SEC Football Back in Action: Preview and Pick for Dec. 28 Bowl Games
After no SEC football games on December 27, Texas A&M will try to get a win for the conference during bowl games on December 28.
SEC Football split a pair of games on the day after Christmas with Mississippi State winning and Vanderbilt losing. The conference tries get back to its winning ways on Wednesday with Texas A&M facing Kansas State.
There are four more games today as the matchups get a little more interesting between power five conferences.
Pittsburgh vs. Northwestern – 2 CT – ESPN – New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Yet another game in a baseball stadium as these two teams will meet in Yankee Stadium. Pitt went 8-4 in the regular season playing in the ACC, while Northwestern was 6-6 out of the Big 10 conference.
They have a similar opponent in Duke who Northwestern beat 24-13 and Pitt beat 56-14.
Northwestern started the year 0-2 including a bad loss to Illinois State. They have a three-headed monster on offense with quarterback Clayton Thorson, running back Justin Jackson and wide receiver Austin Carr.
Thorson threw for 2,968 yards and 21 touchdowns, Jackson rushed for 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns, and Carr had 84 catches for 1,196 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Pittsburgh has a veteran quarterback in Nathan Peterman and everyone’s favorite running back in James Conner – who has declared for the NFL Draft.
Prediction: Northwestern – 31 Pittsburgh – 28
Nov 26, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt (left) shakes hands with Miami Hurricanes quarterback Brad Kaaya (right) after defeating the Duke Blue Devils 40-21 at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
West Virginia vs. Miami – 4:30 CT – ESPN – Russell Athletic Bowl
The Mountaineers and Hurricanes meet at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. for the Russell Athletic Bowl.
West Virginia had one of the quietest 10-win seasons you’ll ever see playing in the Big 12. While Miami certainly had an up-and-down season winning their first four games, losing their next four, and then winning their last four.
The Hurricanes are led by top NFL quarterback prospect Brad Kaaya who threw for over 3,200 yards this year. West Virginia’s Skyler Howard has been just as good throwing for 3,194 yards and 26 touchdowns.
This one is really tough to call, but I’ll go with Miami since they’re playing closer to home.
Prediction: Miami – 27 West Virginia – 24
Indiana vs. Utah – 7:30 CT – FOX – Foster Farms Bowl
It was quite a disappointing finish to the season for Utah losing their last two games and missing out on the Pac 12 championship. Meanwhile, Indiana won their last game of the year to become bowl eligible for the second straight season.
The Hoosiers have been growing as a football program the past two years, and can put up points in a hurry at times. However, if Utah plays their game this one shouldn’t be that close.
Prediction: Utah – 34 Indiana – 24
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Texas A&M vs. Kansas State – 8 CT – ESPN – AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl
The Aggies started the season 6-0 – including a 29-16 win over Auburn in Jordan-Hare Stadium – before losing to Alabama and losing its last four SEC games.
Kevin Sumlin is certainly on the hot seat in this game and going into next season.
Even though Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett said he is playing in this game, who knows how hard he’ll go considering he’s a top 10 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.
And then there is the quarterback situation for the Aggies. I’m not sure what they’ll do there with Trevor Knight struggling down the stretch and on his way out.
Kansas State quarterback Jesse Ertz leads the team in passing and rushing as he does it all for the Wildcats. He ran for 170 yards in their final regular season game.
The Aggies’ defense will need to be healthy and motivated to slow down Ertz and the Wildcats’ run game.
Texas A&M is more talented and should win this game, but I’m just not sure how motivated they are for this one with all the distractions.
Prediction: Texas A&M – 27 Kansas State – 21