Humanitarian Bowl
Maryland vs. Nevada, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Line: Nevada by 2.
Series record: First meeting.
What's at Stake
A springboard to promising 2009 for Nevada. The Wolf Pack have only seven seniors expected to start against Maryland and most of their potent offensive stars will return, highlighted by WAC offensive player of the year Colin Kaepernick.
Maryland would like to continue its run of bowl success, having won three of its last four bowl matchups.
Key Matchup
Nevada's running game vs. Maryland's front seven. The basic principle of Nevada's pistol offense is to create confusion. Teams that have been burned by Nevada's run game have struggled with maintaining assignments. Maryland's defensive line and linebackers need to be disciplined.
Players to Watch
cott going will be key for Maryland in keeping Nevada's offense on the sidelines.
Nevada: QB Colin Kaepernick. He does it all. Dangerous throwing or running, Kaepernick has 1,115 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns to go along with 2,479 yards passing and 19 scoring passes. He could have a big day against a Maryland defense that ranked in the bottom third of the ACC.
Figures
Maryland trying to finish with eight wins for fifth time in the last eight seasons. ... Only Nevada's second game against an ACC team. Previous was a 21-20 loss to Miami in the Humanitarian Bowl two years ago. ... Maryland will be without a pair of assistants. Danny Pearman (tight ends/special teams) took a job at Clemson, while defensive coordinator Chris Cosh went to Kansas State. ... Maryland ranked third in the country this season with four wins over teams ranked in the AP Top 25.
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Texas Bowl
Rice vs. Western Michigan, 8 p.m. (NFL Network)
Line: Rice by 2 1/2.
Series record: First meeting.
What's at Stake
Western Michigan is seeking its first bowl win in four tries and its first 10-win season. The Owls are chasing their first 10-win season since 1949, and second in school history. Rice hasn't won a bowl game since Jan. 1, 1954.
Key Matchup
iency and averaged 318 passing yards per game. He threw 41 touchdown passes and only seven interceptions during the regular season. Western Michigan ranked 96th in the nation in pass defense, yielding 249 yards per game.
Players to Watch
Rice: WR Jarett Dillard. The senior was Rice's top receiver in career yards and catches before the season even began. He leads the nation with 19 touchdown catches and averaged 15.5 yards on 79 receptions.
Western Michigan: WR Jamarko Simmons. The senior ranked 10th nationally in receiving yards per game, compiling 1,184 yards on 98 catches. He's the only Bronco to catch 80 or more passes in two seasons and has at least one reception in 29 consecutive games.
Figures
Clement and Western Michigan quarterback Tim Hiller have thrown for a combined total of 7,339 yards and 75 touchdowns this season. ... Western Michigan has trailed 14-0 in each of its previous three bowl games. ... Rice has won six straight games for the second time since 2006. The Owls' last seven-game winning streak came in 1949. ... Both teams had losing records in 2007.

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