10 Individual Matchups Fans Can't Wait to See During Bowl Season
We are already in the midst of bowl season, but the most important games are yet to come. With those games come some individual matchups that will help decide the outcome of the biggest bowl games.
Many of the best teams in college football rely heavily on particular players to carry the load.
There are many examples of this in the bowl games over the next few weeks. Two talented players on opposing teams going head-to-head.
While the two players will not necessarily be going at each other every play, there is no question that their paths will meet on more than one occasion.
Here are the 10 individual matchups fans will want to check out this bowl season.
*Stats are courtesy of ESPN.com
Eddie Lacy vs. Manti Te'o
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While Eddie Lacy and Manti Te'o will certainly not be attached at the hip for most of the game, these two will butt heads throughout the national championship.
Te'o is the most heralded linebacker in the country and as important to his team as any single player in the nation.
Lacy has rushed for 1,182 yards and 16 touchdowns this season while giving up carries to freshman T.J. Yeldon.
Notre Dame and Te'o will have its hands full with both of these running backs, but Lacy in particular.
This will be a fun one to watch all night long.
Jordan Matthews vs. David Amerson
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Vanderbilt wide receiver Jordan Matthews has had a breakout season in 2012. He has been an integral part of a Vanderbilt team that has won six games in a row.
During the season, Matthews has caught 87 passes for 1,262 yards and seven touchdowns.
For most of the game, he will be going up against North Carolina State cornerback David Amerson. Amerson has not had near the season he had in 2011, but is still one of the best cornerbacks in the country.
What sets Amerson apart from a lot of other cornerbacks is his size. The junior is 6'3" and 194 pounds. Matthews is similar in stature with a little more weight on him.
That should make for an interesting matchup in the Music City Bowl on New Year's Eve.
Montee Ball vs. Shayne Skov
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Stanford linebacker Shayne Skov has had an excellent senior season. He is a tackling machine and one of the best linebackers in the upcoming NFL draft.
Skov will face his biggest challenge in the Rose Bowl when he, along with the talented Stanford linebackers go up against an explosive Wisconsin rushing attack led by Montee Ball.
Ball has come on strong at the end of the season, finishing the year with 1,730 yards and 21 scores. He teams with James White to form the best tandem in the country.
These two will be seeing a lot of each other on New Year's Day in a Rose Bowl game that might be closer than some anticipate.
The winner of this individual matchup will likely find his team on the victorious side.
Mike Davis vs. Jordan Poyer
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Texas junior Mike Davis is a big-play receiver with 909 yards and seven touchdowns on only 54 receptions this season.
He will be matched up against Oregon State defensive back Jordan Poyer in the Alamo Bowl.
Poyer was a first-team All-America selection and is as good as it gets when it comes to cover corners.
He is a huge key to the Beavers defense and one of the main reasons for the success Oregon has had this season.
If he can hold Davis in check, the Beavers will be in good shape to come out with a victory in this one.
Taylor Lewan vs. Jadeveon Clowney
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Not many defensive ends in the country have the sheer talent of South Carolina pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney.
The sophomore has 13 sacks on the season to go along with 21.5 tackles for loss.
There are not many defensive players in the country blessed with his talent.
In the Outback Bowl, he will be going up against one of the best offensive tackles in the country in the form of Taylor Lewan.
The Michigan junior is a large man and would be selected very high in the upcoming draft if he decides to turn pro.
This matchup will be a good indication as to whether or not he is ready.
Tajh Boyd vs. Eric Reid
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Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd has put up some outstanding numbers so far this season. With 34 touchdowns along with only 13 interceptions, he is one of the best quarterbacks in the country.
Boyd is not a runner by any stretch of the imagination, but does love to buy time with his legs.
The Tigers will have their hands full against LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. The man who might find himself chasing Boyd around a lot is LSU safety Eric Reid.
Reid is one of the best at his position in college football, but will have his hands full trying to slow down Boyd and the Clemson offense.
The battle of the Tigers might come down to Boyd and Reid.
Jarvis Jones vs. Taylor Martinez
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Jarvis Jones and the entire Georgia team are no doubt still stinging from the gut-wrenching loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship game.
How the team responds from that will go a long way toward determining whether or not the Bulldogs roll over Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl.
A key to the defense for Georgia will be linebacker Jarvis Jones. Jones is one of the best in the country and will be assigned the task of trying to slow down Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez.
Martinez has had an excellent season, but the Cornhuskers are also coming off a difficult defeat in their conference championship game, falling 70-31 to Wisconsin.
Whichever team does the better job of responding will win, and whoever plays the better of these two teams will likely come out on top.
Kenjon Barner vs. Arthur Brown
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Oregon has a lot of weapons on the offensive side of the ball, but running back Kenjon Barner is as integral as anybody.
The Fiesta Bowl matchup with Kansas State has a shot to be the highest scoring of all the bowl games and should be very entertaining to watch.
One of the men in charge of trying to contain Barner will be Kansas State linebacker Arthur Brown.
Brown has been steady all season long and is a tackling machine. If he can keep Barner in check, the Wildcats could pull out a victory over the Ducks.
Jordan Lynch vs. Bjoern Werner
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Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner has 13 sacks on the season. He is as good a pass-rusher as nearly anybody in the country.
He will spend most of the Orange Bowl chasing around Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch. Lynch has had the best statistical season of any player in the nation.
This will be the perfect opportunity for him to show off his talents on a national stage.
Werner typically does not have a lot of trouble getting to the quarterback, and this game is likely to be no different.
Whether or not he is able to corral Lynch remains to be seen. That will be the key to victory in this one.
Barrett Jones vs. Louis Nix
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There are space eaters, and then there is Notre Dame defensive tackle Louis Nix. The junior is 6'3" and 326 pounds.
He will be matched up in the middle against Alabama center Barrett Jones. Jones is one of the best and most complete offensive linemen in the country.
The guards on the Crimson Tide are also very talented and will be able to help Jones control the interior of the Notre Dame defensive line.
If Nix can do what he has done all season, Notre Dame will be in this game throughout.
This matchup may be the key to the BCS National Championship.