Previews for Thursday’s bowl games

12/26/2012 4:55 PM

05/16/2014 8:38 PM

Military Bowl

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Who:

San Jose State (10-2) vs. Bowling Green (8-4)

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When/where:

2 p.m. in Washington, D.C.

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TV:

ESPN

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Outlook:

San Jose State’s Mike MacIntyre is off to Colorado and defensive coordinator Kent Baer steps in. San Jose seeks the program’s first 11-victory season. This game features a pair of excellent pass rushers in San Jose end Travis Johnson and Bowling Green tackle Chris Jones. San Jose quarterback David Fales ranks third nationally in passing efficiency.

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Prediction:

Bowling Green 38-34

Belk Bowl

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Who:

Cincinnati (9-3) vs. Duke (6-6)

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When/where:

5:30 p.m. in Charlotte, N.C.

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TV:

ESPN

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Outlook:

Another interim coach bowl, with Cincinnati defensive line coach Steve Stripling taking over for Tennessee-bound Butch Jones. The Bearcats will look to control the game on the ground, led by running back George Winn, who rushed for 1,204 yards. On Oct. 20, Duke toppled rival North Carolina, improving to 6-2, and was in the thick of the division race. But the defense fell apart and the Blue Devils lost four straight to end the season. Duke will need a big game from quarterback Sean Renfree, who has thrown for 18 touchdowns.

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Prediction:

Duke 35-30

Holiday Bowl

Who:

Baylor (7-5) vs. UCLA (9-4)

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When/where:

8:45 p.m. in San Diego

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TV:

ESPN

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Outlook:

The first meeting between the programs should be entertaining. The average score of a Baylor game is 44-38. For UCLA it’s 35-26. The teams know how to score. The Bears average a nation’s best 579 yards of total offense and have one of the nation’s top wide receivers in Terrance Williams (95 receptions, 18.6 yards, 12 touchdowns). Keep an eye on Bears running back Lache Seastrunk, who has averaged 139 yards in his last five games. In coach Jim Mora’s first year, UCLA bids for its first 10-victory season since 2005. Redshirt freshman quarterback Brett Hundley is having a terrific rookie season and the Bruins have major weapons in running back Johnathan Franklin and tight end Joseph Fauria.

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Prediction: UCLA 55-52

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