Who: UAB vs. Miami of Ohio
When: Friday, 10:30 a.m. CT
Where: Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium Nassau, Bahamas,
What to look for: It’s strength vs. strength when UAB’s rushing attack goes against the RedHawks rush defense. We probably won’t know until game time whether UAB running back DeWayne McBride, the leading rusher in the country, will play. If not, then look for Jermaine Brown Jr. to get most of the carries. On the other side, UAB has often struggled against dual-threat quarterbacks. Miami of Ohio sophomore Aveon Smith (1,137 yards passing, 503 yards rushing, 15 total touchdowns) qualifies as a dual-threat quarterback.
Why to watch: An emotional season comes to an emotional end for UAB interim head coach Bryant Vincent and the Blazers. UAB has a chance to close the most successful chapter in program history with the 50th victory since the return of football. A page turns when the game ends.
Who: Troy vs. UTSA
When: Friday, 2 p.m.
Where: Exploria Stadium, Orlando, Florida
What to look for: This is the final time that Carlton Martial will play in a Troy uniform. The former walk-on is the leading tackler in NCAA Division I history. UTSA tries to establish the run. Can Martial and the Troy defenders keep that from happening?
Why to watch: UTSA quarterback Frank Harris is one of the best at his position in the nation. He can throw the ball, he can run the ball, he can buy time with his feet before hurting you with his arm. He doesn’t make many mistakes. With that said, Troy’s front seven is deep and talented. Troy will pressure Harris. We’ll see if he can handle that pressure and still make big plays.
LENDING TREE BOWL
Who: Southern Miss vs. Rice
When: Saturday, 4:45 p.m.
Where: Hancock Whitney Stadium, Mobile
What to look for: Southern Miss’ Frank Gore has 1,053 yards rushing with seven touchdowns, caught 20 passes for 221 yards and threw for three touchdowns. He makes the offense move. Rice is not known for its passing attack but has a pair of productive receivers in the physical big playmaker Bradley Rozner and the playmaking Luke McCaffrey, who combined to total 92 catches for 1,490 yards with 15 touchdowns.
Why to watch: On paper, matching a 5-7 Rice team with a 6-6 Southern Miss doesn’t attract too much attention. We’ll see what happens on the field.
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