20* FIU/Marshall Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl No-Brainer on Florida International -4.5
Florida International vs. Marshall,
12/20/2011 20:00 EDT,
Score: 10 - 20
Point Spread: -4½/-105 Florida International
Florida International is the clear choice tonight in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl. This game will be played in FIU's back yard in St. Petersburg, Florida. With home-field advantage just as UL-Lafayette had in their win over SDSU in the New Orleans Bowl, I look for the Sun Belt Conference to improve to 2-0 this bowl season.
This FIU program is on the rise. They won eight games for the first time in school history. "At 8-4, we don't only have the best record in FIU history, we have the best record in the state of Florida," athletic director Pete Garcia said while taking a jab at traditional powers Florida, Florida State and Miami. "It's a natural step for this football team to go back to a second straight bowl game.
FIU enters the Beef O'Brady's Bowl averaging 33.3 points during a three-game win streak, nearly 10.0 more points than its first nine games of the season. A balanced offensive scheme has been key to the Golden Panthers' success. Quarterback Wesley Carroll has thrown 14 touchdowns with just four interceptions, and has five with no picks over the last two games.
The Panthers feature one of the best receivers in the country that not too many folks know about. T.Y. Hilton holds the school career records for catches (221), receiving yards (3,443), touchdowns (24) and overall scores (36). He had 64 receptions fro 950 yards and seven touchdowns this year despite playing through injury for much of the season.
Kedrick Rhodes became the school's first 1,000-yard rusher since they moved to the FBS in 2005. The sophomore rushed for 1,121 yards and eight touchdowns on the year. This balance is going to be very tough for Marshall to tame. Marshall is giving up 35.9 points and 443 yards/game on the road this season. They are also scoring just 15.9 points and averaging 313 yards/game offensively away from home.
Marshall is 4-16 ATS in their last 20 road games after a game where they forced 3 or more turnovers. FIU is 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game. The Golden Panthers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win. Bet Florida International Tuesday.