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Bowl Picks 2017-2018: Famous Idaho Potato Bowl to Hawaii Bowl

Logan Woodside, Toledo (Dollar General Bowl)
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Central Michigan Chippewas (8-4) vs. Wyoming Cowboys (7-5)
If you are a fan of hard-hitting, smashmouth defenses than the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl is the one for you. It pits Central Michigan and their 8-4 mark against Wyoming, who has been led by the nation's 13th best scoring defense. Offensively, the Cowboys are hoping NFL Draft prospect Josh Allen (considered by many to have first-round potential) can create some big plays and mask a rushing attack that has been close to nonexistent on the season. Allen will have his work cut out for him against a Chippewas defense that is well-coached and is great at creating turnovers. If Central Michigan can get production from an offense headed by Michigan transfer Shane Morris at quarterback and solid running back Jonathan Ward, they should be able to end the 2017 campaign on a high note.
Central Michigan, 28 Wyoming, 21

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
Army Black Knights (9-3) vs. San Diego State Aztecs (10-2)
Expect plenty of running the football in the Armed Forces Bowl, as Army and their triple-option attack square off against Rashaad Penny and the SDSU Aztecs. Penny was not invited to New York as Heisman finalist, but he certainly had a case to be after managing 2,027 yards and 19 touchdowns on the year. He is almost sure to give a porous Army rush defense some serious problems in this one. For the Black Knights, they rely almost exclusively on the run, throwing just 61 passes on the season (an average of just over five per game). QB Ahmad Bradshaw is their most dangerous playmaker, while backs Darnell Woolfolk and Kell Walker help out. Facing a triple-option offense is always a difficulty, but the Aztecs have had weeks to prepare. They should be able to slow it down enough to clinch a victory.
San Diego State, 34 Army, 24

Dollar General Bowl
Appalachian State Mountaineers (8-4) vs. Toledo Rockets (11-2)
Outside of UCF and perhaps USF, Toledo and Appalachian State may be the two best Group of Five teams in the country, and eager to finish off the season with a win in the Dollar General Bowl. The Rockets have been consistently terrific, using a big-play offense and well-rounded defense to become MAC Champions. QB Logan Woodside is helped by 1,000-yard rusher Terry Swanson and 1,000-yard wide out Diontae Johnson, two guys sure to give the Mountaineers issues. For Appalachian State, the key will be getting production from a methodical rushing attack and a very strong defense that came in 33rd in points allowed per game. It should be a pretty evenly matched bowl and one of the better of the early ones, but I like Toledo and their explosive offense to keep the momentum rolling.
Toledo, 35 Appalachian State, 30

Hawai'i Bowl
Fresno State Bulldogs (9-4) vs. Houston Cougars (7-4)
Despite having two first-year head coaches, both Fresno State and Houston managed to put together successful 2017 seasons, and now meet in the Hawai'i Bowl. Fresno State was especially surprising, going from a 1-11 2016 to 9-4 this season and a spot in the Mountain West Championship Game. Former Oregon State QB Marcus McMaryion has led a very solid offense, but the defense has been the real key to their improvement, allowing just 17.2 PPG (ninth nationally). Meanwhile, the Cougars also rely heavily on the defensive side of the ball, where they have future NFL Draft selection Ed Oliver leading the way, and plenty of experience throughout. However, in order to overcome the Bulldogs they'll need the offense to find it's groove. The unit has struggled mightily this season (despite head coach Major Applewhite's offensive roots) and won't have it easy in this one.
Fresno State, 27 Houston, 18

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