With the conclusion of the college football regular season, it is now time to start looking ahead to the bowl games. Several games in the opening slate have major NFL Draft and devy fantasy football implications. With so much talent this bowl season, this will serve as the first of many articles breaking down what players you need to keep on your radar when watching the games this weekend and beyond. So without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Myrtle Beach Bowl
Appalachian State (8-3) vs. North Texas (4-5) – Mon. 12/21
Kicking off the bowl game season is the inaugural game of a brand new bowl, the Myrtle Beach Bowl. This game features the Sun-Belts Appalachian State squaring off against Conference USA’s North Texas. This is Appalachian State’s 6th straight bowl appearance, and they are boasting a perfect 5-0 record thus far. Meanwhile, this is North Texas’ 11th bowl appearance boasting a much less impressive overall record in bowls of 2-8 thus far. However, the bright spot of this team is their offense, averaging 515 yards per game, good for 7th nationally. I expect this game to be a shootout, but I am taking Appalachian State 34-31.
Jaelon Darden (Senior)- WR, NFL Prospect
Darden has been an absolute monster this season with nearly 1200 receiving yards, boasting a 16.1 average and hauling in 19 touchdown passes. He holds the record for the most touchdown catches in North Texas school history while also leading the nation in this category and is a big reason why this offense is as explosive as it has been this season. Darden is elusive in open space after the catch and has the speed to house the ball at any time. He extends well to the ball and is smooth on both his release and getting in and out of breaks mid-route. Darden is the one name you need to watch in this first bowl game.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Tulane (6-5) vs Nevada (6-2)- Tues. 12/22
The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl pits Tulane vs. Nevada. Tulane is coming into this bowl game on a hot streak, winning four of their last five games. On the back of their redshirt sophomore QB, Nevada is 11th in the nation in passing yards, averaging 325 yards per game. Meanwhile, Tulane’s defense is ranked 113th in the FBS, allowing nearly 260 passing yards per game. I expect Nevada to win this game 24-14
Carson Strong (Rs- Sophomore)- QB Devy Prospect
Carson Strong is the leader of this potent Nevada passing attack. This season he has completed nearly 70% of his throws, passing for 2,587 yards and 22 touchdowns to just four interceptions. He is also tied for 25th in the nation with a passer rating of 155.6. Strong is best when throwing the short to medium passes and throwing the sideline out routes. This game I will be watching to if he improves on his deep-ball accuracy.
Cole Turner (Junior)- TE, Devy Prospect
While devy tight ends are often overlooked, Turner is a name that you need to be paying attention to. He is tied for 22nd in the nation for touchdown catches with seven. He also is fourth in the nation at the tight end position when it comes to receiving yards. Currently, Turner has 44 receptions for 545 yards, good for a 12.4-yard average. Any time a tight end prospect has over 30 catches in a season, I take notice. I will make sure to be watching more of Cole Turner in this bowl game.
Roofclaim.com Boca Raton Bowl
BYU (10-1) vs UCF (6-3)- Wed. 12/23
In the Boca Raton Bowl, the UCF Golden Knights take on a college football powerhouse this season in the Cougars of BYU. BYU is the only FBS team this season to be ranked in the top ten in total offense, defense, scoring offense, and scoring defense. Their lone loss this season came in the form of a shootout with Coastal Carolina. This is BYU’s 38th bowl appearance with a record of 15-21-1. Meanwhile, UCF is coming off of a win in a shootout with South Florida. This is UCF’s 11th Bowl appearance with an overall record of 5-5. I expect BYU to win this game handily 34-17.
Zach Wilson (Junior), QB- NFL Prospect
Wilson is the big name in this bowl game between BYU and UCF. He will most likely be a first-round pick in not only the 2021 NFL drafts but also in your next rookie drafts. Wilson has passed for over 3,200 yards this year, with 30 touchdowns to just three interceptions. He is one of college football’s most accurate quarterbacks, with a completion percentage of 73.2. He is a mobile quarterback who can make all of the throws at the next level. He throws a beautiful deep ball and is accurate at all levels of the field. Turn on this game and keep your eyes glued on Mr. Wilson. He is a stud.
Tyler Allgeier (rs- Sophomore), RB Devy Prospect
While Wilson gets most of the talk in this offense, Allgeier is a name to watch in this game. He is averaging over seven yards per carry, with over 1,000 all-purpose yards and 12 touchdowns. He is a tough and physical runner that is hard to bring down. He also shows an ability to break tackles and be elusive in open space. Not only has he proven to be a great runner this season, but he has also shown an ability in the passing game. Keep an eye on him this game.
Dillon Gabriel (Sophomore) QB Devy Prospect
On the other side of this game, there is a quarterback that you need to keep an eye on for devy purposes by the name of Dillion Gabriel. This season, Gabriel has passed for 3,353 yards and 30 touchdowns to just four interceptions. He is second in the FBS in both passing yards and passing touchdowns. He throws a beautiful ball and is an intriguing name to monitor for the 2022 NFL Draft.
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