Music City Bowl
WHO: N.C. State (7-5) vs. Vanderbilt (8-4)
WHEN:/TV: Noon, ESPN
WHERE: At LP Field, Nashville, Tenn.
LINE: Vanderbilt by 71/2
BUZZ: Vanderbilt can beat a team with a winning record and notch the program’s first nine-win season since 1915. The Commodores come in with a six-game winning streak that is longest in SEC going into bowl season. N.C. State can make up for a season that cost coach Tom O’Brien his job by winning its third straight bowl and sixth in seven bowls. Wolfpack QB Mike Glennon and WR Quintin Payton have N.C. State ranked 20th nationally in passing, averaging 304 yards. Vanderbilt features the nation’s fifth stingiest pass efficiency defense and ranks 10th in the country by holding opponents to 175.8 yards per game.
WHO: Southern Cal (7-5) vs. Georgia Tech (6-7)
WHEN/TV: 2 p.m., CBS
WHERE: At Sun Bowl Stadium, El Paso, Texas
LINE: Southern Cal by 71/2
BUZZ: For a team coming off a two-year bowl ban and which entered the season ranked No. 1, the Sun Bowl is a consolation prize for Southern Cal. And it will have to play without QB Matt Barkley, who is out with a shoulder injury. But as much as the Trojans want to get a win, Georgia Tech may actually be the more desperate team. The Yellow Jackets are bowl eligible for the 16th consecutive season (the fourth-longest such streak in the country), but they’ve lost their past seven bowl games. Trojans QB Max Wittek has a lot of weapons at his disposal, and has had extra time to prepare for Georgia Tech’s 53rd-ranked defense.
WHO: Iowa State (6-6) vs. Tulsa (10-3)
WHEN/TV: 3:30 p.m., ESPN
WHERE: At Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, Tenn.
LINE: Iowa State by 1
BUZZ: Tulsa is trying to avenge a 38-23 loss at Iowa State on Sept. 1 in the season opener. The two schools also will meet at Tulsa in the fourth week of the 2013 season. A victory would give Iowa State its first winning season since 2009. Tulsa could match a school record by earning its 11th win of the season. The Golden Hurricane went 11-3 in 2008. QB Sam Richardson gave Iowa State’s offense a spark late in the season, but he will be facing a Tulsa defense that set school records in sacks (48) and tackles for loss (104).
The Associated Press