Bowl Games 2012-13: 5 Matchups That Will Result in Offensive Explosions
West Virginia has something to prove in New York when it takes on Syracuse in the Pinstripe Bowl, while the GoDaddy.com Bowl carries a history of high-scoring offense that should continue with Kent State and Arkansas State taking the field in January.
If you like offense, you don’t want to miss these five games.
New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Matchup: West Virginia vs. Syracuse
When: Dec. 29, 3:15 p.m. ET/ESPN
Geno Smith and the Mountaineers from West Virginia are looking for redemption. After running through the first half of the 2012 schedule, the Mountaineers hit a bad losing streak and struggled to make it to bowl eligibility.
Syracuse took a different path, needing big wins to finish the year to climb into the postseason discussion.
Geno Smith is No. 6 in the country in total offense averaging 346.3 yards per game. Ryan Nassib for Syracuse isn’t far behind, earning 312.3 yards per game, placing him at No. 13 in total offense.
These two quarterbacks are surrounded by weapons, and they will face defenses that have struggled all season. West Virginia is one of the worst in the country on defense, while the Orange are No. 50 in total defense.
Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl
Matchup: Baylor vs. UCLA
When: Dec. 27, 9:45 p.m. ET/ESPN
Baylor pulled off the unexpected earlier this year when it knocked off then-No.1 Kansas State in convincing fashion. The Bears have only won seven games, but without the play of Nick Florence, they would not be in the postseason.
Florence ended the season No. 1 in total offense, putting together an average of 387.7 yards per game.
Offense has been huge for UCLA this year. With freshman quarterback Brett Hundley and senior running back Johnathan Franklin, the Bruins have become the next big offense in the Pac-12.
The Bears are the No. 1 total offense in the country on their way to San Diego. UCLA is No. 20.
This game will bring a lot of fast scores. Don’t take too long popping the lid on your favorite tasty beverage—you might miss a score.
Capital One Bowl
Matchup: Georgia vs. Nebraska
When: Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ET/ABC
The Georgia Bulldogs and Nebraska Cornhuskers are set to square off in Orlando to start the New Year, bringing together two very explosive offenses and opportunistic defenses.
Aaron Murray will lead the charge for the Bulldogs after guiding his team to an Eastern Division championship in the SEC this season and a trip to the SEC title game in Atlanta.
Murray combines with the freshman duo of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall to make a very dangerous backfield trio.
Taylor Martinez, Rex Burkhead and Ameer Abdullah do the same for the Cornhuskers, putting together a dangerous option offense.
While it is easy to think that Georgia will dominate this game, Nebraska will be hungry to bounce back from the trouncing it received from Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game.
Expect a lot of points and yards in this contest.
Matchup: Arkansas State vs. Kent State
When: Jan. 6, 9 p.m. ET/ESPN
Kent State has been the Cinderella team for college football this season. The Golden Flashes have been very good offensively, fielding the most explosive back in the country in Dri Archer.
Arkansas State had a very good first year under Gus Malzahn, putting together the No. 17 total offense in the country.
The Golden Flashes have relied on Archer’s nine yards per carry and sophomore Trayion Durham to shoulder the offensive load and put up nearly 2,500 combined rushing yards this year. Kent State is the No. 16 rushing offense in the country.
This contest will be full of explosive runs, continuing the tradition of high-scoring bowl games in Mobile, Alabama.
AT&T Cotton Bowl
Matchup: Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma
When: Jan. 4, 8 p.m. ET/FOX
Johnny Manziel will be on the loose in Dallas in early January. The Aggies' Heisman-wining freshman finished the year No. 2 in total offense and is the biggest name in college football.
Johnny Football launched the Aggies into the top of the SEC hierarchy, finishing with a 10-win year and a Cotton Bowl berth.
Oklahoma had a disappointing year with no BCS bowl berth, but Landry Jones and Co. still put together a strong year in the Big 12 and will face off with a very talented Texas A&M squad.
Both quarterbacks bring a different skill set to the field, but the talents of Manziel and Jones will result in one of the best games of the bowl season, bringing in the New Year in style.