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Bowl Picks 2017-2018: Pinstripe Bowl to Military Bowl

Drew Lock, Missouri (Texas Bowl)
New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Iowa Hawkeyes (7-5) vs. Boston College Eagles (7-5)
Neither Iowa nor Boston College are teams known to light up the scoreboard, but that has slightly changed in 2017. BC found their offense in the second half of the year and put up 45 against Louisville, 41 against Virginia and 35 over Florida State. They've relied on the play of youthful running back A.J. Dillon (1,432 yards) but it will be interesting to see what he will able to do against a stout Iowa rush defense that includes star linebacker Josey Jewell. For the Hawkeyes they've had some poor moments offensively, but did score 55 against Ohio State and 56 against Nebraska and feature a potent rush attack. If the Hawkeyes can have a solid day offensively and stud defenders like Jewell and cornerback Joshua Jackson trip up the Eagles, Iowa should end a crazy season with a win.
Iowa, 28 Boston College, 21

Foster Farms Bowl
Arizona Wildcats (7-5) vs. Purdue Boilermakers (6-6)
Not much was expected in the preseason from either Arizona or Purdue, but the two have been pleasant surprises this year. Arizona has rode rushing QB Khalil Tate heavily but the offense seemed to struggle late in the year and it is still extremely one-dimensional. For Purdue, new head coach Jeff Brohm has brought a more exciting, up-tempo attack offensively, but with mixed results. Injuries have hurt the Boilermakers, but they are averaging just 24.3 PPG (100th in the nation). The good news is that the defense has tons of experience and is really good in the linebacker corps. Purdue still worries me offensively but I think the defense can be the fueling force in a slight upset here. The Boilermakers seem to be playing harder right now than 'Zona and are healthier overall.
Purdue, 30 Arizona, 26

Academy Sports+Outdoors Texas Bowl
Texas Longhorns (6-6) vs. Missouri Tigers (7-5)
Former Big 12 foes clash in the Texas Bowl, which should give us a pretty high-scoring, exciting football game. Missouri has been on fire over the season's second half and are potent offensively, where QB Drew Lock engineers a big-play group. However, the defense has lagged behind all season long, and could be in store for a tough meeting with the 'Horns. True freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger has been very good in his first season in Austin, and leads the team in passing and rushing. If he can limit mistakes, which have haunted him at times in '17, he should be able to dice up that very porous Mizzou D. Tom Herman seems to have already injected this Texas team with plenty of life, and a victory here could only be the start of something special for the Longhorns.
Texas, 35 Missouri, 31

Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman
Virginia Cavaliers (6-6) vs. Navy Midshipmen (6-6)
After a dismal 2016 that included a loss to FCS foe Richmond, Virginia had a really good season, and has a very winnable bowl game against Navy. Veteran QB Kurt Benkert has looked much more poised and confident all season, and is helped by two great running backs in Justin Ellis and Olamide Zaccheaus. The defense is also rock-solid, and brings linebacker Micah Kiser and safety Quin Blanding to the table. Navy still runs the triple-option, but the offense hasn't been as crisp and effective as usual under first-year starting QB Zach Abey. Facing a triple-option is still going to adjustment for the Cavaliers but head coach Bronco Mendenhall is a great defensive mind and should have them ready to go.
Virginia, 27 Navy, 24

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