2016 Boca Raton Bowl Preview

December 20, 2016

For those that were stuck in the office for today’s bowl game, you didn’t miss much.

Tulsa flexed its offensive muscle in the Miami Beach Bowl, pummeling an overmatched Central Michigan squad 55-10. It was a complete performance by the Golden Hurricane, who notched their tenth victory of the season with the win.

For the second straight bowl season, the MAC has gotten off to a bad start. Unfortunately for the conference, it isn’t making a good case for why it hasn’t slipped to becoming the weakest conference in FBS college football.

Hopefully tomorrow’s game is closer. Let’s take a look at the preview for the game taking place on December 20.

Boca Raton Bowl

Memphis vs. Western Kentucky (Tuesday, 7 PM ET – ESPN)

Over the past two seasons, Western Kentucky has amassed a 22-5 record, won back-to-back Conference USA titles and been a top ten offense nationally in terms of yards per game. But this was all done under the watchful eye of Jeff Brohm, who left his perch as head coach and offensive coordinator to take the head job at Purdue. In this bowl game, the Hilltoppers will be led by fourth year defensive coordinator Nick Holt. While Holt has led a defense that showed marked improvement each of the past two seasons, his focus will be taken away from the defense somewhat to be the leader of the entire show. That has garnered mix results already from interim head coaches this bowl season.

Memphis has shown the ability to keep pace in a high scoring affair, which is what this game might become if the Tigers are to have success. Riley Ferguson and Western Kentucky’s Mike White are both in the top 15 nationally in touchdowns thrown and neither will be going up against a particularly strong pass defense. In the end, with both teams having similar strengths offensively, it’s difficult to choose against the team that still has the offensive mind on the sideline that got them to this point. On paper it’s an upset, but I like Memphis in this one.

My Pick: 42-35 Memphis

Bowl Mania Confidence Points: 16

If you’d like to share your opinion on Around The Corn for any of the upcoming bowls, shoot me an email with your thoughts and prediction to kbecks@aroundthecorn.com. You can also like Around The Corn’s Facebook page or send me a tweet @KBecks_ATC. As long as you send your thoughts at least two days before the game is to be played, I can assure you that your thoughts will show up in an article.

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