2016 Miami Beach Bowl Preview

December 18, 2016

Now that things are underway, let’s take a minute to recover from Saturday’s slate of games.

The first day of bowls did not disappoint, with four of the six being decided by a touchdown or less. We also witnessed history in the Las Vegas Bowl when San Diego State’s Donnel Pumphrey broke the FBS record for career rushing yards, previously held by Ron Dayne.

Fortunately for those working the week leading up to Christmas, there is only one bowl game scheduled for the next four days. However, with as early in the schedule as we are, there will still be plenty of jostling in the Bowl Mania standings.

Currently, my buddy Taylor (former guest prognosticator) is in first place of Von Hugendong X after building a fairly sizable lead after the first day of action. We’ll see if the next bowl will do anything to change that.

Let’s take a look at the bowl game being played on December 19.

Miami Beach Bowl

Central Michigan vs. Tulsa (Monday, 2:30 PM ET – ESPN)

We may be witnessing the building of an AAC power in the Tulsa Golden Hurricane if Philip Montgomery decides to stick around long enough to make it happen. The former Baylor offensive coordinator has turned a program that was 2-10 in 2014 into a 9-3 team that was in the hunt for the AAC title this season and is equipped with one of the most potent offenses in the country. The Golden Hurricane have not one but two rushers that average 100+ yards a game in James Flanders and D’Angelo Brewer, which make up the most productive rushing duo in the nation.

The Chippewas have a victory over Oklahoma State to hang their hats on, but it was controversial and early in the season. Lately, Central Michigan has hit a rough patch, losing four of its last five to fall out of the MAC title race completely. However, senior quarterback Cooper Rush has been a consistent performer in each of his four seasons as a starter and has the ability to be the MVP of this game. Tulsa’s pass defense is weak and if Rush can find a rhythm, he can single-handedly keep the Chippewas in this game. Tulsa has more talent on the field, but Rush will play well in his final collegiate outing and make this one worth watching all four quarters.

My Pick: 45-35 Tulsa

Bowl Mania Confidence Points: 17

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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