Bowl Game Players To Watch. The Stars You Need To Know In Every Game

Who are the top players and ones you need to know for every bowl games? Here are the stars who should be the headliners to watch.

Bowl Game Top Players To Watch

Want to win friends and influence people at your holiday parties with the bowl games on in the background? Want to enjoy the barrage of bowls even more when watching teams you’ve never seen before? Know the star players.

Who are the main guys, the key playmakers, and the signature performers for each team this bowl season?

Here are two players you need to know and watch for each team in every bowl game, but with one key caveat – we purposefully didn’t include some obvious stars of the 2021 regular season because they’re either leaning toward opting out or are definitely out. All forgiveness as this is a moving target – we’ll change on the fly.

Bahamas Bowl

Friday, December 17
ESPN, 12:00 pm
Thomas Robinson Stadium, Nassau, Bahamas
Middle Tennessee vs Toledo

S Reed Blankenship, Middle Tennessee: One of the best and most productive defensive backs in college football over the last five years – when healthy – he was every bit the all-around star he was supposed to be with a team-high 106 stops with a sack, nine broken up passes, and ten tackles for loss.

QB Nicholas Vattiato, Middle Tennessee: Thrown to the wolves when starting QB Chase Cunningham went down, the freshman struggled in his first start with five picks in the loss to WKU. He bounced back to lead the team to the two wins over the next three games to get bowl eligible, finishing the regular season with five touchdown passes and 777 yards.

RB Bryant Koback, Toledo: To MAC fans it seems like he’s been around for 12 years. A big-time scorer, he ran for 30 touchdowns in his first three seasons – with four receiving scores – and did even more for the ground attack this year with 1,274 yards and 15 touchdowns to go along with 29 catches and three scores.

LB Jamal Hines, Toledo: The 6-3, 250-pounder went from being more of a defensive end to a hybrid outside linebacker, and the results have been huge. He not only came up with 82 tackles, but he led the team with eight broken up passes and lived behind the line with ten sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT Tailgreeter Cure Bowl: Coastal Carolina vs Northern Illinois

Tailgreeter Cure Bowl

Friday, December 17
ESPN2, 6:00 pm
Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL
Coastal Carolina vs Northern Illinois

QB Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina: The time off should do wonders for him. The nation’s most efficient passer was knocked out with a shoulder injury before coming back to throw for 319 yards and five scores in a win over Texas State. A master of the offense, he averages over 12 yards per throw with 23 touchdown passes and just three picks.

LB Silas Kelly, Coastal Carolina: The 6-4, 230-pound fifth-year senior is a tone-setting thumper for the defense has been a pass rusher in the past – and he can get into the backfield when needed – but he’s at his best at getting around the ball as the team’s leading tackler with 96 stops.

QB Rocky Lombardi, Northern Illinois: The former Michigan State quarterback was wildly inconsistent, but that was partially based on the offensive game plan each week. He ran for eight touchdowns, had a few huge passing games – 532 yards in the first meeting with Kent State – but his job it to just keep things moving.

S CJ Brown, Northern Illinois: The second-year freshman was a hitting machine in his expanded role. He didn’t do too much when the ball was in the air with just one interception, but he was like an extra linebacker against the run with a team-high 104 tackles. At just 5-11 and 192 pounds he’s not huge, but he’ll pop.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl: WKU vs Appalachian State

RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl

Saturday, December 18
ESPN, 11:00 am
FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, FL
WKU vs Appalachian State

RB Nate Noel, Appalachian State: The lightning-quick 190-pounder led the team with 1,076 yards with four touchdowns. He did a lot of the work, and running mate Cameron Peoples usually closed things out with 14 touchdowns. Noel was the was the 100-yard runner – hitting the mark in five games with the team winning each time.

LB D’Marco Jackson, Appalachian State: The 6-1, 230-pound four-year tackling star earned All-Sun Belt honors with 114 tackles with six sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss. A volume-tackler early in the season – 68 tackles in his first seven games – he grew into more of a playmaker in the backfield.

QB Bailey Zappe, WKU: The nation’s most dangerous passer – at least in yards – the transfer from Houston Baptist super-charged the offense with 5,545 yards and 56 touchdown passes with 11 picks and three rushing scores. Great at finding the open man with room to move, he spread the ball all over the field.

WR Jerreth Sterns, WKU: Bailey Zappe’s top receiver at Houston Baptist came along for the ride. While he might not have the bulk, the 5-9, 195-pounder can hold up just fine as a volume catcher with 137 grabs – averaging over ten per game – with 1,718 yards and 14 scores. He’s always open.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT PUBG New Mexico Bowl: UTEP vs Fresno State

PUBG New Mexico Bowl

Saturday, December 18
ESPN, 2:15 pm
Dreamstyle Stadium, Albuquerque, NM
UTEP vs Fresno State

RB Ronnie Rivers, Fresno State: With all of the changes and all of the key losses for the team after the regular season, Rivers needs to be the full focus of the offense. The 5-9, 195-pound do-it-all veteran ran for 788 yards and five scores, caught 34 passes with two scores, and was a return man, too. He’s about to have a very busy bowl.

WR Jalen Cropper, Fresno State: Is he headed to the transfer portal along with his quarterback, Jake Haener? It doesn’t seem so quite yet – the Bulldogs need him. The explosive receiver led the way with 76 catches for 827 yards and 11 scores – coming up with at least one in each of the first seven games – and can be used as a runner, too.

WR Jacob Cowling, UTEP: All of a sudden, UTEP had an explosive element to an offense that struggled to do anything fun for a long, long time. To be fair, Cowling was great in his first two seasons, too, but this year he took it up a notch averaging over 20 yards per grab with 1,343 yards and seven scores on his 67 catches.

DE Praise Amaewhule, UTEP: Toiling in relative anonymity on bad teams over the last few seasons, now the 6-3, 245-pound pass rusher gets a bowl game after another great season. He’s a bit undersized, but he’s ultra-quick with 5.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss. Fantastic at batting down passes, he broke up seven on the year.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl

Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl: UAB vs BYU

Saturday, December 18
ABC, 3:30 pm
Independence Stadium, Shreveport, LA
UAB vs BYU

RB Tyler Allgeier, BYU: The compact back was a breakout star of the 2020 team with 13 touchdowns, and he followed it up with an even stronger season with 1,414 yards and 20 scores to go along with 26 catches. He’s the workhorse with six 100-yard games and big home run-hitting ability.

LB Ben Bywater, BYU: The interestingly-designated third-year freshman bulked up over the last few seasons and became a hitting machine on the BYU linebacking corps. He’s not used much as a pass rusher – even with 6.5 tackles for loss – but he’s in on everything against the run with a team-high 93 tackles.

