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NCAA Bowl Previews 2015/16: NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl

The 3rd game of the day is the last Bowl game that won’t feature a Power-5 school, but that by no means mak



  The 3rd game of the day is the last Bowl game that won’t feature a Power-5 school, but that by no means makes this game worth missing, as both the Colorado State Rams and Nevada Wolfpack have plenty to play for. Going into November, a Bowl game seemed like bit of a longshot, the Rams were 3-5 and coming off a 41-17 loss to San Diego State. They went on to win four games in a row to close out the season and now find themselves in their third straight bowl game, looking to get back in the win column. Offensively, the Rams are pretty balanced, they rank 52nd in yards per game (417 YPG), 66th in passing yards per game (221.3 PYG), 34th in rushing yards per game (195.8 RYG) and 60th in points per game (30.2 PPG). Defensively, they rank 64th in total yards (395 YPG), 20th in passing yards (186.3 PYG), 106th in rushing yards (208.5 RYG) and tied for 67th in scoring (27.2 PPG). Junior receiver Rashard Higgins is the focal point of the Rams passing offense. Last year, with head coach Jim McElwain and QB Garret Grayson he was one of the FBS’s top pass catchers, hauling in 96 passes for 1750 yards and 17 touchdowns. With both of those guys gone, this offense has changed considerably and so have his numbers, he has 66 catches for 933 yards and 8 touchdowns, which certainly isn’t bad. He has good size (6’2”, 188lbs), soft hands, he runs clean routes and is a big play threat. TE Kivon Cartwright, FB Steven Walker, CB DeAndre Elliot, LB Cory James, OT Sam Carlson, DE Martavius Foster and WR Joe Hansley join Rashard Higgins as players looking to make an impact. Mid-way through October the Wolfpack were sat at 3-4 and looking to turn the season around, they won three straight and an 8-4 record seemed like it could be on the horizon. Unfortunately, they lost their last two games, so they are looking to secure their fourth +.500 season in five years and also win their bowl having lost their last three. Offensively, the Wolfpack struggle. They rank 81st in total offense (378 YPG), 112th in passing (172.1 PYG), 29th in rushing (205.6 RYG) and 86t in scoring (26.1 PPG). Defensively, they are almost identical to the Rams. They rank 65th in total yards (395 YPG), 42nd in passing (206 PYG), 91st in rushing (188.8 RYG) and tied with the Rams at 67th in scoring (27.2 PPG). For NFL fans, a recognisable name will be on show. Junior Seau’s nephew – Ian Seau – will be looking impress NFL Scouts in his final game for the Wolfpack. Seau is mainly used as a defensive end for the Wolfpack, but he projects to be an OLB/nickel pass rusher in the pro’s. He has a solid 6’2”, 255lbs frame that seems to have to potential to get bigger and more powerful, which he may need to do.  He also needs to work on his coverage but when he is coming off the edge he is very quick off the ball and understands the game well and knows what he has to do. He’s a late round prospect but with a good chance to develop into a good role player. Along with Seau, RB Don Jackson, DE Lenny Jones and DT Rykeem Yates are looking to go out with a bang. If you want to watch this game, or any of the other Bowl games, the complete Bowl schedule can be found here, where you’ll be able to see how and when you can watch every game.  

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Remy Cabache

Lifetime sports fan. I have written with RealSport since the NFL section started and I have also written for my own blog, EbonyBird.com and I have had several articles published in local newspapers covering my local (American) football team.

NCAA Bowl Previews 2015/16: NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl

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