Saturday's college bowls preview
Matchup: Cincinnati (9-3) vs. Virginia Tech (6-6)
Kickoff: 1 p.m., Jack Stephens Field, Annapolis, Maryland
Line: Cincinnati by 3
At stake: Virginia Tech seeks to extend its run of consecutive seasons with a winning record to 22 in its 22nd successive year in a bowl game. Cincinnati, the American Athletic Conference champion, seeks its eighth straight win overall.
Players to watch: Cincinnati QB Gunner Kiel, a Notre Dame transfer, completed 219 of 364 passes for 3,010 yards and 30 TDs with 11 INTs. ... Virginia Tech senior safety Detrick Bonner played 796 snaps on defense and 62 more on special teams. He had 68 tackles, 31/2 sacks, an interception and a forced fumble.
Matchup: Arizona State (9-3) vs. Duke (9-3)
Kickoff: 2 p.m., Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas
Line: Arizona State by 7½
At stake: Duke is looking for first bowl win since 1961 in its third straight trip to one. Arizona State is making its fourth consecutive bowl appearance and third in a row under Todd Graham.
Players to watch: Arizona State QB Taylor Kelly is 141 of 244 passing for 1,874 yards and 20 TDs with just five interceptions. He has thrown a TD in every game but four in his career and is third in program history with 75 passing TDs. ... Duke LB David Helton led the ACC in tackles for the second consecutive season, finishing with 125 this season.
Matchup: South Carolina (6-6) vs. Miami (6-6)
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m., Independence Stadium, Shreveport, Louisiana
Line: Miami by 3½
At stake: Miami is trying to snap a four-game bowl losing streak and hasn't won in the postseason since the 2006 MPC Computers Bowl. South Carolina is trying for a school record four-game bowl winning streak.
Players to watch: South Carolina QB Dylan Thompson has thrown for 3,280 yards, 24 TDs and 11 interceptions this season. ... Miami QB Brad Kaaya is a true freshman and has thrown for 2,962 yards and 25 TDs.
Matchup: Penn State (6-6) vs. Boston College (7-5)
Kickoff: 4:30 p.m., Yankee Stadium, New York
Line: Boston College by 2½
At stake: Penn State is back in the bowl game business after the NCAA rescinded penalties levied in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal.
Players to watch: Boston College QB Tyler Murphy broke the ACC's single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 1,079 yards. He also broke BC's career record in one year, previously held by Eagle great Doug Flutie. ... Penn State WR DaeSean Hamilton is among the top pass catchers in school history with his 75 catches for 848 yards.
Matchup: No. 25 Nebraska (9-3) vs. No. 24 USC (8-4)
Kickoff: 8 p.m., Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
Line: USC by 7.
At stake: This is the first bowl meeting between the two storied programs. It is the first appearance in the Holiday Bowl for USC, which made the two-hour trip by bus from Los Angeles.
Players to watch: Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah, despite being slowed by a sprained left knee suffered Nov. 1 against Purdue, will finish one of the most prolific careers in Nebraska history. With 1,523 yards, he has registered his third straight 1,000-yard season, a first in Cornhuskers history. He has 4,500 career yards, trailing only Mike Rozier's record of 4,780 yards. ... USC Kessler's completion percentage of 70.7 is currently above the school season record of 69.1 percent by Matt Barkley in 2011. His 168.8 passing efficiency is currently better than USC's season record of 164.6 by Mark Sanchez in 2008.