Posts Tagged ‘Little Caesars Bowl free picks’

Little Caesars Bowl Picks: Florida International vs. Toledo Analysis

December 26th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on Little Caesars Bowl Picks: Florida International vs. Toledo Analysis

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For the first time in the history of the program, the Florida International Golden Panthers are going to be playing in a bowl game. They’re heading to the Motor City in this post-Christmas treat in order to make your college football picks, as they take on the Toledo Rockets in a standalone game on Sunday night. Which team will help make great Little Caesars Bowl picks for you this weekend? Find out with these three keys to the game.

Key #1: Wesley Carroll has to be the leader for FIU both on the field and on the sidelines
Carroll transferring to Florida International really made a tremendous difference this year for the Golden Panthers. They know that the need to really get some strong leadership in this game, and Carroll is the only player that has even sniffed a bowl game before. Carroll was the starting quarterback in the 2007 Liberty Bowl, which featured an ugly 10-3 win for the Mississippi State Bulldogs over the UCF Knights for the team’s first bowl win in a number of years. Carroll went 8-of-18 for 39 yards with a pick, and he ran for 21 yards in the victory, but we have to remember that he was only a freshman at that point. Now, he is a senior leader for a very young team that is clearly on the rise in the Sun Belt. His numbers were exactly stellar this year, as he only threw for 2,483 yards with a TD/INT ratio of 15/13, but he was clearly head and shoulders above most of the rest of the signal callers that the Sun Belt had to offer this year. Carroll helped Head Coach Mario Cristobal put together a well balanced offense, and averaging 403.8 yards and 28.3 points per game were both the all-time highs for the Golden Panthers in their brief history.

Little Caesars Bowl Odds at Diamond Sportsbook
Florida International Golden Panthers +1.5
Toledo Rockets -1.5
Over/Under 56
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Key #2: With Austin Dantin out, the offensive line has to help the Rockets
QB Austin Dantin was having a great year for the Rockets before he was injured at the end of the season, which really has only left QB Terrance Owens left to lead this offense. Owens has played relatively well in his first collegiate action as well, completing 60.3 percent of his passes for 1,112 yards and 12 TDs against just two picks, and he might be well on his way to having a great career at Toledo. However, at times, he has been flustered this year, and he clearly doesn’t have the legs that Dantin had, which limits his ability to escape. That means that Owens is going to want to turn around and hand the ball off to RB Adonis Thomas quite a bit. Thomas averaged a whopping 6.0 yards per carry this year, and though he didn’t quite reach 1,000 yards on the season, he did score six times and is a legitimate threat to make it to the century mark in every game that he plays. The trick is going to be opening up holes for Thomas and giving Owens time in the pocket to deliver the football. That means that this offensive line is going to have to play quite well against the Golden Panthers, who had a sneakily good defense this year at 365.1 yards per game allowed.

Key #3: FIU must stop the man that Toledo must get the ball to: Eric Page
Through three games this year, WR Eric Page only had 13 catches for 156 yards and a TD. In his final nine games, the sophomore averaged a whopping 9.0 catches and 102.8 yards per game, and he scored seven times. For his career, Page already has 176 catches for 2,240 yards and 15 trips to the end zone, and he is going to be a force to be reckoned with in this one even though he is only a sophomore. These last two games of the regular season, wins against both the Bowling Green Falcons and Central Michigan Chippewas, produced 21 catches for 238 yards and three TDs, and Page has also found the end zone in five straight. The Golden Panthers ranked No. 40 in the country against the pass this year at 205.5 yards per game. They did have a few games this year in which they faced some great receivers, and for the most part, they did fairly well. They kept WR Jeff Fuller down to just four grabs for 73 yards for the Texas A&M Aggies, and they limited WR Jerrel Jernigan for the Troy Trojans to just 32 yards in spite of the fact that he had ten receptions.