RB DeWayne McBride, UAB: The Blazers had several good rushing options this season, but the 5-11, 215-pound McBride took over with a team-high 1,188 yards and 12 touchdowns. He’s got a great burst in the open field and a nose for the goal line, scoring 11 times in the last six games.

LB Noah Wilder, UAB: A fantastic all-around playmaker in 2019, he was okay in 2020 before picking it back up this year with a team-high 86 tackles with 5.5 tackles for loss. A volume run stopper who gets around the ball, he closed out with 14 stops against UTEP and had a midseason two-game stretch with 26 tackles.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT LendingTree Bowl: Liberty vs Eastern Michigan

LendingTree Bowl

Saturday, December 18
ESPN, 5:45 pm
Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, AL
Liberty vs Eastern Michigan

QB Ben Bryant, Eastern Michigan: The former Cincinnati Bearcat took the Eastern Michigan offense up a few notches this season with a big midseason run of four 300-yard games in six including back-to-back 354-yard days. He might not push the ball deep too often, but he’s accurate on the midrange throws.

WR Hassan Beydoun, Eastern Michigan: At 5-8 and 174 pounds he’s not going to get physical with anyone, but he’s ultra-quick and he’s always making plays. He came up with a team-high 86 catches for 932 yards and four scores, and he can make things happen as a punt returner, too.

QB Malik Willis, Liberty: Is he really going to be the next superstar NFL quarterback? The 6-1, 215-pound former Auburn transfer became the darling of the scouting circuit after last season, but he’s been just okay this year with too many interceptions – 12 – and not enough big wins. However, he ran for 820 yards and 11 scores.

LB Storey Jackson, Liberty: The former Prairie View A&M star came to Liberty over the summer, and he turned into a force, The 6-2, 225-pounder led the team with 93 tackles and plays behind the line with 12 tackles for loss. Great against the run and great at getting all over the field, he was also great at getting into the backfield with 6.5 tackles for loss.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl: Utah State vs Oregon State

Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl

Saturday, December 18
ABC, 7:30 pm
SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, CA
Utah State vs Oregon State

QB Chance Nolan, Oregon State: Inconsistent over the first half of the season and steady in the second, the 6-3, 200-pounder was good for well over 200 yards per game in five of the last six. He kept the mistakes to a minimum late, improved his yards as he got more comfortable, and now it’s time to start pushing for 2022.

LB Andrzej Hughes-Murray, Oregon State: No pressure, but with star linebacker and leading tackler Avery Roberts out for the bowl game, the defense needs more big plays and production from the rest of the linebacking corps. The 246-pound Hughes-Murray made 49 tackles with four sacks on the outside, but he’ll have to play big in this against the run.

QB Logan Bonner, Utah State: He followed head coach Blake Anderson over from Arkansas State, and he helped turned a woeful offense into a Mountain West champion with 3,560 yards and 36 touchdown passes. The 6-1, 230-pounder doesn’t take off much, and he’ll throw picks, but he’ll keep on bombing away.

LB Justin Rice, Utah State: The offense took center stage, but the defense had some nice parts, too. Rice – a 6-2, 225-pound sixth-year senior transfer from Fresno State – led the team with 115 tackles with 13.5 tackles for loss and three interceptions. He came up with ten tackles in each of the last three games including the Mountain West Championship.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Marshall vs Louisiana

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

Saturday, December 18
ESPN, 9:15 pm
Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Marshall vs Louisiana

QB Levi Lewis, Louisiana: His head coach might be gone, but the fifth-year senior for the Sun Belt title champs, knows how to run this attack without any help. He didn’t run a whole lot – 269 yards and five scores – but he was efficient with 19 touchdown passes and just four picks. He keeps everything moving.

DT Zi’Yon Hill, Louisiana: The fifth-year senior is more than just a 6-1 278-pound anchor for the veteran line, he produces in the backfield. He’ll hold his own against the run and be fine against the run with 56 tackles, and he pushed for 6.5 sacks snd 9.5 tackles for loss.

QB Grant Wells, Marshall: Which Wells is Marshall going to get? He’s not a runner, but he scored seven times on the ground. He threw 12 interceptions, but he was careful over the back end of the year and finished with 16 touchdown passes and 3,436 yards. If he’s on, and isn’t throwing picks, Marshall is dangerous.

LB Abraham Beauplan, Marshall: After showing promise in 2020, he took his game up a few notches as the team’s leading tackler who also turned into a disruptive force at times. He might be a tad undersized at 6-2 and 223 pounds, but he can fly with a great burst into the backfield.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT Myrtle Beach Bowl: Tulsa vs Old Dominion

Myrtle Beach Bowl

Monday, December 20
ESPN, 2:30 pm
Brooks Stadium, Conway, SC
Tulsa vs Old Dominion

QB Hayden Wolff, Old Dominion: The season didn’t exactly turn around just because Wolff took over the starting quarterback job, but it did go 5-0 once he settled in. There were a few picks – six in the last six games – but he got the passing game going with 240 yards in each of his last four outings.

TE Zack Kuntz, Old Dominion: Head coach Ricky Rahne loves to use the tight ends, and he got his 6-8, 245-pounder the ball on a regular basis. There weren’t a whole lot of deep shots, but the huge target caught a team-high 71 passes for 674 yards and five scores as a steady outlet.

RB Shamari Brooks, Tulsa: The star back missed all of 2020 after injuring his knee just before the season. He might not have been a big play runner this year, but he pounded away for a tough 922 yards and six scores, highlighted by a terrific 132-yard day in the close-call loss to Cincinnati.

CB Tyon Davis, Tulsa: The senior went from being a little used part of the defensive back rotation to a standout baller at one corner spot. He didn’t pick off and passes, but he broke up nine throws and was terrific in the open field with 72 tackles. He led the team with 59 solo stops.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Kent State vs Wyoming

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Tuesday, December 21
ESPN, 3:30 pm
Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID
Kent State vs Wyoming

QB Dustin Crum, Kent State: It’s time to make amends after a rough MAC Championship for himself and the team – losing to Northern Illinois with the offense stalling. The fifth-year senior has mastered the Golden Flash offense throwing for 2,922 yard and 16 scores and running for 633 yards and 11 touchdowns going fast, fast, fast.

CB Elvis Hines, Kent State: Dean Clark was the tough safety who did a lot of the dirty work, Hines was the All-MAC lockdown corner who had a huge fifth-year season. He might not be all that physical, but he came up with 61 tackles with three picks and ten broken up passes.

