College football bowl previews for Wednesday’s games

Ito Smith
Southern Mississippi running back Ito Smith tries to fend off Old Dominion defensive lineman Poncho Barnwell during a game earlier this season.
(Eli Baylis / Hattiesburg American via AP)

A capsulized look at the four college football bowl games on Wednesday:

Independence, at Shreveport, La.

Southern Mississippi (8-4) vs. Florida State (6-6)

10:30 a.m., ESPN


Florida State will play in a bowl game for the 36th year in a row — that’s a college football record — even though it technically may not be eligible for this one. The Seminoles’ win over FCS opponent Delaware State may not count toward bowl eligibility, according to a recent report by Reddit College Football, but an Independence Bowl official told the Orlando Sentinel that plans for the bowl game will continue as planned. Florida State interim coach Odell Haggins could go out with a 2-0 record after replacing Jimbo Fisher, who took the Texas A&M job, with new Seminole coach Willie Taggert waiting in the wings. Southern Mississippi senior Ito Smith has 42 career rushing touchdowns and needs three more to become the Golden Eagles’ all-time leader in that category.

Pinstripe, at New York

Iowa (7-5) vs. Boston College (7-5)

2:15 p.m., ESPN


Iowa linebacker Josey Jewell is a first-team All-American who has 125 tackles this season, which is fourth-best in the nation, despite missing a game back in October with a shoulder injury. He’s the third player in Hawkeyes history to register more than 115 tackles in three seasons. He will have his hands full with Boston College running back and ACC rookie of the year A.J. Dillon, whose 1,432 rushing yards are the most ever for an Eagles freshman. Dillon will break the conference freshman record if he rushes for 140 yards, a mark he passed in each of the last four games and five times overall this season.

Foster Farms, at Santa Clara, Calif.

Arizona (7-5) vs. Purdue (6-6)

5:30 p.m., Channel 11

Khalil Tate barely played the first four games of the season, but took college football by storm once he became Arizona’s starting quarterback. He threw for 1,289 yards with nine touchdowns and eight interceptions and rushed for 1,353 yards and 12 touchdowns. Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez said Tate should be “good to go” for this game after suffering a sprained left (non-throwing) shoulder in the regular-season finale against Arizona State. First-year Purdue coach Jeff Brohm has the Boilermakers (6-6) in position for their first winning season since 2011.

Texas, at Houston

Texas (6-6) vs. Missouri (7-5)

6 p.m., ESPN


Under first-year coach Tom Herman, Texas has a chance to finish above .500 for the first time since 2013. Missouri lost five straight for the second season in as many years under coach Barry Odom, but this time also rattled off six straight wins to finish the regular season at 7-5. Texas’ strength on defense is stopping the run (105.7 yards per game, No. 7 in the nation); unfortunately for the Longhorns, Missouri’s strength on offense is the passing game. Tigers quarterback Drew Lock has thrown for 3,695 yards with an FBS-best 43 touchdown passes.

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