Around the AAC: Bowl destination edition

Graphic by Sarah Kelliher

With UCF’s come-from-behind 56-41 victory over Memphis in Saturday’s AAC Championship Game, another season of conference play officially came to an end. On Sunday, postseason destinations for the AAC’s seven bowl-eligible teams were announced. Let’s check in on who those teams are matched up against for the 2018-19 bowl season.

AutoNation Cure Bowl (Dec. 15, 2:30 p.m.)

Tulane (6-6, 5-3 AAC) vs. Louisiana (7-6, 5-3 Sun Belt)

Location: Camping World Stadium (Orlando, Fla.)

TV: CBS Sports Network

Key players for Tulane: Running back Darius Bradwell (984 rushing yards, nine touchdowns); wide receiver Darnell Mooney (987 receiving yards, eight touchdowns); defensive end Patrick Johnson (46 tackles, 10 sacks); cornerback Donnie Lewis Jr. (54 tackles, three interceptions, 16 pass breakups)

Key players for Louisiana: Running back Trey Ragas (1,141 rushing yards, eight touchdowns); running back Elijah Mitchell (959 rushing yards, 12 touchdowns); linebacker Jacques Boudreaux (87 tackles, 4 1/2 tackles for loss, two sacks); defensive end Bennie Higgins (52 tackles, seven tackles for loss, four sacks)

Prediction: Tulane wins

Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (Dec. 20, 8 p.m.)

South Florida (7-5, 3-5 AAC) vs. Marshall (8-4, 6-2 Conference USA)

Location: Raymond James Stadium (Tampa, Fla.)

TV: ESPN

Key players for South Florida: Running back Jordan Cronkrite (1,095 rushing yards, nine touchdowns); running back Johnny Ford (737 rushing yards, eight touchdowns); cornerback Mike Hampton (41 tackles, two interceptions, 15 pass breakups); linebacker Khalid McGee (104 tackles, 6 1/2 tackles for loss, 1 1/2 sacks)

Key players for Marshall: Wide receiver Tyre Brady (914 receiving yards, nine touchdowns); quarterback Isaiah Green (2,238 passing yards, 15 touchdowns); linebacker Chase Hancock (98 tackles, 3 1/2 sacks, five pass breakups, two forced fumbles); defensive lineman Ty Tyler (41 tackles, eight sacks, one forced fumble)

Prediction: Marshall wins

Jared Birmingham Bowl (Dec. 22, Noon)

Memphis (8-5, 5-3 AAC) vs. Wake Forest (6-6, 3-5 ACC)

Location: Legion Field (Birmingham, Ala.)

TV: ESPN

Key players for Memphis: Running back Darrell Henderson (1,909 rushing yards, 22 touchdowns); running back Patrick Taylor Jr. (1,012 rushing yards, 15 touchdowns); linebacker Bryce Huff (45 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 9 1/2 sacks); defensive lineman Joseph Dorceus (44 tackles, six sacks)

Key players for Wake Forest: Wide receiver Greg Dortch (1,078 receiving yards, eight touchdowns); running back Cade Carney (954 rushing yards, eight touchdowns); cornerback Essang Bassey (71 tackles, one sack, one interception, 14 pass breakups); linebacker Justin Strnad (94 tackles, 7 1/2 tackles for loss, 1 1/2 sacks, five pass breakups)

Prediction: Memphis wins

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dec. 22, 3:30 p.m.)