RB Xazavian Valladay, Wyoming: The veteran back might not be a workhorse, but he rips off yards in chunks and can be a difference-maker if he gets involved in the offense enough. He’s a good pass catcher and can be used in several ways, but his role is to keep cranking up five yards per carry.

LB Chad Muma, Wyoming: The 242-pound thumper was able to take two of his three interceptions for scores, and he can occasionally get into the backfield, but his job is to hold up against the run for the tough – but inconsistent – defense. He came up with double-digit stops in ten of his 12 games.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl: UTSA vs San Diego State

Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl

Tuesday, December 21
ESPN, 7:30 pm
Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX
UTSA vs San Diego State

P Matt Araiza, San Diego State: The nation’s best punter gets the ball, he blasts it, and then he does it again when he gets another turn. He’s a good placekicker – hitting 17-of-27 field goals and all four of his extra points – but he’s at his best when he gets a shot at blasting away, averaging a nation-best 51.4 yards per kick.

WR Jesse Matthews, San Diego State: The team relies on a killer defense, an amazing running game, and a whole lot of field-tilting with punter Matt Araiza. There’s a wee bit of a passing attack, and it goes through a 6-0, 190-pound former walk-on who grew into a bigger role as the season went on, catching team-high 47 passes for 482 yards seven scores.

RB Sincere McCormick, UTSA: What could he do for an encore? He was great as a freshman, amazing as a sophomore, and he was the main man for the Roadrunners in their Conference USA championship season with 1,479 yards and 15 scores. He’s a compact, quick runner who’s about to get the ball 30 times.

S Rashad Wisdom, UTSA: One of the nation’s most productive safeties over the last few years, he’s a guided missile of a tackler with 87 on the season with a nose for the big play when the ball is in the air. He didn’t pick off any passes after coming up with four last year, but he broke up six throws.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: Missouri vs Army

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl

Wednesday, December 22
ESPN, 7:30 pm
Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, TX
Missouri vs Army

RB Jakobi Buchanan, Army: The 6-0, 260-pound battering ram of a fullback is a lock around the goal line – 11 touchdowns before the Navy game – and sets the tone for the Army attack with his bruising style. There’s nothing subtle about what he does – he’s Mr. Inside so the O can work on the outside.

LB Andre Carter, Army: The Knight defense generates a decent amount of pressure, and it mostly comes from a 6-7, 250-pound hybrid pass rusher who led the way with 14.5 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss to go along with 37 tackles. When he gets to the ball he’s a forced-fumble playmaker with four on the year.

RB Tyler Badie, Missouri: The 5-8, 194-pound speedster keeps on going as the one who makes the Missouri offense go. He might not look all that big or tough, but he can handle the beating and the workload, touching the ball well over 300 times with 1,604 rushing yards with 14 touchdowns and with 54 catches for 330 yards and four scores.

S Jaylon Carlies, Missouri: Fellow safety Martez Manuel leads the team in tackles, but Carlies isn’t all that far behind and he does a bit more when the ball is in the air. The 6-3, 204-pound rising playmaker was third on Mizzou with 68 tackles, and he led the was with four interceptions.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT Frisco Bowl Classic: Miami University vs North Texas

Frisco Bowl Classic

Thursday, December 23
ESPN, 3:30 pm
Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX
Miami University vs North Texas

QB Brett Gabbert, Miami University: Banged up for stretches over the first half of the season, he came back roaring over the last month. The brother of the NFL’s Blaine Gabbert might not have the same skill set, and he won’t run much, but he bombed away with 1,682 yards and 17 touchdowns over the last five games.

WR Jack Sorenson, Miami University: There wasn’t a hotter receiver in the country over the second half of the season. The senior had six straight 100-yard games – including a 283-yard day against Ohio – to finish his All-MAC run with 69 grabs for 1,290 yards – averaging close to 19 yards per catch – with ten scores.

LB KD Davis, North Texas: The 6-0, 229-pound veteran was one of the team’s top tacklers over the last few years, but this season he was more of a terror in the backfield. Stopping the run was never a problem – he came up with 107 stops this year – but the pass rushing took his game up a notch with five sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss.

RB DeAndre Torrey, North Texas: He might be a smallish 5-7 and 200 pounds, but he’s a tough back who can handle the workload with 1,215 yards and 13 touchdowns on his 248 carries, closing with two 100-yard days. Used as a workhorse, a receiver, and occasionally on kickoffs, the offense works around him.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl: UCF vs Florid

Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl

Thursday, December 23
ESPN, 7:00 pm
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
UCF vs Florida

RB Dameon Pierce, Florida: It’s been a rough year for the program, but the 5-10, 215-pound back was a bright spot as the designated scorer. The offense might get the most rushing production out of the quarterbacks, but Pierce – the team’s second-leading rusher with 517 yards -came up with 15 touchdowns with five multi-score days.

DT Zachary Carter, Florida: A veteran team leader who’s been through the SEC wars, Carter led the team with eight sacks and 11 tackles for loss as a versatile part of the line rotation. At 6-4 and around 285 pounds, he’s able to work inside or out as a quick interior pass rusher.

QB Mikey Keene, UCF: It’s a big moment for the freshman. Former starter Dillon Gabriel is transferring, and the program might be in the mix for any one of the high-profile quarterbacks in the transfer portal. Keene has been fine, but inconsistent. He’s not big, and he’s not a runner, but he was able to help get the team through a tough season.

DE Big Kat Bryant, UCF: After a few disappointing seasons, he was exactly what the program was hoping for when he followed head coach Gus Malzahn over from Auburn. The 6-5, 245-pound fifth-year senior pass rusher made 50 tackles with six sacks and 14 tackles for loss in his All-AAC campaign.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT EasyPost Hawaii Bowl: Memphis vs Hawaii

EasyPost Hawaii Bowl

Friday, December 24
ESPN, 8:00 pm
Clarence TC Ching Complex, Honolulu, HI
Memphis vs Hawaii

QB Chevan Cordeiro, Hawaii: A baller’s baller, he’ll run a little bit, he’ll grind for yards, and he’s been able to crank up the passing game with well over 700 yards with five scores ins last two games to get the Rainbow Warriors to six wins. He’s not consistent, but he’ll make the offense move.

LB Darius Muasau, Hawaii: A huge hitter with 275 career tackles in his three years, he has turned into even more of an all-around playmaker this year with seven sacks and 14 tackles for loss. He filled up the stat sheet with double-digit stops in five of the last seven games.

WR Calvin Austin, Memphis: He’s not all that big, but the 5-9, 162-pounder can fly. One of the best receivers in the American Athletic Conference over the last two seasons, he followed up a huge 2020 with a team-high 74 catches for 1,149 yards and eight scores. He returned a punt for a score and ran for a 69-yard touchdown, too.

