AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Navy vs. Kansas State
If you want to watch a clinic on running the football, the Liberty Bowl is your game. Navy was the nation’s leader in rushing averaging 363.7 yards per game. Quarterback Malcolm Perry makes the Navy offense go. Perry rushed for 1,804 yards and passes for another 1,023. He totaled 24 touchdowns.
Kansas State (8-4) is so run-heavy they finished last in the Big 12 in passing but still scored nearly 31 points a game. The Wildcats are one of the better defenses in the Big 12, but facing the triple option of Navy is difficult for anyone. KSU has not done well against the AAC losing five straight. Make it six… Navy 30, Kansas State 27
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: Penn State vs. Memphis
As champions of the AAC and the Group of 5 team with the nation’s best record, the Memphis Tigers (12-1) get the privilege of facing Penn State. When the first College Football Playoff poll came out this season, the Nittany Lions were No. 4. Losses to Minnesota and Ohio State ruined the Nittany Lions chances of a CFP berth, but head coach James Franklin’s squad is still one of the best in the country. Penn State is a top-10 defensive unit allowing only 14.1 points per game and fewer than 96 yards rushing per game.
Memphis has one of the more prolific offenses in the FBS averaging nearly 41 points per game, but they have yet to see a defense like Penn State’s. The Tigers have lost their last four straight bowl games… Penn State 27, Memphis 17
Capital One Orange Bowl: Florida vs. Virginia
It’s the first New Year’s Six bowl trip for Virginia which gets the nod to the Orange Bowl since the ACC champ, Clemson, was selected for the College Football Playoff. The Cavaliers finished the season 9-4 and were blown out by the Tigers in the ACC title game. They are led by dual-threat QB Bryce Perkins, who accounted for 3,960 yards and 35 touchdowns this season.
Perkins will go up against one of the best defensive units in the country. Led by LB Jonathan Greenard’s 8.5 sacks, the Gators allow just 299 yards and 14.4 points per game. Virginia will have WR Joe Reed (70 receptions) back after missing the ACC championship game. The Gators won their final three games of the season averaging nearly 40 points per game in the process… Florida 34, Virginia 17