Houston (8-4, 5-3 AAC) vs. Army (9-2)

Location: Amon G. Carter Stadium (Fort Worth, Texas)

TV: ESPN

Key players for Houston: Running back Patrick Carr (816 rushing yards, five touchdowns); wide receiver Marquez Stevenson (947 receiving yards, nine touchdowns); linebacker Austin Robinson (116 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, six sacks, five pass breakups, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery); safety Gleson Sprewell (73 tackles, three interceptions, six pass breakups, one fumble recovery)

Key players for Army: Quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr. (783 rushing yards, 895 passing yards, 16 total touchdowns); running back Darnell Woolfolk (823 rushing yards, 14 touchdowns); linebacker James Nachtigal (73 tackles, five sacks, two forced fumbles); linebacker Cole Christiansen (65 tackles, 10 1/2 tackles for loss, one sack, one forced fumble)

Prediction: Army wins

Walk-On’s Independence Bowl (Dec. 27, 1:30 p.m.)

Temple (8-4, 7-1 AAC) vs. Duke (7-5, 3-5 ACC)

Location: Independence Stadium (Shreveport, La.)

TV: ESPN

Key players for Temple: Running back Ryquell Armstead (1,098 rushing yards, 13 touchdowns); quarterback Anthony Russo (2,335 passing yards, 13 touchdowns); defensive tackle Michael Dogbe (69 tackles, seven sacks, three forced fumbles); safety Delvon Randall (78 tackles, three interceptions, six pass breakups, two forced fumbles)

Key players for Duke: Quarterback Daniel Jones (2,251 passing yards, 17 touchdowns); running back Deon Jackson (806 rushing yards, seven touchdowns); linebacker Joe Giles-Harris (80 tackles, 6 1/2 tackles for loss, one sack, one blocked kick); safety Marquis Waters (65 tackles, three tackles for loss, one interception, four pass breakups, five passes defended, four quarterback hits)

Prediction: Temple wins

Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman (Dec. 31, Noon)

Cincinnati (10-2, 6-2 AAC) vs. Virginia Tech (6-6, 4-4 ACC)

Location: Jack Stephens Field at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (Annapolis, Md.)

TV: ESPN

Key players for Cincinnati: Quarterback Desmond Ridder (2,359 passing yards, 574 rushing yards, 24 total touchdowns); Michael Warren II (1,163 rushing yards, 17 touchdowns); linebacker Malik Clements (53 tackles, six tackles for loss, two sacks, four pass breakups, two forced fumbles); defensive tackle Cortez Broughton (46 tackles, 17 1/2 tackles for loss, 6 1/2 sacks, one forced fumble)

Key players for Virginia Tech: Quarterback Ryan Willis (2,497 passing yards, 22 touchdowns); wide receiver Damon Hazelton (745 receiving yards, eight touchdowns); linebacker Rayshard Ashby (100 tackles, 9 1/2 tackles for loss, one sack, six quarterback hits, one fumble recovery, two forced fumbles); safety Reggie Floyd (80 tackles, 9 1/2 tackles for loss, two interceptions)

Prediction: Cincinnati wins

PlayStation Fiesta Bowl (Jan. 1, 1 p.m.)

No. 8 UCF (11-0, 8-0 AAC) vs. No. 11 LSU (9-3, 5-3 SEC)

Location: State Farm Stadium (Glendale, Ariz.)

TV: ESPN

Key players for UCF: Quarterback Darriel Mack Jr. (522 passing yards, 340 rushing yards, eight total touchdowns); running back Greg McCrae (1,101 rushing yards, nine touchdowns); safety Richie Grant (102 tackles, three tackles for loss, six interceptions, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery); defensive end Titus Davis (59 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 6 1/2 sacks, two forced fumbles)

Key players for LSU: Running back Nick Brossette (922 rushing yards, 14 touchdowns); quarterback Joe Burrow (2,500 passing yards, 375 rushing yards, 19 total touchdowns); linebacker Devin White (115 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, three sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, five pass breakups, five passes defended); safety Grant Delpit (73 tackles, 9 1/2 tackles for loss, five sacks, five interceptions, nine pass breakups, 14 passes defended)

Prediction: UCF wins



About Bailey Adams 171 Articles
Bailey Adams is a senior writer covering UCF Football and Baseball for Knight Sports Now. You can follow him on Twitter at @BaileyJAdams22.