TE Sean Dykes, Memphis: Built more like a fullback than a dangerous pass catching weapon of a tight end, the 6-2, 224-pound sixth-year senior earned All-American Athletic Conference honors with 48 catches for 657 yards and seven touchdowns. He has 14 touchdown grabs over his last two seasons.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT Camellia Bowl: Ball State vs Georgia State

Camellia Bowl

Saturday, December 25
ESPN, 2:30 pm
Cramton Bowl, Montgomery, AL
Ball State vs Georgia State

QB Drew Plitt, Ball State: The fifth-year senior was great in the MAC Championship run of 2020 and kept spreading the ball around this season to a deep and talented receiving corps. He’ll run a little bit, but his job is to get everyone involved, hitting 61% of his throws with 17 touchdowns and five picks.

S Bryce Cosby, Ball State: Few defensive backs in college football did more as an all-around playmaker than the fifth-year senior. Cosby made two picks and was second on the team with 101 tackles, and he lived behind the line with four sacks and a team-high 10.5 tackles for loss.

QB Darren Grainger, Georgia State: At 6-4 and over 200 pounds he’s a tall presence who can run, taking off for 523 yards and two scores. Now he needs to be more accurate for the passing game. More than fine as a freshman, he threw 16 touchdown passes and four picks, but he was a bit inconsistent. It’s all there, though, to grow into a top playmaker.

LB Blake Carroll, Georgia State: The Panther defense revolves around a good set of linebackers, starting with a 232-pound veteran who’s all over the field. Carroll made 82 tackles with 5.5 sacks, ten tackles for loss and broke up four passes with an uncanny knack and timing to make the big play.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT Quick Lane Bowl: Nevada vs Western Michigan

Quick Lane Bowl

Monday, December 27
ESPN, 11:00 am
Ford Field, Detroit, MI
Nevada vs Western Michigan

WR Romeo Doubs, Nevada: Carson Strong needed to throw to someone. The 6-2, 200-pound Doubs has been a dangerous deep threat throughout his career, but this year he’s been more of a do-it-all target with 80 catches for 1,109 yards and 11 touchdowns. Quick for his size, he can be used as a punt returner, too.

DT Tristan Nichols, Nevada: Undersized for the interior, the 6-4, 245-pounder makes up for his lack of bulk with tremendous quickness. A decent pass rushing reserve in his first two years, he stepped up into an All-Mountain West star this year with ten sacks and 11 tackles for loss with 28 tackles.

WR Skyy Moore, Western Michigan: The team’s top offensive star, the 5-10, 195-pound Moore bounced back from on okay sophomore season to blow up for 92 catches for 1,257 yards and ten scores, finishing up the year with 24 grabs for 387 yards in his last two games, closing out with four touchdowns against Northern Illinois.

DT Ralph Holley, Western Michigan: A good part of the defensive line puzzle and rotation for several years, the fifth-year senior and All-MAC performer holds up fine against the run and get get into the backfield on a regular basis. The 35 tackles are fine, but his 5.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss were terrific.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT Military Bowl presented by Peraton: East Carolina vs Boston College

Military Bowl presented by Peraton

Monday, December 27
ESPN, 2:30 pm
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD
East Carolina vs Boston College

QB Phil Jurkovec, Boston College: The former Notre Dame transfer was terrific in 2020 for Boston College, and he started the 2021 season hot before getting hurt. He struggled through his hand injury after returning, but with the extra time off before the bowl the hope is for him to be ready to crank up the passing attack.

WR Zay Flowers, Boston College: A breakthrough star in 2020, Flowers came up with a solid follow-up with a team-high 44 catches for 746 yards and five scores. He was consistent, but he’s at his best as a home-run hitting playmaker averaging 17 yards per grab as the guy who opens up the attack.

QB Holton Ahlers, East Carolina: It only seems like the lefty has been around for forever. A big part of the fun over the last four seasons, Ahlers is incredibly consistent – even if he throws too many picks – and can take off and make plays with his feet, too. When he hits 65% of his passes, East Carolina wins.

PK Owen Daffer, East Carolina: A First-Team All-Conference weapon, the freshman hit 19-of-23 fired goal dries including a 54-yard bomb to beat Navy. He’s more of a midrange kicker than a blaster – even though he’s solid on kickoffs – he’s done enough to be reliable in key spots.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl: Houston vs Auburn

TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl

Tuesday, December 28
ESPN, 12:00 pm
Protective Stadium, Birmingham, AL
Houston vs Auburn

RB Tank Bigsby, Auburn: The numbers might not be amazing, but he’s the leading rusher and star of the attack whenever he’s able to get a little room. He ran for just over 1,000 yards and a team-high ten touchdowns, and the team’s top all-purpose yardage back can catch a little, too.

LB Zakoby McClain, Auburn: While he might not be the biggest of defenders, he’s a guided missile of a hitter who’s always in on the play. He led the team with 96 tackles with two sacks and eight tackles for loss, and he became even more of a playmaker when the ball was in the air.

QB Clayton Tune, Houston: It’s the first game of the rest of Houston’s life, with a whole lot of talent coming in, a whole lot of hope after a strong season, and with Tune coming back for another season after throwing for close to 3,300 yards with 28 touchdown passes and nine interceptions. With 250 passing yards or more in five of his last six games, he’s just heating up.

DE David Anenih, Houston: Fellow defensive lineman Logan Hall might have been the best NFL prospect on the Cougar front, but Anenih was able to earn First Team All-AAC honors, too. The stats weren’t eye-popping – 28 tackles, four sacks, nine tackles for loss – but he was always pressuring the quarterback.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT SERVPRO First Responder Bowl: Air Force vs Louisville

SERVPRO First Responder Bowl

Tuesday, December 28
ESPN, 3:15 pm
Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas, TX
Air Force vs Louisville

RB Brad Roberts, Air Force: He’s not all that big and he’s not built like your traditional fullback, but he can pound through the middle of the line and is a bear around the goal line. The 205-pounder leads the team with 1,284 yards with 13 touchdowns as the tone-setter for the ground attack.

CB Tre’ Bugg, Air Force: It’s usually not a good thing when one of your cornerbacks leads the team in tackles, but it’s okay in the Air Force scheme. Bugg came up with 61 stops doing a great job coming up with stops in the open field, and he’s the team’s best cover-corner with two picks and 11 broken up passes.

QB Malik Cunningham, Louisville: When he’s on and making the offense hum, he’s as dangerous as any quarterback in college football. He threw for 2,734 yards and 18 touchdowns, threw six picks, and he ran for close to 1,000 yards with 19 touchdowns. However, passing consistency might mean everything.

