Every Trojan fan will have their eyes on the Rose Bowl game on January 2nd against Penn State, and every college football fan will be watching the semi final playoff games this bowl season. But these are some other games you should keep your eye on.
Russell Athletic Bowl
#16 West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Miami Hurricanes - Wednesday Dec. 28, 5:30 pm
This should be a good battle between two teams who started out very hot then hit bumps in the road in the middle of the year. West Virginia comes in with only two losses on the season to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. The Mountaineer defense allowed 23.4 points per game this year and forced 25 turnovers. On offense they are led by dual threat Quarterback Skyler Howard who has a big play threat on the outside in wide receiver Shelton Gibson. WVU also has a strong running attack led by Justin Crawford and Rushel Shell. Miami hit a rough patch in the middle of their season going winless in October. They have since rebounded and won 4 straight. They are led by Quarterback and NFL prospect Brad Kayaa. His leading receiver is Stacy Coley who has 700 yards and 9 TD's receiving this year. A player to watch on defense is defensive back Corn Elder.
Valero Alamo Bowl
#12 Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. #10 Colorado Buffaloes - Thursday Dec. 29, 9pm
This bowl has had its history of comeback wins and down to the wire finishes. This year, Big 12 runner up Oklahoma State will take on Pac-12 runner up Colorado in San Antonio. Oklahoma State has an explosive offense led by big arm Quarterback Mason Rudolph. He has accounted for 3,777 yards and 25 touchdowns through the air this season. James Washington and Jalen McCleskey are his two leading receivers. Colorado is led by running back Phillip Lindsay who has 1,189 yards and 16 touchdowns on the year. Quarterback Sefo Liufau should return from the ankle injury he suffered in the Pac-12 title game against Washington to lead the Buffs in the Alamo Bowl .
Capital One Orange Bowl
#6 Michigan Wolverines vs. #11 Florida State Seminoles - Friday Dec. 30, 8pm
The Orange Bowl will feature two of college football's most storied programs. Jim Harbaugh's Wolverines are led by a stellar defense that features future first round pick and jack of all trades Jabrill Peppers. Corner Jourdan Lewis and defensive end Taco Charlton are other notables. On the offensive side, tight end Jake Butt is also a top NFL prospect. Florida State is led by redshirt freshman quarterback, Deandre Francois. He has thrown for over 3,000 yards and 18 touchdowns this year. The headliner for the Seminoles however is running back Dalvin Cook. He has 1,620 yards and 18 touchdowns on the season and is almost certainly a first round NFL talent.
Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl
#20 LSU Tigers vs. #13 Louisville Cardinals - Saturday Dec. 31, 11 am
The big story from this game so far has been the decision of LSU star Leonard Fournette to voluntarily sit out this game to avoid hurting his draft stock. Fournette was battling injury for a good chunk of the season and a new star emerged in his absence. Running back Derrius Guice has played very well this season and has done a fine job in Fournette's place. Guice has 1,249 yards on the ground and 14 touchdowns. Malachi Dupre is a solid receiver for the Tigers. On the Louisville side of things, this is your last shot to catch Heisman winner Lamar Jackson in action this season. He put up ridiculous stats on the year totaling almost 5,000 all purpose yards and accounting for 51 touchdowns. It will be interesting to see how the two teams defenses perform. Louisville has the #12 ranked defense and LSU the #14 ranked defense.
Goodyear Cotton Bowl
#15 Western Michigan Broncos vs. #8 Wisconsin Badgers - Monday Jan. 2, 1pm
As a warm up to the Rose Bowl, the Cotton Bowl features Western Michigan the only other 13-0 team in the country besides Alabama. They are led by wide receiver and first round draft prospect Corey Davis. Davis is the NCAA record holder for career receiving yards and has 18 touchdowns this season. Quarterback Zach Terrell has over 3,000 yards passing this year, and running back Jarvion Franklin has 1,300 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. They will go up against the physical Wisconsin Badgers defense led by outside linebackers T.J. Watt and Vince Biegel. They are the #7 ranked defense in the country. On the offensive side of the ball, running back Corey Clement leads the Badgers. It will be interesting to see if Western Michigan can hold their own against Wisconsin. This is their big shot to prove to the rest of the college football world that they are for real.
Merry Christmas, everyone!!!