A look at Monday’s bowl games
CINCINNATI (10-2) VS. VIRGINIA TECH (6-6)
at Annapolis, Md., 9 a.m. PST, ESPN
Cincinnati, which won four games in 2017, is seeking the third 11-win season in its 131-year history. Mike Warren II leads the Bearcats in rushing with 1,163 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also has 24 receptions for 222 yards and a score. Virginia Tech won its last two games to reach a bowl game for the 26th consecutive season, the longest active streak in the nation and third-longest in NCAA history.
STANFORD (8-4) vs. PITTSBURGH (7-6)
at El Paso, 11 a.m. PST, Channel 2
Bryce Love is sitting out the game to prepare for the NFL draft, so Stanford will count on Cameron Scarlett (236 yards) and Trevor Speights (211) to lead the running game. The Cardinal are seeking their second Sun Bowl win in three seasons. Pittsburgh has two 1,000-yard rushers (Qadree Ollison and Darrin Hall) and the Panthers average 230 yards a game on the ground, 18th-best in the nation.
MICHIGAN STATE (7-5) VS. OREGON (8-4)
at Santa Clara, noon, Channel 11
Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert, who announced last week that he would return for his senior season, has a touchdown pass in 27 straight games, the longest streak in the nation. The Ducks average 39.4 points in games he has started in his career. Michigan State is first in the nation in run defense, giving up only 81.3 yards a game. Spartans lineman Kenny Willekes led the Big Ten in tackles for a loss (20) and was fourth in sacks with eight.
NO. 23 MISSOURI (8-4) VS. OKLAHOMA STATE (6-6)
at Memphis, Tenn., 12:45 p.m. PST, ESPN
Missouri’s Drew Lock enters his final game in college having thrown for 11,820 yards, the second-highest total for a quarterback in Southeastern Conference history. The Tigers have won four in a row. Oklahoma State needs a win to avoid its first losing season since 2005. Justice Hill, the Cowboys’ leading rusher, will sit out the game to prepare for the draft, so freshman Chuba Hubbard (595 yards) figures to see more action.
NO. 22 NORTHWESTERN (8-5) VS. NO. 17 UTAH (9-4)
at San Diego, 4 p.m., FS1
Utah is looking for its 15th win in its last 16 bowl games dating to the 1999 Las Vegas Bowl. The Utes are 11-1 in bowl games under coach Kyle Whittingham. Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley will be a game-time decision after missing the last four games with a broken collarbone. Northwestern senior Clayton Thorson is the program’s all-time winningest quarterback at 35-17. He needs 91 yards passing to break Brett Basanez’s school record of 10,580.
NORTH CAROLINA STATE (9-3) VS. NO. 19 TEXAS A&M (8-4)
at Jacksonville, Fla., 4:30 p.m. ESPN
North Carolina State senior Ryan Finley has thrown for 3,789 yards, with 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions. The Wolfpack will be without junior Kelvin Harmon (1,186 yards receiving) and senior linebacker Germaine Pratt (team-high 104 tackles), both of whom are skipping the game to prepare for the draft. Texas A&M’s Trayveon Williams has 1,524 yards rushing and needs 169 to set a school record for one season.
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