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Home / Articles / Mike Handzelek's CFB Bowl Season Issue 1 Analysis & Review

Mike Handzelek's CFB Bowl Season Issue 1 Analysis & Review

By: Point Shaver Handzelek     Date: Dec 17, 2023
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Saturday, December 16, 2023 Jacksonville State vs. UL Lafayette (NCAAF) - 2:15 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -140 Jacksonville State Rating: 8* Mike's 1st College Bowl Play of the Season (WIN) Am I really buying the home field advantage here? The answer is a resounding NO! A big chunk of what's factored in is the absence of Louisiana starting & playmaking Freshman QB Zeon Chriss (took over for Ben Wooldridge who was lost for the season in Game 3) who they've also lost 4 games ago (3rd-stringer & 5th-year QB Chander Fields takes over). What have they done since? They're @ a deficit of -5.6 YPG (ranking 68th of 133), are -6 in turnovers & have been out-scored by about a 38-19 average count. Keep in mind those games they were facing was the 116th easiest schedule! I just don't like the matchup for the 6-6 SU Ragin' Cajuns for DC LaMar Morgan who has a measly 3 defensive starters back this season & now gets to face the 5th-ranked rushing team in the nation who rushed for 3,094 yards on the season (2,810 NET) & 32 TD's. They've faced 7 bowlers in the regular season & went 2-5 SU plus 2-5 ITS (In The Stats). These 2 met one time back in 2000 with the Gamecocks (then in the FCS with 22 less scholarships) beating the FBS Louisiana-Lafayette squad 28-14. I feel 8-4 SU Jax. State entry under HC Rich Rodriguez (17-6 SU overall in 2nd year) is more than excited to be here since they recently learned they were eligible to earn a bowl position since there was not enough eligible 6-win teams to go. Under those specific circumstances, transitional teams like the Gamecocks (1st season in the FBS) become eligible that makes it their 1st ever. They'll take on 2nd-season HC Michael Desormeaux who has only mustered a 13-14 SU record heading into this. That's a FAR cry from his predecessor Billy Napier (now @ Florida) who guided the Ragin' Cajuns to a 34-5 SU his last 3 seasons there. They're making a school-record 6th consecutive bowl game appearance. My bottom line looks @ opportunity & the law of averages when it comes to the turnover column. Louisiana was a whopping +30 net turnovers (last 3 seasons) heading into 2023. This season has seen them put a -1 NET on the ledger. They take on a team whose BATTLE-TESTED with 2 conference losses coming to Jerry Kill's 10-4 New Mexico State squad & undefeated 13-0 Liberty. Dual-threat, 7th-year QB Zion Webb is an excellent 1-2 punch on the ground with RB Malik Jackson & should provide a good time of possession advantage (5.7 YPR over their past 3 games). The DAGGER for us looks @ DC Zac Alley's (coached @ Boise State) Gamecocks' "D" who yields a very low 2.9 YPG on the ground. Keeping that figure in mind, know that Louisiana is 6-0 SU when rushing for 200+ yards & is a fat 0-6 when under 200 yards rushing. Forget past coaching trends since they won't apply here in the age of opt-outs! I'm fired up & ready as we're jettin' down to the Caesars Superdome in Louisiana for the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl to play 8 Stars on the JACKSONVILLE STATE GAMECOCKS on the ML as my 1st College Bowl Play of the Season! Mike Handzelek's 2023-24 CFB Overall Seasonal Record: 14-5 for 74% + 2,530 NET UNITS

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