Today’s Bowl Games

December 28, 2012 

Independence Bowl

WHO: Ohio (8-4) vs. La.-Monroe (8-4)

WHERE: Shreveport, La.

WHEN/TV: 2 p.m., ESPN

LINE: La.-Monroe by 7.

BUZZ: Louisiana-Monroe wants to make a good impression after advancing to the postseason for the first time since moving up to the Football Bowl Subdivision in 1994. The Warhawks haven’t won nine games in a season since 1993. Ohio is in a bowl game for the fourth straight season and trying to win nine games for the third time in four years.

KEY MATCHUP: Ohio RB Beau Blankenship against ULM’s defense. The 5-foot-9, 202-pound Blankenship has had a breakout season for the Bobcats, rushing for 1,500 yards and 11 touchdowns. He’s rushed for at least 100 yards eight times this season.

Russell Athletic Bowl

WHO: Rutgers (9-3) vs. Virginia Tech (6-6)

WHERE: Orlando, Fla.

TIME/TV: 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)

LINE: Virginia Tech by 2

BUZZ: Rutgers has won five consecutive bowl games. The Scarlet Knights are looking to shake off the disappointment of missing out on a BCS berth, and hope to notch their first 10-win season since 2006. Virginia Tech is looking to end its season on a high note after stumbling to their first single-digit win season since 2003. The Hokies are making their 20th consecutive bowl appearance.

KEY MATCHUP: Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas, a dual threat, against Rutgers’ LB Khaseem Greene, the Big East defensive player of the year.

Car Care Bowl

WHO: Minnesota (6-6) vs. Texas Tech (7-5)

WHERE: Houston

TIME/TV: 9 p.m. (ESPN)

LINE: Texas Tech by 13

BUZZ: The Red Raiders return to a bowl after having their 18-season bowl streak snapped last year. They want to end the season on a high note after a tumultuous month in which coach Tommy Tuberville left for Cincinnati. Texas Tech will be led by interim coach Chris Thomsen. Minnesota is in a bowl for the first time since 2009. The Gophers are looking for their first bowl win since 2004.

KEY MATCHUP: Texas Tech QB Seth Doege against Minnesota’s defense. Doege is fourth in the nation in yards passing with 3,934 and his 38 touchdown passes are second in the country. The Gophers rank 11th in the nation in pass defense.

The Associated Press

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