LB Yasier Abdullah, Louisville: The defense wasn’t always great, but it had a few terrific players who stood out like CB Kei’Trel Clark – a star before suffering a knee injury – and the 6-1, 235-pound Abdullah. The All-ACC performer made 52 tackles with a team-high nine sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Texas Tech vs Mississippi State

AutoZone Liberty Bowl

Tuesday, December 28
ESPN, 6:45 pm
Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, TN
Texas Tech vs Mississippi State

QB Donovan Smith, Texas Tech: New head coach Joey McGuire has a potential star to develop in the 6-5, 230-pound Smith. He’s got the size, arm, and mobility to be special, but he still needs more time and more consistency. Over the final month of the season he had moments of brilliance with 322 yards in a win over Iowa State and a big day in a tough loss to Baylor.

LB Colin Schooler, Texas Tech: The Arizona transfer made a ton of tackles for the Wildcats, and he’s made a ton of tackles for the Red Raiders over the last two years with a team-high 97 this season with 5.5 tackles for loss. The All-Big 12 performer should be a lock for double-digit stops.

QB Will Rogers, Mississippi State: The Mike Leach offense needs its triggerman, and Rogers has grown into the role with a huge statistical season and the upside to do even more going into 2022. This is a showcase moment after completing 75% of his throws for 4,451 yards and 35 touchdowns with just eight picks.

WR Makai Polk, Mississippi State: The Mississippi State offense doesn’t push the ball down the field too much – it’s about midrange throws and keeping things moving. The 6-3, 200-pound Polk has grown into the perfect target for the attack, leading the team with 98 catches for 989 yards and nine scores.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl: NC State vs UCLA

San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl

Tuesday, December 28
FOX, 8:00 pm
Petco Park, San Diego, CA
NC State vs UCLA

QB Devin Leary, NC State: The world was all into Kenny Pickett, Sam Hartman, Sam Howell and other ACC quarterbacks, and Leary was as strong as any of them. He’s not going to run much, but he’ll spread the ball around and keep pushing, connecting on 66% of his throws for 3,433 yards and 35 touchdowns and five picks.

OT Ikem Ekwonu, NC State: A certain first round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, the 6-4, 320-pound tackle – he could play guard at the next level – was the best blocker in the ACC this season. Powerful, quick, and with ideal NFL size, he doesn’t need to show anything else to the scouts, but he’s about to.

QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA: He was one of the first key parts to the Chip Kelly era, and now he finally gets a bowl payoff. He’s not all that big, and he’s not all that flashy, but he’s a tough, smart leader who threw for over 2,400 yards and 21 touchdowns and ran for over 600 yards with nine scores.

RB Zach Charbonnet, UCLA: The Bruins wanted to run the ball for the last few years, and the Michigan transfer helped make it finally happen this season from the start with three 100-yard games in the first four. He closed his 1,137-yard, 13-touchdown season with two more 100-yard performances in wins over USC and Cal.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT Guaranteed Rate Bowl: West Virginia vs Minnesota

Guaranteed Rate Bowl

Tuesday, December 28
FOX, 10:15 pm
Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ
West Virginia vs Minnesota

QB Tanner Morgan, Minnesota: The guy has seen just about everything in his four years, and he’s returning for 2022. Very efficient but very inconsistent this season, he isn’t bombing away in the running offense, but as long as he’s not throwing picks – he gave up eight on the year – everything is fine.

OT Daniel Faalele, Minnesota: The biggest blocker on the biggest offensive line in college football, the 6-9, generously-low listed 380-pounder earned First Team All-Big Ten honors as the main man for the pounding veteran front five. He might be massive, but he can move.

DT Dante Stills, West Virginia: An all-star and main man for the Mountaineer defensive line over the last few years, the 6-4, 280-pound veteran lives behind the line. There’s no problem holding up against the run, but he stands out as a quick interior pass rusher with six sacks with 13 tackles for loss.

RB Leddie Brown, West Virginia: The running game needs its veteran back to rumble. The Mountaineers are 5-0 when Brown runs for over 100 yards, and the hope is for the 1,065-yard, 13-touchdown senior to be the workhorse. He’s a capable receiver, too, he’s a good outlet with 36 grabs with a score.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT Wasabi Fenway Bowl: Virginia vs SMU

Wasabi Fenway Bowl

Wednesday, December 29
ESPN, 11:00 am
Fenway Park, Boston, MA
Virginia vs SMU

QB Tanner Mordecai, SMU: That worked out just fine. The Oklahoma transfer stepped in and cranked up the passing game with 39 touchdown passes with 3,628 yards. He’s good for an interception a game, was held to 66 yards by Cincinnati, and he’s not going to run that much, but he should push for 300 yards.

TE Grant Calcaterra, SMU: A good tight end option at Oklahoma, he transferred over to SMU to be one of the main man for the passing attack. The Mustangs spread the ball around – there are plenty of wideouts who need the ball – but the 6-5, 247-pound Calcaterra will get his share. He caught 38 passes for 365 yards and four scores.

QB Brennan Armstrong, Virginia: He’s got the last name for a quarterback, he’s got the game, and now he’s got a little rest to get right after a slew of injuries. The lefty bombed away for 4,449 yards and 31 touchdowns with ten picks, hitting the 400-yard mark six times for the ACC’s top passing attack.

TE Jelani Woods, Virginia: One of the nation’s best and most talented receiving tight ends, he’s 6-7 and 265 pounds with a great catching radius and NFL upside. He earned All-ACC honors catching 44 passes for 598 yards snd eight scores, with the ability to stretch the field to go along with his consistency.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Virginia Tech vs Maryland

New Era Pinstripe Bowl

Wednesday, December 29
ESPN, 2:15 pm
Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
Virginia Tech vs Maryland

QB Taulia Tagovailoa, Maryland: He’s been great at times, but Maryland loses if he struggles and the offense isn’t firing on all cylinders. He threw for close to 3,600 yards with 24 touchdowns and 11 picks, but seven of those interceptions came in a two-game span. Great late in the year, he threw for 300 yards or more in four of the last five games.

S Jordan Mosely, Maryland: Big, rangy, and experienced, the 6-1, 205-pound four-year starter led the team with 78 tackles with seven broken up passes. He’s fine when the ball is in the air, but he’s used like an extra run stopper and factor in the middle of the field. There won’t be many plays behind the line, but he’ll come up with the tackle in the open field.

LB Dax Hollifield, Virginia Tech: The leader of the defense is coming back for another year, and it all starts in this for the team’s top tackler. One of the team’s top statistical performers over his first three years, he cranked it up to another level this season as more of a pass rusher with 4.5 sacks to go along with 88 tackles.

