and make their first-ever appearance in the league's title game. They were overmatched 45-24 against Ohio State to land in this bowl.

-- The Utes opened with two wins, but they lost to both Washington schools from the Pac-12 to start out 2-2 SU/1-3 ATS. They rebounded with a 40-21 win at Stanford to perhaps save their season, or at least give them confidence again. They topped USC 41-28 on Oct. 20, and they won seven of eight from Oct. 6 to Nov. 24 to easily qualify for the postseason. A 10-3 loss in the Pac-12 title game showed they have plenty of defense, but their offense was a huge disappointment in that one.

-- Utah ranked 71st in total yards per game (396.6 YPG) and 91st in passing yards (207.2 YPG). They were decent on the ground, ranking 48th with 189.5 YPG with a rather average 28.7 PPG, good for 70th in the land. On defense, they locked down the run game with just 102.9 YPG allowed, finishing sixth in the nation. They were 15th in total yards, too, allowing just 316.2 YPG.

-- Northwestern managed to finish just 106th in total yards per game (356.8 YPG) and just 119th in rushing offense (117.5 YPG). They also struggled to put points on the board, averaging just 23.7 PPG to finish 106th overall in the nation. Defensively they were also 106th against the pass (258.1 YPG). They're strongest against the run with 132.6 YPG allowed.

-- For the Wildcats, WR Flynn Nagel (leg) is listed as questionable due to a leg injury.

-- For the Utes, QB Tyler Huntley (collarbone) is considered probable, but he'll have to do without RB Zack Moss (knee) and WR Britain Covey (knee), two key components in the offense this season.

-- Northwestern enters the game 4-1-1 ATS over the past six games against teams with a winning overall record, but they're 0-3-1 ATS in the past four non-conference tilts.

-- Utah is 4-1 ATS in the past five bowl games and they're 6-1 ATS in the past seven against Big Ten foes. They're also 10-4-1 ATS in the past 15 against winning teams, 20-8 ATS in the past 28 non-conference battles and 10-4 ATS in the past 14 neutral-site contests.

-- The under is 4-1 in Northwestern's past five bowl games, while going 5-2 in their past seven overall and 23-8-1 in the past 32 non-conference contests.

-- The under is 4-1 in Utah's past five neutral-site games, and 4-1 in their past five against the Big Ten. However, the over is 5-1 in Utah's past six against teams with a winning record.

-- This is the first-ever meeting between Northwestern and Utah. 

-- Kickoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. Eastern on FOX Sports 1.

N.C. State vs. Texas A&M

Taxslayer Gator Bowl History

-- The Taxslayer Gator Bowl is a showdown between the North Carolina State Wolfpack (9-3 straight up, 6-6 against the spread) from the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Texas A&M Aggies (8-4 straight up, 8-4 against the spread) from the SEC at Everbank Field in Jacksonville, Fla.

-- The Wolfpack have won two straight bowl games, and eight of their past 11 in the postseason. This will be their first appearance in this bowl since the Jan. 1, 2003, a 28-6 win against Notre Dame. Overall in three previous Gator Bowl appearances the Wolfpack are 1-2 SU.

-- The Aggies head into this one on a three-game losing streak during the bowl season, including a 55-52 shootout loss against Wake Forest last season in the Belk Bowl. The las time the Aggies appearance in the Gator Bowl was way back in 1957 when Bear Bryant was the head coach, and they lost 3-0 against Tennessee.

-- N.C. State fired out of the chute with a 5-0 SU/3-2 ATS mark and a Top 25 ranking heading into the Oct. 20 battle at Clemson. They proved they were quite ready for the big time, getting slapped back 41-7 in Death Valley, and they followed that up with a 51-41 loss at Syracuse to take themselves out of the ACC championship chase. However, they beat Florida State 47-28 for a good one at home, and won three straight to finish up, including a 58-3 whipping of East Carolina on Dec. 1.

-- A&M also lost to Clemson, falling 28-26 at home on Sept. 8 in a very good showing. They opened with four straight covers, and they were 5-2 SU/6-1 ATS through the first seven contests. They had some difficulty with losses at Mississippi State and Auburn, but they finished up with three straight wins against Mississippi, UAB and LSU to end the season on a high note. That Tigers game was a ridiculous 74-72 which went seven overtimes.

-- N.C. State had a successful season on offense, ranking 15th in total yards per game (471.5 YPG) with 327.7 yards per game to finish sixth through the air. They had trouble running, ranking 98th overall, but still managed to score 35.6 PPG to finish 20th in the nation. Defensively they were strong against the run, allowing just 109.1 YPG, but they were dinged for 271.2 YPG to finish 121th in the country.

-- A&M finished 20th in total yards (465.8 YPG), 34th in passing yards (262.0 YPG) and 30th in rushing yards (203.8 YPG) while posting 34.7 PPG to finish 26th. They had some of the best balance in the country on offense. Defensively they weren't as balanced, allowing just 92.0 YPG to finish second in the country, while allowing 262.7 YPG to end up 111th.

-- For A&M, QB Kellen Mond was sufficient in the pass game, throwing for 2,967 yards, 23 touchdowns and eight interceptions while running for 387 yards and six scores. RB Trayveon Williams piled up 1,524 yards and 15 scores. TE Jace Sternberger is a force with a team-high 804 yards and 10 scores.

-- QB Ryan Finley is a beast for N.C. State, posting 3,789 passing yards, 24 scores and nine INTs. On the ground, RB Reggie Gallaspy II posted 1,014 yards and 18 touchdowns, including the game-winner in OT against rival UNC, perhaps his most memorable.

-- N.C. State is 7-2-1 ATS across the past 10 bowl games while going 4-1 ATS in the past five out of conference. However, they're just 1-6 ATS in their past seven tries against SEC foes.

-- A&M has covered seven straight out of conference battles while going 8-3 ATS across the past 11 against winning teams. They have covered nine of the past 13 overall, too.

-- The over is 6-0 in N.C. State's past six bowl games and 8-0 in their past eight neutral-site tilts. They over is also 11-4-1 in the past 16 non-conference contests.

-- For A&M, the over is 6-1 in their past seven non-SEC games, 4-1 in the past five bowls and 8-2 ATS in the past nine following a non-cover.

-- This is the first-ever meeting between N.C. State and Texas A&M on the gridiron.

-- Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

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