Tuesday, December 31, 2013

PS Bowl-A-Thon 2013: Liberty Bowl


That's what the Liberty Bowl needed...more Cowbell.

The When/Where:

Tuesday, December 31st at 4 p.m. EST. Liberty Bowl, Memphis, TN. ESPN

The Who:

Rice Owls (10-3, 7-1 CUSA) vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs (6-6, 3-5 SEC)

The Why:

One of the oldest bowls, the Liberty Bowl, began in 1959 in Philadelphia and then Atlantic City and somehow Memphis was the next logical choice. It guarantees itself a dandy match up every year with the Conference USA #1 team vs. SEC #8 team.

Meet the Mississippi State Bulldogs who limped in to the final two weeks with a 4-6 record. They won the last two games against Arkansas and Ole Miss in overtime. They had a tough schedule though, with losses to Okla State, Auburn, LSU, South Carolina, Texas A&M and Alabama.

Rice won Conference USA by beating Marshall. A win versus Kansas and losses to Texas A&M, Houston, North Texas highlighted the schedule. The Owls won their final four games and have a chance to win their 11th game for the first time in program history.

What Smartypants Accounting Guy Would Tell You:

If you’ve enjoyed option football so far, get ready for some more. The Owls average 240 yards on the ground and 31 ppg. They are 104th though in passing yards. RB Charles Ross is the leading rusher with over 1,000 yards this year.

The Bulldogs bring the 46th rushing defense into the game and their success or failure may decide this one. MSU has its own running QB in Dak Prescott. He threw for 1600 yards and rushed for 751. The offense though only scores 26 ppg.

Pool Prognosticators Pattern:

Lets see Cowbells vs Owls.
Do I have to pick one? No, no I don’t.

The Vegas Edge:

Mississippi State is a seven-point favorite. The underdog is 7-2 ATS in the last 9 Liberty Bowls. The over/under is 50.5.

The Sweatpants Verdict

The other two option teams split their bowl appearances. My belief is that a good defense with extra time to practice defending the option should be in good shape. Also Mississippi State still has bigger and faster players, plus look at their schedule!

Mississippi State 27 Rice 21.

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