Tuesday’s college bowl game previews
Air Force (8-5) vs. California (7-5)
Kickoff: 2 p.m., Amon Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas
Line: California by 7
Series record: California leads 6-2
What’s at stake: A rematch of the 2007 Armed Forces Bowl, which Cal won 42-36.
Key matchup: Air Force’s rushing game and California’s passing offense. The Falcons rank second nationally with 322 yards rushing per game, and are the only team nationally with six different players with 100-yard games this season. Led by QB Jared Goff, the Bears are sixth nationally with 369 yards passing per game and are the only team with six players with at least 30 catches.
Players to watch: Air Force — Jacobi Owens leads the Falcons with 1,013 yards rushing with six touchdowns. Owens has actually started the last seven games at fullback due to injuries. California — Goff has thrown for 4,252 yards and 37 touchdowns.
No. 10 North Carolina (11-2) vs. No. 18 Baylor (9-3)
Kickoff: 5:30 p.m., Orlando (Fla.) Citrus Bowl
Line: North Carolina by 3
Series record: First meeting
What’s at stake: The Tar Heels are looking to end their season on a high note after coming up short in the ACC championship against Clemson. Baylor, 10-11 in bowls, is making its sixth straight bowl appearance.
Key matchup: This should be a slugfest between two of the nation’s top-rated offenses. The Tar Heels led the nation in yards per play (7.33), followed by the Bears at 7.25. Baylor also has FBS’ top scoring offense, averaging 48 points per game. North Carolina is 11th at 40.9.
Players to watch: UNC — QB Marquise Williams has completed 61 percent of his passes this season, throwing for 21 touchdowns with nine interceptions. He has accounted for a school-record 94 career touchdowns (58 passing, 33 rushing, 3 receiving). Baylor — RB Devin Chafin (9 TDs) is the Bears’ most-productive offensive player on the field with QBs Seth Russell and Jarrett Stidham, Biletnikoff Award-winning WR Corey Coleman, and RB Shock Linwood all sitting with injuries.
Nevada (6-6) vs. Colorado State (7-5)
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m., Arizona Stadium, Tucson, Ariz.
Line: Colorado State by 3
Series record: Colorado State leads 11-2
What’s at stake: The inaugural Arizona Bowl is the first non-playoff bowl to have two teams from the same conference (Mountain West) since the 1979 Orange Bowl with Nebraska and Oklahoma.
Key matchup: Nevada’s running game vs. Colorado State’s defense. Nevada finished top-30 nationally rushing and was one of two teams to have a pair of 1,000-yard rushers. The Rams were 107th nationally at stopping the run.
Players to watch: Nevada — LB Ian Seau, the nephew of NFL Hall of Famer Junior Seau, led the conference with nine sacks and forced four fumbles. Colorado State — QB Nick Stevens broke a 31-year-old record for most passing yards by a sophomore with 2,369 and had 21 passing TDs. He also threw 21 interceptions.
No. 22 LSU (8-3) vs. Texas Tech (7-5)
Kickoff: 9 p.m., NRG Stadium, Houston
Line: LSU by 7
Series record: LSU leads 2-0
What’s at stake: Texas Tech looks to extend its bowl winning streak to five games and get its first win over LSU, in their first meeting since 1957. The Tigers are in a bowl game for a school-record 16th straight year.
Key matchup: Leonard Fournette vs. Texas Tech’s run defense. Fournette is third in the nation with a school-record 1,741 yards rushing and the Red Raiders are allowing 271.8 yards rushing a game, which ranks 125th in the country.
Players to watch: LSU — LB Deion Jones leads LSU with 92 tackles, 111/2 tackles for loss, and has four sacks. The senior also has six quarterback hurries and two interceptions, one he returned for a touchdown. Texas Tech — QB Patrick Mahomes has thrown for 4,283 yards (seventh in nation) and 32 TDs. He’s run for 484 yards and 10 TDs.