Today’s bowl schedule: Josh Rosen and UCLA take on Kansas State in prime-time Cactus Bowl
College football’s bowl season continues today with a three-game slate on ESPN.
The action begins at 1:30 p.m. with the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl, where Utah (6-6) faces West Virginia (7-5) from the Cotton Bowl stadium in Dallas.
Utah has had a disappointing season after three straight top 25 finishes. The Utes are hoping to finish on a high note.
West Virginia battled injuries for most of the year, and those hardships will continue today as the Mountaineers expect to be without starting quarterback Will Grier and running back Justin Crawford.
The second game on the slate is the Quick Lane Bowl, from Ford Field in Detroit. Duke, which posted a 6-6 record while competing in the ACC, faces Northern Illinois, which went 8-4 overall out of the MAC.
The Blue Devils are back in bowl action for the first time since 2015. They needed a win over Wake Forest in the final week of the regular season to become eligible for postseason play.
Northern Illinois had a bounce-back season after going 5-7 last year. The Huskies’ biggest win came back in September, when they returned two interceptions for touchdowns to upset Nebraska — handing the Huskers their first-ever loss to a MAC team.
In the final game, Kansas State (7-5) takes on UCLA (6-6) in the Cactus Bowl from Arizona in a battle of two under-achieving teams.
K-State won four of its last five games in Big 12 play, thanks in large part to backup quarterback Skylar Thompson, a redshirt freshman who started the season at No. 3 on the depth chart.
The main storyline for UCLA is that this will be the last game for QB Josh Rosen, who is expected to skip his senior year and join the field for the 2018 NFL Draft, where he’s expected to be a high first-round pick.
Former Oregon and Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly will take over as head coach at UCLA next season. In the meantime, the Bruins will be coached by current offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch.