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Friday Bowl TV - Three more games today

Another round of solid bowl games on tap today. Games get started a little earlier today with Louisiana-Monroe and Ohio kicking off a 2pm ET.

Eastern time listed.

NFL:

No games

College:

Independence Bowl - Louisiana Monroe vs. Ohio - 2 - ESPN

Russell Athletic Bowl - Rutgers vs. Virginia Tech - 5:30 - ESPN

Car Care Bowl - Minnesota vs. Texas Tech - 9 - ESPN

High School:

No games

A couple grad assistants are getting their shot in a bowl

Tonight in the Belk Bowl, Cincinnati enters a unique situation with a handful of their grad assistants and off the field guys taking some on the field coaching roles, after Butch Jones took many of the Bearcat assistants to Knoxville with him.

Offensive grad assistants Cody Kempt and Joe Hensel has been working with the quarterbacks and offensive line, respectively, and defensive grad assistant Chase Gibson has been coaching the linebackers in preparation for the Belk Bowl. Also adding on the field coaching duties this past week was special teams quality control coach Greg Meyer, who will be coordinating the special teams tonight.

Keep an eye on those guys and their respective positions tonight.

Having this chance in a bowl game is a great opportunity for any grad assistant, and we hear the guys in Cincinnati are very excited and prepared to make the most of their unique opportunity.

Let us know of the other graduate assistants out there that have been elevated to an on the field role during bowl season, and we'll be sure to recognize them.

Behind the scenes at LSU with Tommy Moffitt

Aspiring strength coaches have a handful of guys in the profession to look up to. One of those guys is LSU strength and conditioning coordinator Tommy Moffitt.

Moffit has transformed countless numbers of boys into men down on the Bayou, and him and his staff are highly regarded as one of the best staffs around in developing talent. Last season, we took a closer look at some of him and his staff's accomplishments.

Earlier today, LSU released a behind the scenes video of Moffitt and what his players have to say about him and how he helps them from the humor he provides, to the heartfelt guidance he's capable of when they need it the most over the course of a season..

"We have some fun too. College football is hard enough that if you can't have fun and laugh, then it's not worth doing." Moffitt shares in the video.

He also shares the following thought on why he beleives the profession, and the platform that it provides, is so important for young people.

"We talk about a lot of things, and I think that's one of the most important things about our profession. People get so caught up in winning and losing that they forget what the real purpose of this is."

"Every kid, and every coach for that matter, every person should be better for being a part of this great university. That's honestly my number one goal."

VIDEO: Northern Illinois reveals Orange bowl unis

Northern Ilinois will will face Florida State on New Years Day in some new threads.

Judging from the reaction from the players, they're pretty jacked about the new look...and we'd have to agree. These are pretty sweet. 

The Scoop on Thursday's bowl games

Bowl season really gets cranking Thursday with the first of four straight non-Sundays with three or more bowl games. 

Military Bowl - San Jose State vs. Bowling Green (3 p.m. ET, ESPN): San Jose State travels across the country to Washington, D.C., looking to close out one of the best seasons in school history. Playing for interim coach Kent Baer, the Spartans have won six straight and lost only to Pac-12 champion Stanford and WAC champion Utah State. San Jose State has thrown the ball 425 times and run it 423, but ranks 102nd nationally in rushing and second in passing efficiency. Spartans quarterbacks complete nearly 72 percent of their passes for 9.25 yards per attempt with 33 TDs and 9 INTs.

Dave Clawson's Bowling Green team makes its first bowl appearance in three seasons having won seven of its last eight contests. The Falcons' only loss in that eight-game stretch came in a 31-24 defeat to Kent State, while opponents were held to 14 points or less in all seven of Bowling Green's wins. Clawson's team finished towards the bottom of the MAC in every offensive metric but nothing about the San Jose State attack will scare the Bowling Green defense. In an offense-heavy league, the Falcons led the MAC and ranked 14th or better nationally in every major defensive statistic. 

Belk Bowl - Cincinnati vs. Duke (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): Perhaps no team limps to its bowl game worse than Duke, with losses in four of its last five games often coming in blowout fashion. But that's not the point. After an 18-year drought, Duke is back in the postseason. Yes, it may just be a two-hour trip down state instead of to a beach somewhere, but the point is, they're there. As we pointed out yesterday, Duke's defense will contend with a unit that allows less than half of what the Blue Devils' defense does, but David Cutcliffe's team boast the only receiving corps with three pass catchers with 60 or more grabs.

Steve Stripling steps in as Cincinnati's interim coach, and his task is very simple: protect the football, win the game. Cincinnati comes out ahead on almost every statistic, especially on defense, but turnovers have been the Bearcats' undoing this season. All three of their losses have featured Cincinnati quarterbacks throwing multiple interceptions. Avoid that, and Cincinnati should feel good about its chances. 

Holiday Bowl - UCLA vs. Baylor (9:45 p.m. ET, ESPN): After defensive struggles in each of the past two seasons, the Holiday Bowl should get back to its roots: a late night shootout. UCLA boasts a diverse offense that can lean on FBS's eighth-leading rusher Johnathan Franklin, who trailed only Ka'Deem Carey and Kenjon Barner among Pac-12 rushers with 1,700 yards and 13 touchdowns. UCLA can also turn to quarterback Brett Hundley, who ranks near the top 25 in the country in total offense as a redshirt freshman with 3,411 passing yards, 365 rushing yards and 35 total touchdowns. Offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone can also make Baylor contend with massive tight end Joseph Fauria, who has snagged 41 grabs for 578 yards and 11 scores.

On the opposite sideline is a Baylor team that was one of the hottest teams in the last month of the regular season. If college football had a 48-team tournament, this would be the 7-5 team no heavyweight would want to see in their bracket. Baylor closed the year by stomping Kansas State and taking care of Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. Quarterback Nick Florence has a chance to shatter Robert Griffin III's year-old total offense records, as he leads the country in total offense with 4,121 passing yards and 531 rushing yards. A key figure in Baylor's rally has been running back Lache Seastrunk, who rushed 54 times for 508 yards (9.41 ypc) and two touchdowns over the Bears' last three games. 

If it seems like this preview has focused primarily on the two teams' respective offenses, that's not an accident. UCLA ranks eighth in the Pac-12 in total defense and scoring defense, while Baylor ranks last in the Big 12 in each statistic. 

 

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