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December 30, 2011

College Football Report - 2011 Bowl Picks - Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl:

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl

Tulsa (8-4) vs. BYU (9-3)

V S.

12 PM, ESPN, Friday, Dec. 30, Fort Worth, Texas

Why Watch: Both BYU and Tulsa rallied to get to this point in the season. The Cougars started 1-3, while the Golden Hurricane began the year on a 1-2 mark. Each had embarrassing losses under their belts, looking like anything but a bowl team. For BYU, it’s the beginning of life after former No. 1 quarterback prospect Jake Heaps.

Who to Watch: The Golden Hurricane are known for their offensive firepower, thanks in part to senior quarterback G.J. Kinne. It’s a pair of linebackers that will stand out the most, however. Senior Curnelius Arnick and sophomore Shawn Jackson combined for 234 tackles, five sacks and three interceptions this season. Both dominated the Hawaii Bowl against UTEP last season and should do the same here. For the Cougars, watch future first round draft pick Matt Reynolds. The senior offensive tackle has been a four year starter for the Cougars, making the Mountain West All-Conference team each season.

How it’s Going Down: The Golden Hurricane average over 450 yards of offense a game. Running backs Ja’Terian Douglas and Trey Watts have each run for over 840 yards on the season, Douglas with an 8.2 average on 108 carries, giving the offense excellent consistency behind the arm of Kinne. For BYU, It’s all quarterback Riley Nelson’s show. The junior from Logan, UT put together his best game as a Cougar in the final game of the season against Hawaii, passing for 363 yards and three scores, but most importantly no turnovers. The Golden Hurricane has a knack for forcing turnovers on defense, however, especially interceptions where they’ve picked off 16 thus far. In a high scoring game, like this should be, turnovers can be the key. Kinne will end his career at Tulsa with a win against a quality BYU team because of it. Pick: Tulsa 37 – BYU 27

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