BOISE STATE (8-4) vs. NORTHERN ILLINOIS (8-5)
When: 1:30 p.m. (ESPN). Where: San Diego.
Line: Boise State by 8 1/2. Series: First meeting.
Story line: Boise State seniors want to get their 40th victory. NIU wants to break a two-game losing streak and win for the first time in three Poinsettia Bowl appearances. The key matchup will be BSU’s offensive line against NIU’s defensive line. The Broncos will be trying to open holes for Jeremy McNichols, who rushed for 1,244 yards and 18 touchdowns this season.
BOWLING GREEN (10-3) vs. GEORGIA SOUTHERN (8-4)
When: 5 p.m. PST (ESPN). Where: Mobile, Ala.
Line: Bowling Green by 7. Series: First meeting.
Story line: Bowling Green and Georgia Southern are both in a state of transition after each head coach — Bowling Green’s Dino Babers (Syracuse) and Georgia Southern’s Willie Fritz (Tulane) — took a new job since the end of the regular season. Bowling Green has been one of the better programs in the Mid-American Conference for several years, and Georgia Southern is playing in its first bowl game since recently joining the Football Bowl Subdivision.