2020 LendingTree Bowl Preview

January 6, 2020
By K. Becks

Bowl Mania is effectively over, but there are still a couple of matchups left.

This is particularly important in the Von Hugendong group, where my buddy Andrew is looking to receive one of those giant checks if he wins. Right now, the competition is fierce at the top. Unfortunately, K. Becks is nowhere to be found.

I’m almost dead last in my own Bowl Mania group. So take tonight’s prediction, and all those after it, for what you will.

Let’s take a look at the last bowl matchup of the season before the national title game.

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl

Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Miami (Ohio) (Monday, 7:30 PM ET – game on ESPN)

The Skinny: The last bowl game of the season that isn’t also a national title game kicks off in Mobile, Alabama this evening, where the Ragin’ Cajuns will look to get back on track in the postseason, where they has dropped their last two games. Miami hasn’t even been to a bowl game since 2016, and this one under head coach Chuck Martin will mark the first time since 2003-2004 that a head coach of the Redhawks has led the program to two postseason events.

Why to Watch: The Ragin’ Cajuns were tough to stop offensively this season, leading the Sun Belt in total yards per game gained with a 501.1 average. Much of that was thanks to a strong rushing attack, led by a trio of backs (Elijah Mitchell, Raymond Calais and Trey Ragas) that gained at least 790 yards each. On the other side, Brett Gabbert, the younger brother of Tampa Bay Buccaneers backup Blaine Gabbert, leads the Redhawks as their quarterback.

What Will Happen: Unless the Redhawks find a way to stop the three-headed monster that is Lousiana’s run game, this one could get ugly. Miami isn’t going to score a lot of points – the Ragin’ Cajuns allow just 19.9 PPG (best in the Sun Belt), and despite Louisiana’s offensive style, it still manages to score nearly 40 points per contest. This bowl game was the landing spot for the MAC’s champion, but it has been five years since the conference has bested the Sun Belt in Mobile. Count on it being at least one more year before the MAC lifts this bowl’s trophy again.

My Pick: 37-20 Louisiana-Lafayette for 7 points in Bowl Mania

If you have interest in offering your insight for any of the bowl games this season, shoot me an email at kbecks@aroundthecorn.com or reach out on one of ATC’s social media sites (Facebook, Twitter). I’d be happy to accommodate.

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