Conference USA

C-USA Bowl Projections: North Texas, UAB and La. Tech chase the best bids

Gautier’s Deandre Torrey scores three touchdowns against USM

Former Gautier and MGCCC standout Deandre Torrey scored three touchdowns in the second half to lead North Texas past Southern Miss 30-7. Torrey set a new career mark in rushing yardage Saturday with 17 carries for 95 yards.
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Former Gautier and MGCCC standout Deandre Torrey scored three touchdowns in the second half to lead North Texas past Southern Miss 30-7. Torrey set a new career mark in rushing yardage Saturday with 17 carries for 95 yards.

With six weeks remaining in the regular season, I see eight bowl-eligible Conference USA teams in the hunt for seven tie-ins.

FAU (3-3) and Southern Miss (2-3) are the teams that will likely be fighting in the final weeks to get to the six-win mark while UAB (5-1), Louisiana Tech (4-2), Middle Tennessee (4-2), Marshall (4-2) and FIU (4-2) should be bowl eligible headed into the final week of the season. North Texas (6-1) has already reached bowl eligibility.

With plenty of football left to play, here are the first C-USA Bowl Projections for the 2018 campaign:

New Mexico Bowl — Nevada vs. FAU — 1 p.m., Dec. 15

We’ll see how things shake out, but there’s a good chance Southern Miss and FAU will battle for the final bowl bid out of C-USA. At the moment, give FAU the edge with three wins already in the bank.

New Orleans Bowl — Appalachian State vs. UAB — 8 p.m., Dec. 15

UAB has only played in two bowl games in its history and they’ve been in Hawaii in 2004 and the Bahamas last year. Blazer fans finally have a chance to make a reasonable drive to watch their team play in the postseason.

Boca Raton Bowl — Georgia Southern vs. FIU — 6 p.m., Dec. 18

This wouldn’t be a bad trip for either fan base. FIU is 2-0 in C-USA play and has a decent shot at taking the East Division.

Gasparilla Bowl (Tampa) — Cincinnati vs. North Texas — 8 p.m., Dec. 20

The Mean Green may have a shot to stay close to home and play in the First Responders Bowl in Dallas, but Louisiana Tech should have first dibs on that game. This would be a healthy trip for UNT fans, but Cincinnati would offer a solid match-up.

Bahamas Bowl — Western Michigan vs. Middle Tennessee — 11:30 a.m., Dec. 21

This would be a rematch of the 2015 Bahamas Bowl, which WMU won 45-31.

Hawaii Bowl — Hawaii vs. Marshall — 9:30 p.m., Dec. 22

The Thundering Herd will likely have a hard time getting past the six-win mark, likely narrowing down their options.

First Responders Bowl Bowl (Dallas) — Purdue vs. Louisiana Tech — 12:30 p.m., Dec. 26

Louisiana Tech draws well in the DFW area and Purdue usually travels well for bowl games.

Patrick Magee: 228-896-2333, @Patrick_Magee.
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