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December 31, 2011

College Football Report - 2011 Bowl Picks - Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas:

Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas

Texas A&M (6-6) vs. Northwestern (6-6)

V S.

12 PM, ESPN, Saturday, Dec. 31, Houston, TX

Why Watch: The Aggies had National Title hopes heading into the season, but will need to settle on the Car Care Bowl. Northwestern rallied the second half of the season finishing with a 4-1 record down the stretch. The Aggies will play their first game under interim head coach Tim DeRuyter after the firing of Mike Sherman.

Who to Watch: Some might compare Northwestern wideout Jeremy Ebert to a Wes Welker type of player, but he’s more of a deep threat than he’s given credit for. As a senior this season, Ebert brought in 71 catches to go with 1,025 yards and 11 touchdowns. The loss of A&M linebacker Von Miller to the NFL was sure to hurt the Aggies defense this season, but linebacker Sean Porter made dealing with the loss a bit easier. Porter finished second on the team with 73 stops, including 16 for a loss. He also led the team in sacks with 8.5.

How it’s Going Down: The Aggies have a few weighted statistics this season. They nearly rank dead last in the country in pass defense, but they’ve faced four of the top six passing teams in the country this season. They also give up only just over 100 yards a game in rush defense, but they really haven't faced teams that rely on the run. Behind the leadership of Pat Fitzgerald, coaching won’t be a problem for the Wildcats. Playing consistent football will be, however. The Wildcats beat just one team all season that had more than four wins. Because of the Aggies ability to score nearly 40 points a game behind the efforts of quarterback Ryan Tannehill, A&M should walk out with a winning record on the season in their own backyard. Pick: Texas A&M 32 – Northwestern 21

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