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Bowl Picks 2017-2018: Belk Bowl to Cotton Bowl

Parris Campbell & J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State (Cotton Bowl)
Belk Bowl
Texas A&M Aggies (7-5) vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (7-5)
Its a new day at Texas A&M, as Jimbo Fisher begins his tenure with the Aggies against an old ACC opponent. Wake Forest put together a solid 2017, and continue to make strides under head coach Dave Clawson. QB John Wolford, along with workhorse tailback Matt Colburn will lead the offense, while Jessie Bates and a ball-hawking defense will try to force turnovers. Texas A&M still has an explosive offense, which includes stars Trayveon Williams and wide out Christian Kirk (who confirmed he will play in this one despite some who thought he might sit out). If A&M can make some stops defensively, and the offense can win the turnover battle, the speed and explosiveness of this Aggies' team should guide them to victory.
Texas A&M, 35 Wake Forest, 30

Hyundai Sun Bowl
NC State Wolfpack (8-4) vs. Arizona State Sun Devils (7-5)
After a tough end-of-the-year stretch, NC State looks to finish the season on a high note against an Arizona State undergoing a coaching change, as former NFL head man Herm Edwards moves to the collegiate game. Offensively, NC State doesn't have a clear superstar, but quarterback Ryan Finley is as smart and efficient as they come, and do-it-all running back/receiver Jaylen Samuels should be able to do some serious damage against a weak ASU defense. On the other side of the ball, the Wolfpack have a future first-round NFL Draft pick in defensive end Bradley Chubb, who should wreak havoc against a porous Sun Devils' O-Line. Arizona State has some dangerous weapons, particularly wide receiver N'Keal Harry, but they've struggled with consistency and turnovers all season long. The Wolfpack should be able to roll in this one.
NC State, 31 Arizona State, 17

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
Kentucky Wildcats (7-5) vs. Northwestern Wildcats (9-3)
Neither got much attention prior to this season, but Kentucky and Northwestern both put together quality seasons in 2017. Kentucky survived the always-tough SEC thanks in large part to running back Benny Snell Jr., who ran for 1,318 yards and 18 scores this season. Snell and the rest of the Kentucky offense will have to have a field day, because the defense has been unreliable all year long, and Northwestern's offense has been on fire. Dual threat QB Clayton Thorson is always a threat, and tailback Justin Jackson is a threat to have a huge day anytime he runs onto the field. Northwestern is also playing great defense, holding opponents to under 20 points per game on the season. They should be able to control Snell enough to seal a win.
Northwestern, 28 Kentucky, 20

Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl
Utah State Aggies (6-6) vs. New Mexico State Aggies (6-6)
One of the coolest stories of this college football season was New Mexico State, who went 6-6 and will be playing in their first bowl game since 1960. NMSU has a dangerous aerial attack, the fourth best in the country this past season. Signal-caller Tyler Rogers and a quick group of receivers should give Utah State some serious issues. Utah State reached the postseason behind a solid defense and a disciplined offense. Their defense has decent depth and experience, but they have struggled to defend the pass at times this year. That should only make things better for NMSU, who should finish their first bowl appearance in nearly six decades with a win.
New Mexico State, 38 Utah State, 27

Cotton Bowl Classic
Ohio State Buckeyes (11-2) vs. USC Trojans (11-2)
Two conference champions, Ohio State and USC, should be able to give us an exciting Cotton Bowl that is sure to keep the scoreboard operators busy. Quarterback Sam Darnold didn't quite dominate like some expected prior to the season, but he has improved as the season has gone on, and is aided by backs Ronald Jones II (1,486 yards) and Stephen Carr (363 yards). However, USC's defense has struggled with consistency, and has had trouble supporting a turnover-prone offense. They will be in store for a tough game against the Buckeyes. True freshman J.K. Dobbins has had a huge season, and QB J.T. Barrett expects to end his lengthy collegiate career with a resounding win. Ohio State also has the motivation factor advantage here; they will play angry after being snubbed from the College Football Playoff.
Ohio State, 40 USC, 31

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