Saturday, December 24, 2011

Hawaii Bowl Bettors Preview- Southern Miss vs Nevada

Plays- 3-1
Leans- 3-1

8:00 EST- Southern Miss (11-2) (-8.5) vs Nevada (7-5) O/U 63- Similarly to the Boise St./Ariz St. contest, this match-up will be determined by motivation. Since Southern Miss pulled off their season-defining upset of Houston to win the C-USA title, two setbacks have occurred: 1) Head Coach Larry Fedora agreed to take the UNC head coaching job, and 2) The Liberty Bowl passed over the Golden Eagles in favor of matching the Big East and the SEC in a move the C-USA commissioner called "very disappointing." Fedora remains on to coach Southern Miss as the travel far west now to Hawaii to face a capable Nevada team.

Southern Miss, however, is one of the stronger teams in the country from a yards per play perspective, ranking in the top 20 both offensively and defensively. Although Nevada was 9th offensively in YPP, their defense struggled mightily stopping the run allowing 4.5 yards per carry. Nevada's pass defense, though, posted a respectable 6.8 yards per pass attempt.

Play- If Southern Miss shows up for the game highly motivated, they will handle Nevada with ease; however, their motivation is highly in question and they must deal with the dreaded "lame-duck" coach scenario. Play Nevada +8.5 and play it soon, as the line continues to drop. No lean on the over/under.

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