QB Braxton Burmeister, Virginia Tech: The time off before the bowl should be a huge help after playing through bumps and bruises late in the year. The former Oregon Duck is an okay passer, but he doesn’t turn the ball over and he keeps things moving with his legs running for 514 yards and two scores.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT Cheez-It Bowl: Clemson vs Iowa State

Cheez-It Bowl

Wednesday, December 29
ESPN, 5:45 pm
Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL
Clemson vs Iowa State

QB DJ Uiagalelei, Clemson: It’s the first game of the rest of his life. The superstar talent and recruit struggled all year with just nine touchdowns and nine interceptions, but the talent is undeniable and he showed glimpses of potential greatness in between all of the inconsistencies. One big performance would set the tone for 2021.

DE Myles Murphy, Clemson: The Clemson offense might have struggled throughout the season, but the defense more than did its job. The 6-5, 275-pound Murphy was the team’s best pass rusher with seven sacks and 13 tackles for loss. He’s not alone on a defense with 10 All-ACC selections, but this is his time to stand out.

QB Brock Purdy, Iowa State: The longtime starter wasn’t great in last year’s bowl win over Oregon, and he didn’t lead the way to the big season the the program was hoping for, but he was terrific overall hitting 73% of his throws for close to 3,000 yard and 18 scores. Very, very careful with the ball, he didn’t have interception problems outside of the five against Iowa and Texas Tech combined.

RB Breece Hall, Iowa State: He set the NCAA record with a rushing score in 24 straight games, closing out his Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year season with 242 yards and three touchdowns in the win over TCU. The 6-1, 220-pounder ran for 1,472 yards and 20 touchdowns and caught 36 passes for over 300 yards with three touchdowns.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT Valero Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma vs Oregon

Valero Alamo Bowl

Wednesday, December 29
ESPN, 9:15 pm
Alamodome, San Antonio, TX
Oklahoma vs Oregon

RB Kennedy Brooks, Oklahoma: Will Caleb Williams stick around of transfer under the new coaching staff? How will the rest of the receiving corps look? At the very least, it appears as if Brooks will be around for the bowl game after leading the team with 1,111 yards and ten scores – he’ll be more of a workhorse.

DT Perrion Winfrey, Oklahoma: Star pass rusher Nik Bonitto is leaving early for the NFL Draft, but there are still enough good parts to work around on defense. The hope is for the 6-4, 292-pound Winfrey to be the anchor to steady the D. He’s big, tough, and can get behind the line with 5.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss.

WR Devon Williams, Oregon: The Ducks desperately need to find playmakers on both sides of the ball with all of the massive departures. The 6-5, 207-pound Williams has to step up and do even more after catching 35 passes for 554 yards and four scores. He might not be a volume receiver, but he’s the big play threat.

RB Travis Dye, Oregon: What will the do-it-all running back do with all the changes? He stepped up with CJ Verdell going down, running for 1,118 yards and 15 touchdowns to go along with a team-high 41 catches with two touchdowns. While he’s only 5-10 and 190 pounds, he’s able to go as a workhorse.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT Duke’s Mayo Bowl: North Carolina vs South Carolina

Duke’s Mayo Bowl

Thursday, December 30
ESPN, 11:30 am
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
North Carolina vs South Carolina

QB Sam Howell, North Carolina: It’s his last chance to make a statement for the NFL Draft – he’s expected to leave early, but he’ll play in the bowl. Opinions on him are all over the map on his pro potential, and he has to make this game his after an up-and-down season with 2,851 passing yards with 23 touchdowns along with 829 rushing yards and 11 scores.

LB Tomon Fox, North Carolina: Big, experienced, and dangerous in the backfield, the sixth-year senior was one of the ACC’s best pass rushers with 7.5 sacks and nine tackles for loss among his 31 tackles. He might not be a volume tackler, but when he’s on – like he was in the regular season finale against NC State – he’s a difference-maker.

S Jaylan Foster, South Carolina: The star safety was all over the field doing big things for a defense that turned in a surprisingly nice season. Not only did he lead the team with 91 tackles, but he generated plenty of plays behind the line and picked off five passes. No, he’s not a thumper, but he gets to the ball.

K Parker White, South Carolina: The Gamecock offense isn’t going to come up with a whole lot of big things, and it’s going to need points whenever it can get them. Enter White, who not only nailed all 27 of his extra points, but was 13-of-14 on field goals including a 54-yarder against Kentucky.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT TransPerfect Music City Bowl: Purdue vs Tennessee

TransPerfect Music City Bowl

Thursday, December 30
ESPN, 3:00 pm
Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN
Purdue vs Tennessee

QB Aidan O’Connell, Purdue: His favorite target – David Bell – might be leaving for the NFL, but the passing game should still keep on rolling. O’Connell was brilliant over the last seven games, hitting 74% or more of his passes in each one and threw 16 touchdown passes and no picks over the last five games.

DT Branson Deen, Purdue: No, he’s not as dangerous as future NFL first round draft pick George Karlaftis – who’s leaving for the NFL Draft – but the 6-2, 275-pound tackle is a quick interior presence who can get behind the line. He’s not a space-eater, but he came up with 4.5 sacks with ten tackles for loss.

QB Hendon Hooker, Tennessee: No, he’s not a Heisman winner, and no, he’s not going to be in the mix for the top quarterback taken in the NFL Draft like Matt Corral, but Hooker has a case to be at least discussed among the top SEC quarterbacks – or maybe for No. 2 behind Bryce Young. The former Virginia Tech transfer

LB Jeremy Banks, Tennessee: He’s not all that big, but the 224-pound former running back can get around in a hurry and do big things when he gets there. He led the team with 108 tackles with 4.5 sacks, nine tackles for loss, a he got a pick, but his thing is tackling with 12 or more in five of his last six games.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl: Wisconsin vs Arizona State

SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl

Thursday, December 30
ESPN, 10:30 pm
Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV
Wisconsin vs Arizona State

QB Jayden Daniels, Arizona State: Will he test out the NFL Draft waters after this? The slim 6-3, 185-pounder is slippery in the open field with 670 rushing yards and six scores, but he had a disappointing year with the passing game with just ten touchdown passes and nine picks. This has to be his showcase game.

DE Tyler Johnson, Arizona State: At 6-4 and 280 he has NFL size to go along with the pass rushing ability to fit in any scheme. Consistent over his four year career, he’s coming into this with 15.5 sacks and 30.5 tackles for loss as one of the leaders on the solid defensive front.

RB Braelon Allen, Wisconsin: The 17-year-old breakout star took over the workhouse early in the season and ripped off seven straight 100-yard games before getting stuffed by Minnesota. Always looking like he’s running downfield, he’s a huge 6-2, 238-pounder with the maturity and patience in his running style beyond his years.

