TaxAct Camelia Bowl 12/25 @ 2:30pm EST
Georgia State v. Ball State
One of the weaker games across the bowl slate, so don’t alter your Christmas plans to tune into this one. Georgia State finished 6-2 in the Sun Belt, but a poor performance in their non-conference schedule left them with a middling 7-5 record. The offense is pedestrian. The Panthers finished the regular season with the 82nd ranked scoring offense in the country. They rely almost completely on the run, averaging 221 yards per game on the ground. They are truly a three-headed monster on the ground, with running backs Tucker Gregg and Jamyest Williams leading the backfield and starting quarterback Darren Grainger presenting a true dual-threat option. None figure to have a real future in the NFL.
Ball State is probably more intriguing as far as devy options go. Senior wide receiver Justin Hall is perhaps the most well-known name on the roster. It feels like he’s been at Ball St. forever, and this year he really developed as a multi-faceted weapon. Hall led the team in receptions (61), receiving yardage (613), and tied for the team lead in rushing TDs (6). Hall can make an NFL roster, but isn’t a guy I need to have in rookie drafts.
The only other player on Ball State worth mentioning is true freshman running back Carson Steele. In the middle of the season, Steele grabbed the job and ran with it. He finished the year with 829 yards and six touchdowns. He may be a nice producer for campus rosters over the next 2-3 years.
Quick Lane Bowl 12/27 @ 11 am EST
Western Michigan v. Nevada
This game was intriguing for about two seconds before Nevada decided to be stingy with their investment in the football program. Head Coach Jay Norvell left for Colorado State and has brought virtually the entire offense with him. Coupled with the opt-out of Carson Strong and Romeo Doubs, the Nevada offense may not make it past the fifty-yard line the entire contest. This could be a tryout for next season, but with a new staff and most of the backups already gone, I don’t know how much we can truly learn here.
Western Michigan is essentially playing a home game here, and they have most of their players participating in this one. Quarterback Kaleb Eleby has received a tiny amount of buzz in NFL draft circles but likely needs to step his game up next year to lock that in. Wide receiver Skyy Moore is the biggest name on offense. He finished the season on a hot streak, with 34 catches for 494 yards and five touchdowns. He’ll need to continue that streak with WR2 Jaylen Hall entering the transfer portal.
Military Bowl Presented by Peraton 12/27 @ 2:30pm EST
East Carolina v. Boston College
The most intriguing game across the limited Christmas slate features two teams with fun offensive pieces that lack consistency. Boston College received the most fantastic Christmas present of all with the return of star quarterback Phil Jurkovec and wide receiver Zay Flowers. The two have great chemistry, although they’ve struggled to regain that connection since Jurkovec’s return from injury late in the season. I’d expect them to try to get Flowers going early and often if they want to win this game. There are several other average players across this offense, but none that I consider “must-haves.”
Weirdly enough, ECU may have more players I want on my c2c rosters. Junior QB Holton Ahlers is likely to return for a final year in 2022 because the NFL won’t call anytime soon. He’s decent enough as far as college QBs go. The weapons around him are a well-rounded bunch. RB Keaton Mitchell is one of the most explosive athletes in all of college football. He finished 2021 with over 1,100 yards rushing. He’s a threat to get into the end zone every time he touches the ball. WR Tyler Snead leads the receiving room and is a decent outlet for Ahlers.