2019 Bahamas and Frisco Bowl Preview

December 20, 2019

The most wonderful time of the year has returned, and it starts off with a bang in its first (long) weekend.

Following a tease of two games on Friday, the season explodes on Saturday with seven contests throughout the afternoon and evening. It’s everything that college football fans could want.

For the first time in my professional career, I’ll have the opportunity to watch nearly every bowl game while on vacation, which has me ecstatic. So keeping with tradition, continue coming back to ATC for previews and analysis throughout the bowl season.

Let’s take a look at the first two games that will kick off Bowl Mania.

Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl

Buffalo vs. Charlotte (Friday, 2 PM ET – game on ESPN)

The Skinny: The Bahamas is a good landing spot for any team in the postseason, but especially so for the 49ers, which are making their first ever appearance in an FBS bowl game. They’ll take on a Buffalo squad which exceeded expectations in 2019 following a great 2018 campaign in which many of the key contributors graduated prior to this season.

Why to Watch: The Bulls boast the MAC’s top defense and will look to stop a Charlotte offense that is very dangerous against the run. Senior running back Benny LeMay and sophomore quarterback Chris Reynolds lead a 49ers squad that averages 210 yards per game on the ground.

What Will Happen: Preparing for a bowl game can be a tough task for any coaching staff, but things are made more difficult when the contest is being played in paradise. Expect some sloppiness early as both teams have likely been partying on the beach a bit more than anticipated, but keep in mind that Charlotte has never been in this position before. Those players may have more to play for, which can mean a lot in the college football postseason.

My Pick: 31-24 Charlotte for 16 points in Bowl Mania

Tropical Smoothie Café Frisco Bowl

Kent State vs. Utah State (Friday, 7:30 PM ET – game on ESPN2)

The Skinny: It may not be as nice of a destination as the Bahamas, but both Kent State and Utah State will have come a long way to play in Dallas. The Golden Flashes have to be thrilled to be in the postseason at all, as even its fans were unsure about their fate following a .500 regular season campaign. Injuries hampered what could have been another terrific season for the Aggies, but they still have the best player at any position in this one.

Why to Watch: It’s hard not to assert Utah State’s Jordan Love as the singular reason to tune into this game. The junior has struggled with accuracy this season (17 touchdowns to 16 picks), but throws a beautiful ball downfield and can decimate a defensive secondary with ease. He’s a guy that could provide service to an NFL team in the near future.

What Will Happen: Kent State’s pass defense is strong enough to keep Love honest, but the run defense is a different story. While Love will be the highlight of pregame analysis, Utah State’s Gerold Bright could end up taking home MVP honors. Utah State can completely control this game from start to finish if its ground game is humming.

My Pick: 37-20 Utah State for 31 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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