What's this? Football on a Tuesday afternoon!? It is bowl season after all, and they have 39 games to fit in a pretty short window. The Boca Raton Bowl should be a good one this year, featuring Marshall and Northern Illinois. There isn't much here from a draft perspective, but this game features two of the best non-power conference winners in the country.
Marshall was passed over in favor of long-time BCS-buster Boise State for an opportunity to play on New Years Day. Marshall also features one of the two prospects most likely to generate a draft buzz. Defensive tackle Jame Rouse doesn't fit the Giants at the moment. If he finds a place in the NFL, Rouse will likely be a 5-technique at the next level. His most impressive attribute is his work ethic. Rouse is a 6th year player, having battled back from losing his 2011 and 2012 seasons to injury.
Northern Illinois, however features the draft prospect to really watch, safety Dechane Durante. Durante started getting scout's attention as Jimmie Ward went through the draft process. Durante is a red-shirt senior with a terrific build for the NFL at 6-2, 200 pounds. Durante hasn't had much production in pass defense, but he is a consistent and active tackler. Durante is likely a late day-3 prospect right now, but he could see his stock rise dramatically as the draft process proceeds.
Teams: Northern Illinois (11-2) vs. Marshall (12-1)
Odds: Marshall -11
TV: 6:00 p.m. EST. Dec, 23. ESPN