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Bowl Picks 2017-2018: Boca Raton Bowl to Bahamas Bowl

Jason Driskel, FAU (Boca Raton Bowl)
Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl
Florida Atlantic Owls (10-3) vs. Akron Zips (7-6)
Lane Kiffin has engineered an impressively quick turnaround at Florida Atlantic, where the Owls have risen into a viable program and just won the Conference USA. They should be able to end the year on a high note, squaring off against a good, not great, Akron team. Running back Devin Singletary (1,796 yards) and dual threat QB Jason Driskel should be able to have a big day against an inconsistent Akron rush defense and the Owls' opportunistic defense will look to force some turnovers. FAU has a significant advantage playing at home in this (game is at FAU Stadium) and should be able to use it to finish the season with 11 victories.
Florida Atlantic, 38 Akron, 24

DXL Frisco Bowl
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (6-6) vs. SMU Mustangs (7-5)
Despite a tough late-season stretch SMU managed to find their way into the postseason and will meet up with a Louisiana Tech that can really move the ball. The Mustangs will be without head coach Chad Morris (who has taken the job at Arkansas) but the new coaching staff should still be able to get the team to fight hard. Underrated QB Ben Hicks will lead the efficient offensive attack, and should have a field day against a weak Tech secondary. On the other side, the Bulldogs will lean heavily on a ground game that includes senior Boston Scott (937 yards, eight touchdowns) and dual threat signal-caller J'Mar Smith. The Mustangs are probably the more talented team, and new head coach Sonny Dykes is well-known for being able to attack teams weaknesses. Dykes should be able to begin the new era with the Mustangs with a decisive win.
SMU, 35 Louisiana Tech, 21

Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl
Temple Owls (6-6) vs. Florida International Panthers (8-4)
Two first-year head coaches clash as Temple and Geoff Collins meet with Butch Davis and Florida International. The Panthers were a pretty big surprise, finishing 8-4, despite little preseason expectations. They have done so by playing a smart brand of football and not turning the ball over, which has masked some of their serious deficiencies on the defensive side of the ball. QB Alex McGough and wide out Thomas Owens are a dangerous 1-2 punch, but the Owls are led by Collins, a great defensive mind who loves to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Temple's offense has lacked much bite for much of the season, however, which could force this into a low-scoring affair.
FIU, 24 Temple, 17

Bahamas Bowl
UAB Blazers (8-4) vs. Ohio Bobcats (8-4)
UAB is one of the greatest stories of this college football season, as the Blazers have returned from their two-year absence to finish 8-4 and make their first bowl since 2004, their lone bowl appearance. Their reward is a matchup with Ohio, one of the most consistent Group of Five programs in the country. The Bobcats have a very dangerous rushing attack, and rely on a defense with a lot of veteran leadership and depth. They will be quite a tough game for UAB, although the Blazers will counter with star running back Spencer Brown (1,292 yards) and rock-solid quarterback A.J. Erdely. Ohio is a good football team, but UAB has played with a chip on their shoulder all season long, and should have extra motivation in this one.
UAB, 24 Ohio, 23

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