Today's games

December 30, 2004|By Orlando Sentinel

Continental Tire Bowl

No. 25 Boston College (8-3) vs. North Carolina (6-5)

Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C..

Time, TV: 1 p.m., ESPN2.

Key stats: BC is 32nd nationally in total defense (330.0 yards per game). UNC is 109th (443.7).

About Boston College: The Eagles were blasted by Syracuse in the regular-season finale, costing them a BCS berth, so you have to wonder a bit about their mind-set. But QB Paul Peterson, who missed that game with an injury, is back, and that should make a difference.

About North Carolina: The Tar Heels are outgained by an average of 50.6 yards a game. The defense is bad, but the offense generally has been able to overcome it. QB Darian Durant is a dual threat.

The buzz: These teams will be ACC foes next season.

The line: UNC by 2

The pick: BC, 33-23

Holiday Bowl

No. 4 California (10-1) vs. No. 23 Texas Tech (7-4)

Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego

Time, TV: 8 p.m., ESPN.

Key stats: Cal is fifth nationally in total offense (494.7 ypg). Texas Tech leads the nation in passing offense (388.7 ypg).

About California: The Bears run for 260.0 yards a game, thanks to TB J.J. Arrington, who has rushed for at least 100 yards in each game. QB Aaron Rodgers (23 TD passes, seven interceptions) also is productive.

About Texas Tech: As usual, the Red Raiders' offense is predicated on throwing the ball. QB Sonny Cumbie has 29 TD passes, but also 18 interceptions. The defense is solid but faces a huge test tonight.

The buzz: Unless the Bears don't show up, they'll win.

The line: Cal by 11 1/2

The pick: Cal, 41-24

Silicon Valley Bowl

Northern Illinois (8-3) vs. Troy (7-4)

Where: Spartan Stadium, San Jose, Calif.

Time, TV: 11 p.m., ESPN2.

Key stats: Northern Illinois is 14th nationally in total offense (446.0 ypg). Troy is 17th nationally in total defense (306.6 ypg).

About Northern Illinois: The Huskies have a nice offense, led by TB Garrett Wolfe (157.2 rushing yards per game, 17 TDs), who runs behind a big, physical line. The defense is mediocre.

About Troy: This is the first bowl appearance for the Trojans, who rely on their defense and a running game led by TB DeWhitt Betterson, who averages 103.3 rushing yards a game.

The buzz: If you watch this game from beginning to end, something is wrong with you.

The line: Troy by 2

The pick: Northern Illinois, 20-17

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