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Bowl Cuts: The First Saturday of Bowl Season has Plenty to Offer

The first Saturday of the College Bowl Season is upon us!

University of Nevada 27, Brigham Young University 13, Lavell Edwards Stadium, Provo, Utah by Ken Lund is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Bowl Cuts: The First Saturday of Bowl Season has Plenty to Offer

Estimated Reading Time: 7 Minutes

Welcome to Bowl Cuts, a column here on The Turf where we give you all the quick hits you need to know ahead of each and every college football bowl game this season! Yes, we know there are a lot of bowl games. And you’re probably only tuning in because the Browns/Raiders game is postponed, or because you’re avoiding Spiderman: No Way Home spoilers. But if you’re gonna watch something, you might as well enjoy it to the fullest, right?

So let’s jump right into the exciting annual tradition of putting two college football teams on national television in a game sponsored by a corporation that pays the schools to appear! That’s right, Bowl Season is here and it’s time to start the fun with our very own College Football Analysts Justin Colombo (JC) and Terry Cudmore (TC)! Boca Raton Bowl

Western Kentucky vs. Appalachian State

Spread: Appalachian State -3, Over/Under 67

What is Well it looks like they fix your roof! They also sponsor the Jacksonville Jaguars so you gotta think their PR team is wishing on every shooting star they can find that this game will be worth promoting.

And I think it will be! The O/U being 67 is setting the stage for points, points and more points. And you know what people love? Points!

Appalachian State averaged 34 points a game, while Western Kentucky averaged 43. Plus, WKU QB Bailey Zappe threw 56 TDs this season with only 11 interceptions. This should be a shootout.

Let’s roll with the Over and WKU pulling off the “upset”. – TC

Cricket Celebration Bowl

South Carolina State vs. Jackson State

Spread: Jackson State -10.5, Over/Under: 42.5

The Over. All day. This game has bloodbath potential.

To say that South Carolina State is outmatched against Jackson State might be an understatement when considering each team’s 2021 season. SC State fought hard to finish 6-5 on the year, going 5-0 in their conference, and 1-5 against teams outside the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

Jackson State, who are led into battle by the legendary FCS Coach of the Year and SWAC Coach of the Year Deion “Primetime” Sanders, have bested the majority of teams SC State has faced. Jackson St. has an impressive 11-1 record this season, going undefeated in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. The Wildcats only loss came in September in a game that Louisiana-Monroe won 12-7. Since then Sanders’ squad has been rolling, and they don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. -JC

PUBG New Mexico Bowl

UTEP vs. Fresno State

Spread: Fresno State -11.5, Over/Under 51.5

Google is telling me that PUBG is PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds which is a shooter video game. In the past, I’d wax poetic on whatever happened to the Cotton Bowl, but we just discussed a bowl sponsored by a roofing website.

Moving on, UTEP has lost four of their last five games and seems to be facing a real tough matchup with the high-powered Fresno State offense.

Both teams give up over 20 points a game so the Over feels safe, as does a bet on the Bulldogs. -TC

Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl

UAB vs. #13 BYU

Spread: BYU -6.5, Over/Under 54.5

There is a lot going on with Radiance Technologies website, I am not even going to pretend what they do.

BYU is the first ranked team to play in a bowl this year. They started off the year 5-0, lost back-to-back games and then won their last five games. Both of these teams can score and both have some trouble keeping the other team from scoring.

The spread is a bit too high so taking the points is likely the smart play while also taking the Over. – TC

Lending Tree Bowl

Liberty vs. Eastern Michigan

Spread: Liberty -10, Over/Under: 58.5

This game is going to be overlooked by most football fans, but it’s a fantastic matchup that shouldn’t be missed. Each team’s QB is stellar, and we may be witnesses to a legendary battle of signal callers.

Malik Willis, Liberty’s QB and a projected first-round pick in the NFL Draft, is a threat through the air and on the ground. With wideouts like Demario Douglas and CJ Daniels, it’s easy to see how Willis has amassed 2,626 passing yards and 24 touchdowns, while running for 820 yards and another 11 scores. Liberty’s offense has all the weapons to give the Flames a leg up over Eastern Michigan. But that’s easier said than done.

Eastern Michigan’s Ben Bryant leads the Mid-Atlantic Conference in completion-percentage, finding a 69% success rate on his passes. But for Eastern Michigan, the key to a victory will be their defense. While Liberty’s offense is potent, they also have a bit of difficulty holding onto the ball. IF they can coax Liberty into turning the ball over with regularity, Eastern Michigan will have the Flames on the ropes.

All that said, I like Eastern Michigan at +10. If they can hold Liberty and force them to play from behind, they’ll pull this one out. Conversely, I hate the over. This feels like a low scoring affair. – JC

Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl

Utah State vs. Oregon State

Spread: Oregon State -7, Over/Under: 67.5

So this is a weird one, but has all the makings of a solid game… But let’s keep the focus on Kimmel, who is way more serious about this than we thought he’d be.

In speaking with The Athletic, Kimmel gave his reasoning for wanting to be the first human to ever sponsor a college bowl game. “I’ve always been tickled by college bowl games and how quickly we adapted to this idea that it was normal to say the Tostito’s Fiesta Bowl, or whatever corporate sponsor is attached to whatever game. This kid Jack Carey that worked here at the show, he said it would be great if you had a bowl named after you, and I agreed, but I didn’t think it was going to be something that would be possible. And I figured if even if it was possible, I would have to pay millions of dollars for it. But it turns out we just did it for free.”

Adding to the genuine weirdness, Kimmel went on to state how he really wanted the bowl to end up between Arizona State and UNLV, the two schools he attended.

“I was hoping it would be Arizona State versus UNLV, but then UNLV went on an 0-8 run, so that didn’t seem likely. It would have been fun. Because it is kind of strange, and it was not by design, that the two schools I went to (are in) the Mountain West and Pac-12. Of course it was different at the time. I think we were in the PCAA (Pacific Coast Athletic Conference) when I was at UNLV, and there were only 10 (teams) in the Pac-12 at that time. It’s a coincidence, but it’s a strange coincidence.”

Anyway, Oregon State has had a harder schedule, and seems to have a higher pedigree than Utah State. That’s an easy wager at -7. The Over/Under feels a bit high, but then again…. we’ve seen some big surprises, so the over could be the way to go. -JC

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

#16 Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Marshall

Spread: #16 Lousiana-Lafayette -4, Over/Under: 55.5

I hate to be that guy, but this is going to be Louisiana-Lafayette’s game to lose. The Ragin Cajuns are 12-1 on the season and are playing in their home state, which basically means they have home-field advantage with this game being played at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans.

There’s just simply no way the Thundering Herd of Marshall can pull this off. Hammer Louisiana-Lafayette at -4, and the Over to boot. -JC

That’s all for the first week of the 2021-22 College Bowl Season! Next week we’re ratcheting things up a notch with a whole week’s worth of coverage just for you! You’re welcome!

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