Fiesta Bowl Free Pick: Connecticut Huskies vs. Oklahoma Sooners
(8-4, 8-4 ATS)
(11-2, 7-6 ATS)
Over the course of the last few years, the Fiesta Bowl has provided us with some memorable moments. The Oklahoma Sooners have been the subject of two tremendous upsets in their history here, losing to the West Virginia Mountaineers in their first game without Head Coach Rich Rodriguez. However, their biggest blunder to date came against the Boise State Broncos to really start the wave of mid major success in BCS games. The good news is that there is a BCS foe on deck, but the foe is one that has never been here before. The Connecticut Huskies are the foe in this game, and they’ll be looking to continue the upsets in OU history as the biggest dogs on the bowl betting board.
RB Jordan Todman is the man that is going to have to beat the Sooners in this one. He was a real workhorse this year, carrying the ball 302 times, the second most in the country. Todman had 1,574 yards and 14 TDs this year, making him one of the most explosive runners in the Big East. There were really no tremendous passing threats this year. QB Cody Endres was suspended for the season, while QB Zach Frazer only threw for 1,202 yards and five TDs. Defensively, the stats weren’t always there, but the job was ultimately done. The Huskies allowed just 352.8 yards per game this year, but when push came to shove, they didn’t concede more than 30 points in a single game this season. Teams only averaged 19.8 points per game as well.
Then there are the Sooners, who are the decided favorites on the Fiesta Bowl betting lines. Whereas the Huskies play a very ugly game, OU can get itself into some shootouts, thanks in part to a great defense, but thanks in part to a very iffy defense as well. It looks like years of producing NFL talent on the defensive side of the ball has finally caught up with Head Coach Bob Stoops, who had a ‘D’ this year that allowed 364.6 yards per game and gave up at least 33 points three times from October 23rd through the end of the season. Offensively, the trio of QB Landry Jones, RB DeMarco Murray, and WR Ryan Broyles were fantastic. These three helped this team get to an average of 482.4 yards per game this year, ranking No. 12 in the country. Jones threw for 4,289 yards and 35 TDs this year, and he connected with Broyles 118 times for 1,452 yards and 13 scores. Murray had 1,121 yards on the ground and 595 more as a receiving, and he totaled 19 trips to the end zone.
The difference between this UConn team and the Boise State and West Virginia clubs of the past is that this squad is just one dimensional. If Frazer doesn’t get the passing game going, there’s just no chance to beat these Sooners. Even though many think that this is going to be yet another horrifying game for OU. However, the third time is the charm for Oklahoma, which will just rumble to an easy victory in the Fiesta Bowl.
Fiesta Bowl Pick: Oklahoma Sooners -16.5
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