THURSDAY’S BOWL GAMES
Duke (7-5) vs. Temple (8-4), 1:30 p.m. (ESPN). WHAT’S AT STAKE: Duke is trying to end its season with a positive after struggling during the last half of the year. The Blue Devils have lost four of six. Temple is trying to end its impressive season with a win despite losing head coach Geoff Collins to Georgia Tech. Ed Foley will be the interim coach for the Owls. KEY MATCHUP: Temple’s defense vs. Duke’s offense: The Owls’ defense is hoping to have a big day against Duke’s offense, which scored a combined 13 points in losses to Clemson and Wake Forest at the end of the season. Temple’s defense finished the regular season among the nation’s top 10 in several categories, including yards allowed per play (4.49) and passing yards allowed per game (166.3).
Wisconsin (7-5) vs. Miami (7-5), 5:15 p.m. (ESPN). WHAT’S AT STAKE: The Badgers and Hurricanes are each trying to salvage seasons that have been two of the biggest disappointments in college football this year. Both teams were ranked in the top 10 of this season’s preseason poll. Each team fell out of the poll long ago, with the Hurricanes even losing four straight games. PLAYERS TO WATCH: Miami junior LB Shaq Quarterman had 76 tackles (13 for a loss) and was All-ACC first team. Wisconsin sophomore RB Jonathan Taylor is the nation’s leading rusher with 1,989 yards.
Baylor (6-6) vs. Vanderbilt (6-6) at Houston, 9 p.m. (ESPN). WHAT’S AT STAKE: Baylor looks for its seventh win a year after winning just one game, and the Commodores need a victory to reach seven wins for the first time since going 9-4 in 2013. KEY MATCHUP: Vanderbilt RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn vs. Baylor’s run defense. Vaughn has a career-high 1,001 yards rushing after sitting out last year following a transfer from Illinois and Baylor is allowing 174.8 yards rushing a game which ranks 80th in the nation. Vaughn injured his arm in Vanderbilt’s last game but coach Derek Mason said Wednesday that Vaughn had recovered and would be ready to go.