LB Leo Chenal, Wisconsin: On one of the nation’s best defenses and in one of the best linebacking corps in college football, Chenal is a standout with 106 tackles in ten games – he missed the first two games of the year – with a non-stop motor. Always in the backfield, he earned All-Big Ten honors with seven sacks and 17 tackles for loss.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT TaxSlayer Gator Bowl: Wake Forest vs Texas A&M

TaxSlayer Gator Bowl

Friday, December 31
ESPN, 11:00 am
TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, FL
Bowl Tie-Ins: ACC vs. SEC
Wake Forest vs Texas A&M

RB Devon Achane, Texas A&M: A few of the star Aggies are opting out, but even if they were still around the 5-9, 185-pound Swiss army knife would still standout. Great no matter how he gets the ball in his hands, ran for 910 yards and nine scores and caught 24 passes for 261 yards and a touchdown. He’s also a devastating return man.

QB Zach Calzada, Texas A&M: Can the sophomore make a statement for the 2022 job? He’s been fine. He doesn’t turn the ball over, threw multiple touchdown passes in seven of his last ten games, and he was the star in the win over Alabama. However, he’s not accurate enough, connecting on just 56% of his throws.

QB Sam Hartman, Wake Forest: The Wake Forest offense is as breathtaking and dangerous as any in college football. However, the interceptions have been flowing over the second half of the season, including four in the ACC Championship loss to Pitt. When he’s on, just assume 300 passing yards and a whole lot of big plays.

WR AT Perry, Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons have a slew of offensive playmakers, and the 6-5, 205-pound Perry is the best and most dangerous of the bunch averaging 19 yards per grab. He hit the 100-yard mark six times with a team-high 1,166 yards and 14 touchdowns on his 61 catches.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl: Miami vs Washington State

Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl

Friday, December 31
CBS, 12:30 pm
Sun Bowl Stadium, El Paso, TX
Miami vs Washington State

QB Tyler Van Dyke, Miami: No one exemplified the toughness of the team through a hard season more than Van Dyke. Thrown into the fire after D’Eriq King got hurt, the 6-4, 225-pound freshman balled out in game after game, finishing with 2,931 passing yards with 25 touchdowns and six picks with a rushing score.

DT Leonard Taylor, Miami: It was a disappointing season for the defense, but there’s hope with a rising star up front. The new coaching staff is going to build around the 6-3, 305-pound Taylor, who came up with a team-high 9.5 tackles for loss with 21 tackles and two sacks in his freshman campaign.

QB Jayden de Laura, Washington State: He might not be accurate enough or consistent enough for what the offense needs to do, but he’s good for 250 passing yards ever time out and he’s decent at limiting the mistakes. He closed out the regular season red hot, hitting 84% of his throws for 245 yards in a win over Washington. The offense is on his shoulders.

RB Max Borghi, Washington State: One of the best all-around backs you probably haven’t seen yet, Borghi was a pass catching and rushing touchdown machine as a sophomore, got hurt as a junior, and this year ran for 12 touchdowns. He closed out with 258 yards and four touchdowns in his last two games.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl: Central Michigan vs Boise State

Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl

Friday, December 31
Barstool Sports, 2:00 pm
Arizona Stadium, Tucson, AZ
Central Michigan vs Boise State

QB Hank Bachmeier, Boise State: Banged up throughout his first two years, he was able to get through the season connecting on 63% of his passes for close to 3,100 yards with 20 touchdowns and eight picks. He’s not a runner, and he needs to be a little more consistent, but when he’s on the offense is terrific.

WR Khalil Shakir, Boise State: One of the Mountain West’s most explosive stars, the team’s leading receiver – and strong pro prospect – caught 77 passes for 1,117 yards and seven scores. The offense tries to get him the ball on the move, deep, and every other way possible including for the ground game and as a return man.

QB Daniel Richardson, Central Michigan: The freshman took over the quarterbacking gig early in the season and the offense started to roll from there. The 5-10, 205-pounder is built like a running back, but he doesn’t run. He’s a passer hitting 61% of his throws for 2,374 yards and 23 touchdowns with five interceptions.

RB Lew Nichols, Central Michigan: One of the nation’s most underappreciated backs, all he did was run for a nation-leading 1,710 yards and 15 scores to go along with 38 catches and two touchdowns. The workhorse of workhorses, he averaged over two more carries per game than the field averaging close to 26 per game.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT Outback Bowl: Penn State vs Arkansas

Outback Bowl

Saturday, January 1
ESPN2, 12:00 pm
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Penn State vs Arkansas

QB KJ Jefferson, Arkansas: The 6-3, 245-pounder came into his own with close to 2,600 passing yards and 21 touchdown passes with just three picks. A bruising runner who can hit the home run, he took off for 554 yards and five scores. With his size, quiet feet, and big arm, he’s as cool as calm-looking as a quarterback gets.

WR Treylon Burks, Arkansas: The team’s leading receiver – the No. 2 man has 21 catches – the explosive 6-3, 225-pound Burks made 66 grabs for 1,104 yards and 11 scores, and he occasionally gets used for the rushing attack. Red-hot at the end of the regular season, he ripped through Alabama and Missouri for 15 catches for 308 yards and three scores.

QB Sean Clifford, Penn State: Banged up in key parts of the season, ineffective in others, it’s been a strange year. With a few weeks off to rest up, now we get to see him try continuing the success of the amazing 313-yard, three-score day against Michigan State to close out the regular season. He threw 20 touchdown passes with six interceptions with no picks in the final four games.

S Jaquan Brisker, Penn State: One of the best players on the excellent secondary, the 6-1, 200-pound senior should be a key part of an NFL defensive backfield next year at this time. The All-Big Ten performer made 64 tackles with two picks, five broken up passes, and six plays in the backfield.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT Vrbo Citrus Bowl: Iowa vs Kentucky

Vrbo Citrus Bowl

Saturday, January 1
ABC, 1:00 pm
Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL
Iowa vs Kentucky

LB Jack Campbell, Iowa: The Hawkeyes always have high-volume tackling linebackers, but Campbell is a wee bit different. He’s a defensive end-sized linebacker with great range and toughness against the run, making a team-high 149 tackles with just enough pass rush ability to matter. With his 6-5, 243-pound frame, he’s tough to throw over.

C Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa: The Iowa offensive line wasn’t all that great. It struggled for the running game and allowed way too many plays in the backfield, but the 6-3, 290-pound Linderbaum still had an All-America-caliber season and will soon be an NFL starter on someone’s interior. He’s a technician who could go in the first round.

