Previewing the Duluth Trading Cure Bowl: UTSA vs. Troy
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This is the preview for the Duluth Trading Cure Bowl.
Date: Friday, Dec. 16, 3 p.m. ET
Betting splits: 55% of bets, 80% of handle on Troy
Frank Harris is not only the marquee player in this game, he’s one of the most experienced quarterbacks in college football. The sixth-year senior set UTSA passing records for yards in a season (3,865) and career (9,158) and touchdowns in a season (31) and career (73) while leading the Roadrunners to back-to-back Conference USA championships. The Harris-led offense averages 38.7 points, scoring at least 30 points in 12 of 13 games this season. UTSA (11-2) was only held in check by Texas in a 41-20 loss on Sept. 17, when injuries decimated coach Jeff Traylor’s offensive line. Harris has completed 71.1% of his passes while also running for 588 yards and nine touchdowns. Leading receivers Zakhari Franklin and Joshua Cephus have combined for 2,085 yards and 20 touchdowns. The Roadrunners are averaging 486 yards per game, including 177.5 per game on the ground.
This matchup is one of contrasting styles, pitting UTSA’s flashy offense against Troy’s unforgiving defense. The Trojans allow 17.5 points per game to rank No. 8 in the nation. Troy rolls into the bowl on a 10-game winning streak, and its offense is picking up steam. Gunnar Watson passed for 318 yards in a 45-26 blowout of Coastal Carolina in a Sun Belt title game that was far more lopsided than the final score because the Trojans led 31-0 and had a 316-22 advantage in total yards late in the second quarter. Troy (11-2) fared reasonably well in its biggest step up in competition, losing 28-10 in the season opener at Mississippi.
The Roadrunners are running into the toughest defense they have faced since Texas in September. But, of course, the Trojans will be tested by Harris, the most dangerous dual-threat quarterback they have faced. This game should be decided by which unit can impose its will: the UTSA offense or Troy defense? In a similar matchup in last year’s Frisco Bowl, Harris passed for 271 yards and two touchdowns, but the Roadrunners fell 38-24 to San Diego State.
Matchup page for Duluth Trading Cure Bowl
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