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Article:Bowl Preview: Liberty, Meineke, Alamo

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Mississippi State v. UCF: Liberty Bowl Central Florida features the best player that you've never heard of in running back Kevin Smith (pictured), who has rushed for 2,448 yards and 30 total touchdowns. The junior back needs just 180 yards to break Barry Sanders' all-time, single-season rushing record. Over his last four games, the junior running back has piled up 1,000 yards. The Knights lack a strong passing game and therefore rely heavily on Smith as he averages over 30 carries per game. If Mississippi State is to stop Central Florida than they must shut down Smith who has feasted upon weak rush defenses. The Bulldogs' front seven is the typical SEC defensive front as they rank just 65th nationally against, which should allow Smith to have a big day rushing the football. What hurts the Bulldogs even more is the fact that their offense is one of the worst in the country, as they average just 305.33 yards, worse than 111 schools. Their top offensive star is running back Anthony Dixon (980 rushing yards, 13 TDs), but even he hasn't rushed for over the century mark since an October 13th loss to Tennessee. Mississippi State lacks enough offensive firepower to keep up with UCF and their defense isn't good enough to stop the Knights completely. UCF 21-7

UConn v. Wake Forest: Meineke Car Care Bowl Just one year ago, Wake Forest was a top the ACC and was preparing to face Big East champion Louisville in the Orange Bowl. While the Meinke Car Care Bowl is no BCS game, the Demeon Deacons were still a solid football team in 2007 by winning eight games. UConn also experienced a resurgence of their own under Randy Edsall as they finished with nine wins. While Wake is known for its efficient offense, UConn is the exact opposite as their offense ranks just 84th nationally. They use a running-back-by-committee in sophomores Donald Brown II and Andre Dixon who combined for 1,558 yards and 11 touchdowns. If the Huskies can maintain a consistent running attack they will be able to keep Wake's highly efficient quarterback Riley Skinner off the field. In 2007, Skinner completed 71% of his passes, good for second in the nation. If Wake dominates the time of possession that UConn will be in for a long afternoon. Playing in a virtual home game, look for the Demon Deacons to stop UConn's running game and score just enough to win. Wake Forest 24-14

Penn State v. Texas A&M: Alamo Bowl If you like low-scoring, defensive battles than this is the game for you. Both Penn State and Texas A&M feature offenses that have their fare share of difficulties in 2007. Senior quarterback Anthony Morelli had another tough season as he struggled in big games against Michigan, Illinois and Ohio State; combining for four interceptions and just one touchdown. A&M has a pretty good quarterback in Stephan McGee, who passed for over 300 yards against Texas, but the Aggies rarely throw the ball. Instead they rely on 268-pound bulldozer Jorvorskie Lane and speed-burner Mike Goodson to run the ball. This does not boad well for the Aggies as they face a Penn State defense that ranks ninth in the nation in yards allowed (306.6 per game) and second in the Big Ten behind Ohio State. With Texas A&M losing their coach, Dennis Franchoine to retirement, Penn State should come out with the victory in an ugly game. Penn State 23-13

Overall: 6-5

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