Picks in the Heart of Dallas, Military, Holiday and Cactus bowls

Luke Falk
Washington State quarterback Luke Falk passes during warmups before a game against Washington on Nov. 25.
(Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)

Tuesday’s bowl games:

Heart of Dallas: North Texas (5-7) vs. Army (7-5), at Dallas, 9 a.m., ESPN — This is a rematch of a regular-season game won by North Texas, 35-18. The Mean Green took advantage of seven Army turnovers in that game, including four interceptions. And Army simply couldn’t stop North Texas quarterback Jeffrey Wilson, who ran for 160 yards and three touchdowns in 15 carries. But the Mean Green lost four of their last five games, and they don’t typically do a great job against the run. Army averages 327.8 yards rushing per game. The pick: Army, 31-21.

Military: Wake Forest (6-6) vs. Temple (10-3), at Annapolis, Md., 12:30 p.m., ESPN — Wake Forest doesn’t have to worry about a bitter former-coach-turned-broadcaster sharing its game strategies anymore, and that’s good news. The bad news: Temple probably doesn’t need that kind of advantage. The Owls have seven consecutive games, including a victory at this same field on Dec. 3, when they snapped Navy’s 15-game home winning streak and captured Temple’s first conference championship since 1967. Jahad Thomas and Ryquell Armstead have each rushed for 918 yards for the Owls. Thomas has run for 13 touchdowns; Armstead for 14. Phillip Walker has passed for 2,899 yards. Wake Forest has three backs that have run for between 518 and 566 yards. Quarterback John Wolford has passed for seven touchdowns, with nine interceptions. The pick: Temple, 28-17.

Holiday: Minnesota (8-4) vs. Washington State (8-4), at San Diego, 4 p.m., ESPN — Minnesota players initially said they would boycott this game over the way 10 of their Gophers teammates had been treated in connection with sexual assault allegations made against them. The threat didn’t work — the university said the suspensions would stick — and the Gophers found their way back to the practice field. Three of Minnesota’s losses — to Penn State, Iowa and Nebraska — were by seven points or fewer. But the Gophers haven’t seen a Washington State-type passing attack. The Cougars pass for an average of 370.8 yards per game, which is second in the nation. Luke Falk has thrown for 37 touchdowns, with 10 interceptions. The pick: Washington State, 38-31.


Cactus: Baylor (6-6) vs. Boise State (10-2), at Phoenix, 7:15 p.m., ESPN — Boise State’s losses were by two points at Wyoming and by a touchdown at Air Force, thanks to a blocked punt for a touchdown and a late, goal-line stand by the Falcons. Otherwise, the Broncos are probably playing in the Cotton Bowl. Instead, they draw Baylor in the desert. The Bears won their first six games, lost their last six games, and have a lame-duck coaching staff. They also have a freshman quarterback who will be making his fourth start and a defense that has given up an average of more than 43 points per game during the losing streak. The pick: Boise State, 42-24.


Twitter: @MikeHiserman