The Independence Bowl could be all about the running backs of the BYU Cougars and UAB Blazers.
The two foes set to square off in Shreveport, Louisiana, both average more than 175 rushing yards per game.
BYU comes into Saturday with the best individual talent at running back in Tyler Allgeier, but UAB holds the better matchup against a defense that gives up 151.6 rushing yards per game.
The Cougars may be at a disadvantage when it comes to rushing defense, but it is still considered the favorite to win the Independence Bowl because of the tougher schedule it survived. Kalani Sitake's team went 10-2 on a schedule littered with Power Five schools, while UAB went 8-4 with three of its four losses against bowl-eligible programs.
Independence Bowl Info
Date: Saturday, December 18
Start Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: ESPN app and ESPN.com.
Independence Bowl Odds
Spread: BYU (-7)
Moneyline: BYU -275 (bet $275 to win $100); UAB +220 (bet $100 to win $220)
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook
Daily Fantasy Tips
Start Your Picks with Tyler Allgeier
Tyler Allgeier has the highest rushing-yard total of any of the three premier running backs set to participate in the Independence Bowl.
The BYU sophomore ranks eighth in the FBS in rushing yards with 1,414, and he is part of a five-way tie for the lead in rushing touchdowns with 20.
Allgeier has four 100-yard games in his past five trips to the gridiron. He also has two 200-yard performances this season. He will provide the ultimate test for a UAB rushing defense that gives up 104.1 rushing yards per game.
UAB contained the last premier running back it faced, holding UTSA's Sincere McCormick to 65 yards on 20 carries November 20. The Blazers lost that contest because they conceded 323 passing yards.
Allgeier should receive ample opportunities to break free from the UAB defense. He eclipsed 20 carries in each of his past four 100-yard outings. The expected high volume of carries and consistent scoring pace make Allgeier one of the top targets for daily fantasy players on Saturday's six-game bowl slate.
Don't Sleep on UAB's Running Backs
UAB's DeWayne McBride and Jermaine Brown Jr. could wreak havoc on the BYU defense.
McBride is the feature back in the UAB offense. He came on strong in the second half of the regular season with four 100-yard games in his past six appearances.
The sophomore averages 6.8 yards per attempt and he enters Shreveport on a six-game scoring streak.
Brown's presence in the backfield allows UAB to not suffer much of a drop-off at the position. He earned 111 carries, but he had 600 fewer yards than McBride. He is coming off an 88-yard, three-touchdown performance against the UTEP Miners, so he should run with plenty of confidence.
The UAB duo should be considered as alternatives to Allgeier in DFS contests because they face a slightly weaker rushing defense.
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