Bahamas Bowl 2018: FIU vs. Toledo TV Info, Time and Odds

Nate Loop@Nate_LoopFeatured ColumnistDecember 20, 2018

TOLEDO, OH - OCTOBER 31: Eli Peters #12 of the Toledo Rockets throws a pass in the game against the Ball State Cardinals on October 31, 2018 in Toledo, Ohio. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Justin Casterline/Getty Images

There are 42 bowl games, but only one scores you a trip to the Caribbean.

Florida International University will take on Toledo on Friday in the 2018 Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl. This is the fourth edition of this bowl game, played each year in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas.

This is the second time the FIU Panthers (8-4, second in C-USA East) and Toledo Rockets (7-5, second in MAC West) have met in a bowl game. The two programs met at Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in 2010, where FIU pulled out a 34-32 win.

A similar game could unfold on Friday. The current iterations of these teams have strong offenses. If the defenses in the Bahamas Bowl are on vacation, look for another high-scoring thriller.

Here's how to watch.

           

2018 Bahamas Bowl Viewing Info

When: Friday, Dec. 21 at 12:30 p.m. ET

Where: Thomas A. Robinson Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas

TV: ESPN

Live Stream: WatchESPN

Odds: Toledo -4.5 | Over/Under 59

           

A ninth win would be a sign of progress for second-year Panthers head coach Butch Davis. Last year, he guided the team to its first winning season since 2011, going 8-4 before losing to Temple 28-3 in the Gasparilla Bowl. 

Davis will be hoping his team is much sharper this time out. Quarterback James Morgan (2,727 yards, 26 TDs, seven INTs) is a capable pocket passer who does a good job of protecting the football. His top option is wide receiver CJ Worton, who led the team with 36 receptions for 620 yards and five touchdowns. 

FIU will be missing a key player in the backfield. Running back Shawndarrius Phillips (393 yards, four touchdowns) did not make the trip after being arrested on Dec. 12 on a domestic violence charge, per the Associated Press (via the Miami Herald). 

The Panthers' ground game should be fine without Phillips. The teams two leading rushers, Napoleon Maxwell (673 yards, seven touchdowns) and D'Vonte Price (539 yards, five touchdowns), will likely be asked to carry a bigger load on Friday. 

BOWLING GREEN, KY - OCTOBER 27: Napoleon Maxwell #23 of the Fiu Golden Panthers runs the ball as Ben Holt #44 of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers makes the tackle from behind on October 27, 2018 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty I
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

It all adds up to an offense that ranked 30th in the FBS with 34.6 points per game. So why is Toledo favored? Well, their offense was even more dynamic, ranking 11th nationally with 41.1 points per game. 

"They're very good," FIU defensive coordinator Brent Guy said, per the Toledo Blade's Brian Buckey. "They have two good running backs, very patient runners. They do a lot of pin and pull, which are harder run plays to fit. They have two very good receivers who we need to know where they are all the time."

Those receivers are presumably Diontae Johnson (663 yards, seven touchdowns) and Cody Thompson (592 yards, 10 touchdowns), the latter of whom is one of CBSSports.com's Chris Trapasso's two NFL prospects to watch, along with FIU's Worton. He could also be referring to Jon'Vea Johnson, who averages an eye-popping 21.1 yards per reception.

Thompson is a big receiver with a nose for the end zone and will likely be involved throughout the game. He will be a key target of sophomore quarterback Eli Peters (1,573 yards, 15 TDs, seven INTs), who took over from the more mobile Mitchell Guadagni midway through the season. 

Duane Burleson/Associated Press

The Rockets also feature three rushers with at least 500 yards on the season. The group paced by Bryant Koback, who racked up 875 yards and 13 touchdowns on 6.3 yards per carry. 

Both teams have plenty of weapons. There is a decent chance of thunderstorms Thursday night going into Friday, which could put a damper on the offensive display.

However, if the sun is shining in the Bahamas, and Toledo and FIU are focused and ready to go, the Bahamas Bowl makes for an excellent way to ease into a big holiday weekend. 

Odds courtesy of OddsShark and updated as of Thursday, 7 a.m. ET.

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