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Heart of Dallas Bowl

Matchup: Illinois (6-6) vs. Louisiana Tech (8-5), at Dallas, 1 p.m. (ESPN)

Line: Louisiana Tech by 6

Series record: Louisiana Tech leads 1-0.

What's at stake: Illinois will try for the third time in five seasons to win a bowl game and finish 7-6. Louisiana Tech has three losses this season by three points, including the Conference USA championship game against Marshall.

Key matchup: Louisiana Tech DE Houston Bates vs. Illinois QB Reilly O'Toole and the rest of Bates' former Illini teammates.

Players to watch: Illinois junior LB Mason Monheim has 108 tackles, four forced fumbles and two interceptions, one he returned for a touchdown. Louisiana Tech junior RB Kenneth Dixon is the third player in school history with multiple 1,000-yard rushing seasons.

Bitcoin Bowl

Matchup: Central Florida (9-3, 7-1 American) vs. North Carolina State (7-5, 3-5 ACC), 8 p.m. (ESPN)

Line: UCF by 2

Series: Tied 1-1.

What's at stake: UCF has chance to finish with at least 10 wins for the fourth time in five seasons. Wolfpack won three of past four to become bowl eligible, and beating UCF would represent another step forward under their second-year coach.

Key matchup: North Carolina State QB Jacoby Brissett threw for 2,344 yards, 22 touchdowns and five interceptions. In UCF, he's facing a stout defense that ranks in the top five nationally in several categories.

Players to watch: UCF QB Justin Holman and NC State RB Shadrach Thornton, who has rushed for 811 yards and nine TDs.

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