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St. Petersburg Bowl Betting – Marshall Faces FIU In Pre-Christmas Bowl Clash

Posted by Blake Frazier on 12/14/2011 9:25:05 AM
st petersburg bowl betting

The Marshall Thundering Herd and the Florida International Golden Panthers are hardly regulars in the college football postseason. They’ll lock horns for a bowl trophy this December.

Marshall Thundering Herd vs. Florida International Golden Panthers - December 20

Sports betting line: Florida International -4

Why Marshall Will Win

When you do your homework and assess your sports bet on this contest, you need to realize that Marshall has done good work to get to this point. The Thundering Herd are a resilient club from Conference USA which dealt league champion Southern Mississippi an unexpected defeat in September. Marshall’s prime player is defensive end Vinny Curry, who ranks second nationally this season with 21.5 tackles for loss, and is also tied for second in the nation with six forced fumbles. Oh, by the way, he is also tied for fifth with 11 sacks. Curry is a beast who makes the Thundering Herd defense go. Curry had 11 sacks and 21 tackles for a loss this season. Marshall still ranks in the lower half of the nation in rush defense, yielding 155 yards per game. Curry makes offenses work for every yard, and without him, the numbers posted by opposing offenses would be even higher.
Needing to win its final two games to become bowl eligible, Marshall showed true grit and came up with two clutch wins. One was on the road at Memphis in a 23-22 heartstopper before pulling out a 34-27 overtime win at home over East Carolina in game 12. That survival act enabled coach Doc Holliday’s team to reach this stage inside Tropicana Field. The Herd should have better athletes than FIU; Conference USA is superior to the Sun Belt.

Why Florida International Will Win

The college football betting  experts assessing this game know that Florida International is an under-the-radar success story in 2011. The Golden Panthers are making back-to-back bowl appearances for the first time in school history. FIU also won a school record eight games this season after making a splash by reaching its first bowl game in 2010.  
The Golden Panthers will try to add the topper to their eight-win season and claim back to back bowl wins, which would be another school record for a program that is wrapping up the first full decade of its existence. Last year FIU defeated Toledo in the Little Caesars Bowl. The program changing win for the Golden Panthers came on September 9 when they went on the road and defeated Louisville. It was the first win against a BCS automatic qualifying opponent in school history.
Earlier in the season there was a legitimate quarterback battle at FIU. Starter Wesley Carroll lost his spot to Jake Medlock but then won it back after Medlock injured his shoulder against Louisiana-Monroe. Carroll, who is a fifth-year senior signal caller, stepped back in and completed 16 of 34 passes for 213 yards and three touchdowns, which helped the Golden Panthers win that particular conference game, 28-17, stabilizing the season in the process and enabling coach Mario Cristobal to forge an 8-4 season one year after winning the Sun Belt Conference in 2010. This team is resilient, and it has shown that it was not a one-hit wonder in 2010. Playing in its home state, FIU will be a tough out against a Marshall squad that is not loaded with offensive weapons.

Who Will Win

It’s hard to pick the Sun Belt over anyone in a bowl game. Marshall isn’t imposing, but it should have enough power in the trenches to turn back FIU in what should be a very close game. Take Marshall plus the points.

College Football Betting Pick: Marshall



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