Music City Bowl
• Who: North Carolina State (7-5) vs. Vanderbilt (8-4)
• When/where: 11 a.m. in Nashville, Tenn.
• TV: ESPN
• Outlook: A 4-4 ACC record wasn’t good enough for the Wolfpack, who fired Tom O’Brien. Offensive coordinator Dana Bible steps in to lead a team led by quarterback Mike Glennon, who has thrown for 30 touchdowns. Vandy moves across town for this game and looks to keep its winning streak alive. A stout defense has helped the Commodores win six straight and they’re looking for the program’s first nine-victory season 1915.
• Prediction: Vanderbilt 30-20
• Who: Southern California (7-5) vs. Georgia Tech (6-7)
• When/where: 1 p.m. in El Paso, Texas
• TV: CBS (Chs. 5, 13)
• Outlook: The Yellow Jackets are bowling despite a losing record because they were ACC Coastal Division winners, and the program looks to end a seven-game bowl losing streak. NCAA sanctions kept the Trojans from bowling the previous two years, and more was expected from USC in quarterback Matt Barkley’s senior season. He won’t play because of a shoulder injury.
• Prediction: Southern California 49-35
• Who: Iowa State (6-6) vs. Tulsa (10-3)
• When/where: 2:30 p.m. in Memphis, Tenn.
• TV: ESPN
• Outlook: A few things have changed for the Cyclones after they beat Tulsa 38-25 in Ames to open the season. Quarterback Steele Jantz now watches freshman Sam Richardson operate the offense. And running back Shontrelle Johnson, who ran for 120 yards that day, is out because of a knee injury. Tulsa, with one of the nation’s top rushing attacks, looks for the second 11-victory season in program history.
• Prediction: Iowa State 38-25
• Who: LSU (10-2) vs. Clemson (10-2)
• When/where: 6:30 p.m. in Atlanta
• TV: ESPN
• Outlook: Terrific matchup between a productive Clemson offense led by quarterback Tajh Boyd and LSU’s stingy defense. In addition to throwing 34 touchdown passes, Boyd has rushed for nine scores. He’ll work against an LSU defense led by safety Eric Reid and linebacker Kevin Minter. LSU will be without punter Brad Wing, who was suspended for violating team rules.
• Prediction: LSU 31-21
| Blair Kerkhoff, firstname.lastname@example.org