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Home / Articles / Mike Handzelek's CFB Bowls Installment #2 Analysis/Review

Mike Handzelek's CFB Bowls Installment #2 Analysis/Review

By: Point Shaver Handzelek     Date: Dec 24, 2023
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Saturday, December 23, 2023 Georgia State vs. Utah State (NCAAF) - 3:30 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: -2.5/-110 Utah State Rating: 7* Mike's CFB Bowl Seasoned Solidifier (LOSS) HC Blake Anderson is winding up his 3rd season @ the helm of the 6-6 SU Aggies after coaching the Arkansas State Red Wolves for 7 campaigns. Why is this significant? Because he went head-to-head with now Georgia State Panthers' HC Shawn Elliott (just 10-14 SU the L2 seasons) for 3 of those seasons in the Sun Belt Conference going 2-1 SU where his Red Wolves averaged a not too shabby 49 PPG! I also like the motivation & venue advantage for Utah State since this game is in Boise on the familiar blue turf AND they're EAGER to erase the bad taste from their mouths after last year's bowl debacle, a 38-10 drubbing @ the hands of the Memphis Tigers in the First Responders' Bowl @ Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas. Let's now take into account that UGLY post-regular season transfer portal. Both teams do have some opt-outs. However, it's WAY more significant on the decimated 6-6 SU Panthers' side as they not only will be missing 13 total portal-pushers (USU has around 6) but their leading rusher in RB Marcus Carroll (1,350 rushing yards & 13 TD's) & ALSO their leading WR in Robert Lewis (877 receiving yards & 7 TD's). This leaves veteran & dual-threat QB Darren Grainger (17/7 TD/INT ratio) without 2 key playmakers to run his offense. On the flip side, I'm trusting Anderson (coaching his 9th bowl) to make any adjustments necessary whether he'll decide on 1st-string QB Cooper Legas (19/8 TD/INT ratio) or backup Levi Williams. My bottom line looks @ a GSU squad that appears to be in free-fall mode losing their last 5 to close out the regular season (blew a 21-0 halftime lead to Old Dominion in the finale) while giving up about 42 PPG & scoring under 19 PPG. Utah State has the BETTER playmakers left with explosive wideouts Jalen Royals (1,023 yards & 14 TD's), Terrell Vaughn (847 yards & 10 TD's) & Micah Davis (628 yards & 6 TD's). Besides having the crowd on their side & not having to travel cross-country, the difference in strength of schedule is LARGE. While it looks like both defense aren't very good (Utah State ranks 108th in total "D" & Georgia State 118th, the Panthers played the 126th out of 133 hardest schedule this season compared to Utah State who played the 4th hardest. On offense, the Aggies (facing a much-harder slate) ranked 22ns in total "O" while the Panthers chimed in a distant 76th. History ALSO tells us the "Boys From Atlanta" are a BIG 0-2 SU versus teams from the Mountain West since 2015 (lost to San Jose State 27-16 in 2015 & to Wyoming 38-17 in 2019). Look for USU to continue their up-tempo game (they ran the 15th most plays in the nation in 23') & eventually gas the already-challenged GSU "D". We'll roll to the blue turf @ Albertsons Stadium in Boise for the Potato Bowl to play 7 Stars on the UTAH STATE AGGIES (buying to + 4 1/2 @ -200) as my CFB Bowl Seasoned Solidifier! Mike Handzelek's CFB 2023-24 Overall Seasonal Record: 14-6 for 70% + 1,130 NET UNITS of PROFIT

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