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NCAA Bowl Previews 2015: New Era Pinstripe Bowl

The fourth Bowl game of Week 2 of the postseason gives us one of the stranger match-ups of Bowl season. Both the Duke Blue Devils and the


The fourth Bowl game of Week 2 of the postseason gives us one of the stranger match-ups of Bowl season. Both the Duke Blue Devils and the Indiana Hoosiers are known more for their basketball programs than their football programs, and yet, they find themselves playing football in Yankee Stadium, the second most popular baseball stadium in America. The Blue Devils burst into the football spotlight 2 years ago, when they made the ACC Championship and nearly knocked off Johnny Manziel in his final game as an Aggie. That Bowl loss was followed by a 9-4 season with another Bowl loss, so they are looking to avoid their fourth straight Bowl loss and get to at least 8 wins for the third straight year. The Blue Devils they don’t stand out in any one area. Offensively they rank 41st in yards per game (431 YPG), 38th in pass yards per game (253.4 PYG), 58th in rushing yards per game (177.9 RYG) and 55th in points per game (30.5 PPG). On defense, they rank 47th in total defense (372 YPG), 73rd in passing (228.6 PYG), 38th in rushing (143.4 RYG) and 45th in scoring (24.1 PPG). Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, their best shot at making it back-to-back drafts with 1st round picks is expected to miss this game with a wrist injury – SS Jeremy Cash – but they still have several names to watch. Matt Skura (C) is the leader for this offensive line. He is very smart and never gets himself in a bad situation, due to his excellent awareness and football IQ. He shows pre- and post-snap anticipation as to what line calls to make. His overall lack of anything to set him apart, physically, takes him out of first round consideration but he is intriguing as a prospect. Will Monday (P), Braxton Deaver (TE), Ross Martin (K), Max McCaffrey (WR), David Reeves (TE), Shaquille Powell (RB) and Dwayne Norman (LB) are also looking to make an impact in their final game as a Blue Devil. The Hoosiers started the season 4-0 but promptly slumped to 4-6. They now find themselves trying to extend their win streak to 3 en route to securing a bowl win for the first time since 1991 in the Copper Bowl – they beat Baylor 24-0. To secure that elusive win they have the benefit of having a top 30 offense. They rank 18th in total offense (491 YPG), 25th in passing (285.9 PYG), 29th in rushing (204.8 RYG) and 23rd in scoring (36.2 PPG). Unfortunately, that hasn’t been enough so far this season thanks to their putrid defense, which ranks 121st in total yards (507 YPG), 128th in passing (326.3 PYG), 78th in rushing (180.9 RYG)  and 116th in scoring (37.1 PPG). It should come as no surprise then that my player to watch is on the offensive side of the ball: OT Jason Spriggs. Spriggs looks the part. He is 6’6”, a muscular 305lbs and has good speed for a tackle – that can be owed to the fact he is a converted tight end. His initial quickness is very impressive and he has great balance and agility, hence, he is good on the move. Furthermore, he is more than capable of mirroring rushers in pass protection, he just needs to add a bit more strength to his game. Along with Spriggs, QB Nate Sudfeld, TE Michael Cooper, LB Zack Shaw and DE Eric Williams will be looking to impress in their final collegiate games. 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: New Era Pinstripe Bowl

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