RB Chris Rodriguez Jr., Kentucky: Pound, pound, and pound some more, the tough 5-11, 224-pound veteran back became the main man everything works around. He didn’t do much in losses to Georgia and Mississippi State, but he ran for 99 yards or more in all nine of the other games against FBS teams.

DE Josh Paschal, Kentucky: The Wildcats needed more of a pass rush – and veteran leadership – and the 6-3, 278-pound fifth-year senior provided it. He was always good over his first few seasons, but this year he took over with 5.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss to go along with 53 stops.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT Mercari Texas Bowl: Kansas State vs LSU

Mercari Texas Bowl

Tuesday, January 4
ESPN, Time 9:00 pm
NRG Stadium, Houston, TX
Kansas State vs LSU

DE Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas State: A reserve and part of the rotation in his freshman season, the 6-3, 255-pound was a dominant force of a pass rusher this year with 11 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss an an All-Big 12 run. While he’s a wee bit feast-or-famine as a pass rusher, he was steady against the run.

RB Deuce Vaughn, Kansas State: Don’t be fooled by the 5-6, 173-pound size; he’s as tough as nails and can be used as a workhorse runner. Dangerous in the open field and great around the goal line, he ran for 1,258 yards and 15 scores, caught 47 passes for 471 yards and three scores, and when needed, he can handle the ball at least 20 times.

QB Max Johnson, LSU: Will he be Brian Kelly’s guy when the time comes? The 6-5, 220-pounder has talent and experience, and he’s careful with the ball with just six picks and none in the last three games. Up-and-down in the team’s up-and-down year, he close with two huge days in wins over ULM and Texas A&M – 625 yards and five touchdowns. Now the O is on him.

LB Damone Clark, LSU: While he could still end up getting ready for the NFL Draft, he has one more shot to raise his stock just a little bit more. The 6-3, 240-pound senior has size and the all-around ability the next-level types want with a team-high 137 tackles with 5.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: Michigan State vs Pitt

New Year’s Six Bowl Schedule

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

Thursday, December 30
ESPN, 7:00 pm
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
Michigan State vs Pitt

RB Kenneth Walker, Michigan State: While he says he’s not opting out, does he need this game to up his draft stock? Not really, but the 5-10, 210-pound back will get a chance to answer the snubbing by the Heisman voters who didn’t make him a finalist after running for 1,636 yards and 18 touchdowns.

WR Jayden Reed, Michigan State: Kenneth Walker might have been the breakout star in the great season for the Spartans, but Reed also blew up with a team-high 53 catches for 946 yards and eight scores. Explosive, he averaged close to 18 yards per catch, ran for a score, and returned two punts for touchdowns.

QB Kenny Pickett, Pitt: He bet on himself and won. Okay as a senior in 2020, he would’ve likely been a mid-to-late round NFL Draft pick, but he came back for a fifth year, threw 42 touchdown passes, ran for five more, and cranked up over 4,300 yards on the way to an ACC Championship. Now a whole lot of NFL fans – hello, Steelers – are going to be very interested to see him one more time.

DT Calijah Kancey, Pitt: The passing game took center stage this year, but under head coach Pat Narduzzi, the pass rush has been among the best in America over the last several seasons. The 6-0, 275-pound Kancey isn’t huge, but he’s a First Team All-ACC performer for his ability to get behind the line with seven sacks and 13 tackles for loss.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT Playstation Fiesta Bowl: Notre Dame vs Oklahoma State

Playstation Fiesta Bowl

Saturday, January 1
ESPN, 1:00 pm
State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Notre Dame vs Oklahoma State

RB Kyren Williams, Notre Dame: No, he’s not huge, and he only had 20 carries in two games, but he’s an ultra-quick back who got the job done for the offense with a team-high 1,005 yards and 14 touchdowns with 42 catches for 359 yards and three scores. He only averaged 4.9 yards per carry, but when he’s in the open field, look out.

LB JD Bertrand, Notre Dame: With star S Kyle Hamilton out injured, Bertrand helped the defense by stepping up with a whole lot of tackles. While he might not get into the backfield, he made 92 tackles as the best player against the run. His 55 solo stops were six more than the total of the No. 2 tackler, LB Drew White.

QB Spencer Sanders, Oklahoma State: It certainly wasn’t his fault that Oklahoma State didn’t win the Big 12 Championship, but he picked the wrong time to throw four interceptions and no touchdown passes. Careful with the ball over the rest of the year, he was a steady passer and ran for 539 yards and six touchdowns.

LB Malcolm Rodriguez, Oklahoma State: The best player on one of the nation’s top defenses, the 5-11, 225-pounder plays bigger than his size with 399 tackles in his five years. The Big 12 all-star made a team-high 120 tackles with three sacks and 15 tackles for loss.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe | Cheez-It
Alamo | Mayo | Music City | Vegas
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator | Sun | Arizona
Outback | Citrus |
Texas
NY6 Peach | Fiesta | Rose | Sugar
CFP Orange | Cotton
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT Rose Bowl Game: Ohio State vs Utah

Rose Bowl Game

Saturday, January 1
ESPN, 5:00 pm
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA
Ohio State vs Utah

QB CJ Stroud, Ohio State: Brilliant in his first run at the starting job, the Heisman finalist was good right away and got better and better. One of the nation’s most efficient passers, he averaged close to ten yards per throw with 38 touchdowns and five picks, going seven of the last eight games without throwing an interception.

WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State: Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave are NFL-caliber receivers who had huge seasons, but it’s acknowledges that the 6-0, 198-pound sophomore has talent at a whole other level. Explosive enough to be used as a punt returner, he also led the way with 80 catches for 1,259 yards and six scores.

QB Cameron Rising, Utah: The offense was okay, but the team wasn’t winning. Rising took over the starting job in the third week of the season – a loss to San Diego State – but he turned into the catalyst for a Pac-12 Championship, finishing with 18 touchdown passes, just five picks, and with the ability to make things happen on the ground, too.

DE Mike Tafua, Utah: The latest in a long line of fantastic Utah pass rushers, Tafua was good from the start, but four years later he has become a consistent force. The 6-3, 250-pound hybrid came up with 48 tackles with 9.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss.

2021-2022 Bowl Players To Watch
Dec 17-18 Bahamas |
Cure | Boca Raton
New Mexico | Indy | LendingTree | LA
Dec 20-25 New Orl | Myrtle | Potato
Frisco | Armed Forces | Frisco Classic
Gasparillia | Hawaii | Camellia
Dec 27-28 Quick Lane | Military | Birm
1st Respond | Liberty | Holiday | Guar Rate
Dec 29-30 Fenway | Pinstripe |