UAB Blazers vs. Northern Illinois Huskies Boca Raton Bowl Betting Odds:
UAB vs. Northern Illinois Pick:
Childers has passed for 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions on 57.6% completions. He’s also rushed for 496 yards and 6 touchdowns, which is why he is the starting quarterback at Northern Illinois. That was the first multi-touchdown game for Childers through the air since September 22nd against Florida State.
They lost that contest by a score of 37-19 and ultimately finished 8-5. The Huskies are 123rd with 325 yards recorded per game. Akron and Central Michigan were the only teams in the MAC who averaged less than Northern Illinois. However, their defense led the conference with 348 yards allowed per game. The Huskies have surrendered an average of 21.5 points per game. Northern Illinois leads the nation with 50 sacks.
UAB are similar to Northern Illinois defensively. These teams both want to do the same thing. Control the ball and allow the defense to win the ball game. Nothing is overly complicated, but UAB is capable of punching an offense in the mouth and knocking them out. One of their losses was against Texas A&M on the road and they did a terrific job holding Kellen Mond to just 192 yards. They lost 41-20, but were outgained by only 27 yards.
The Blazers are 11th in the nation with just 311 yards allowed per game. They’re allowing less than 20 points per game at 17.3. UAB have been able to get after the QB as well, notching 43 sacks for 3rd nationally in the FBS. They have been fantastic on 3rd down, holding teams to just a 25 percent conversion rate.
Don’t expect Childers to be able to pass the ball on this defense. They have allowed only 181.9 yards per game through the air and this was against much better passing offenses than Northern Illinois. UAB will try and hit the Huskies hard on the ground behind Spencer Brown who has ran for 1,152 yards. This is an even matchup on paper, with both teams wishing to establish the same game plan.
It’s the south vs. the north, as the Conference USA Champions are pitted against the MAC Champions. If we’re looking at motivation in this game, I think the edge has to go to UAB here. The Blazers are likely hungry for more and to earn their first bowl win in school history. The Huskies are coming off an upset win over Buffalo, and they needed a career day from Chidlers to get it done. He will not be as comfortable in the pocket on Tuesday night against UAB. Northern Illinois are satisfied with being winners of the MAC, while UAB wants more. The Blazers edge out the Huskies for their first bowl win and secure a final record of 11-3.