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NCAA Bowl Previews 2015: St. Petersburg Bowl

The pre-Christmas Bowls are done and we are drawing ever closer to the biggest bowls of all. But before then, there are plenty of match-ups


The pre-Christmas Bowls are done and we are drawing ever closer to the biggest bowls of all. But before then, there are plenty of match-ups to look forward to, and this is certainly one of them. The UConn Huskies and the Marshall Thundering Herd are looking to kick off the post-Christmas bowls in style. UConn come into this game as the underdog, for sure. They have a 6-6 record and are making their first bowl appearance since 2010. They’ve achieved that on the back of a strong defense, certainly not a strong offense. Their defense ranks 33rd in yards per game (YPG), allowing 352 yards per game, 186.9 through the air (PYG, 21st), 165.3 on the ground (RYG, 63rd) and they allow just 19.8 points per game (PPG, 17th). On offense though, they rank 120th in total offense (318 YPG), 97th in passing (193.8 PYG), 115th in rushing (124.6 RYG) and 118th in scoring (17.8 PPG). One of the reasons for their defensive production is senior safety Andrew Adams. He’s been a part of this defense for 3 years but has had a huge impact since he became a starter in his junior year. Since then, he has 183 tackles, 7 passes defensed and 7 interceptions, of those 89 tackles, 3 passes defense and 3 interceptions are this year. He has the ability to cover sideline-to-sideline and you can often find him around the ball. He projects as a late round pink who figures to carve out a role as a dime defensive back and/or special teamer. Graham Stewart (LB) is UConn’s other senior to watch, but sophomores Arkeel Newsome (RB) and Jamar Summers (CB) are worth your attention too. Marshall on the other hand are no strangers to bowl games and they are looking to achieve their 3rd straight 10+ win season on the arm of true freshman QB Chase Litton. Marshall’s offense was clearly going to take a step back in production with the loss Raheem Cato – they were the 2rd ranked team in total offense – but they haven’t been as bad as they could’ve been. They rank 64th in total yards (401 YPG), 56th in passing offense (232.6 PYG), 68th in rushing offense (168.8 RYG) and 43rd in scoring (32.6 PPG). Their defense is now the strength of this team though. They rank 48th in total defense (373 PYG), 33rd in passing defense (201.2 PYG), 71st in rushing defense (171.6 RYG) and 14th in scoring (18.4 PPG). Unfortunately for the Thundering Herd, their top 2 prospects are out for this game; Devon Johnson (RB) and Clint Van Horn (OT) both suffered injuries haf way through the season. But don’t worry, they still have an few intriguing prospects; Sebastien Johansson (OG), Evan McKelvey (LB), DeAndre Reaves (WR) and Devonte Allen (WR). Allen is the one I would watch. Allen is a candidate for best Marshall big play receiver since Randy Moss. Last year he averaged 24.7 yards per catch (YPC). However, he injured his collarbone this year and missed 4 games, and he managed just 22 catches in the other 8 games – though he still averaged 24.7 YPC and scored 4 touchdowns. He has strong hands and can track the ball well, meaning he can win 50/50 balls. His raw abilities make him an intriguing late round prospect. 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: St. Petersburg Bowl

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