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College Football bowl games: Sun Bowl and Alamo Bowl

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Focusing on two bowl games before the big games on New Year’s Day

NCAA Football: Pac-12 Conference Championship-Oregon vs Utah Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

While the coaching carousel spins for the New York Giants, college football’s Bowl Week keeps marching forward.

New Year’s Day is the day pretty much everyone looks forward to, with the best teams in the country playing each other in some of the biggest games of the year. But New Year’s Eve gets a couple big games of its own, with the Sun Bowl and Alamo Being played today.

Sun Bowl - Arizona State vs. Florida State

CBS - 2 p.m.

Neither one of these teams are ranked, and this was another disappointing season for a once-feared Florida State team. But that being said, both of these teams have intriguing prospects who could hear their names called by the end of the second day in April’s draft.

Arizona State running back Eno Benjamin is a workhorse and a playmaker for the Sun Devils’ offense. He has solid size for the position with great quickness, vision, and fantastic contact balance. Benjamin is also a complete back with upside as a receiver as well.

FSU is becoming a team to watch for hybrid defenders after putting Telvin Smith and Derwin James in the NFL. The next in that line looks to be Hamsah Nasirildeen, a safety-linebacker hybrid with the range and athleticism of a defensive back while boasting the size to play as a linebacker. Unfortunately, defensive tackle Marvin Wilson had his season ended by injury or he would be another potential high draft choice to watch.

Players To Watch

Arizona State

  • Eno Benjamin (RB)
  • Brandon Aiyuk (WR)
  • Chase Lucas (CB)

Florida State

  • Hamsah Nasirildeen (S/LB)
  • Tamorrian Terry (WR)
  • Cam Akers (RB)
  • Levonta Taylor (CB)

Alamo Bowl - Texas vs. (11) Utah

ESPN 7:30 p.m.

Texas is another team looking to finish on a high note after a disappointing 2019 season, but the Longhorns have a tough hill to climb against 11th ranked Utah.

From a draft perspective, this a surprisingly interesting match-up with a number of future NFL players on both rosters. Texas’ defense features safety Brandon Jones on defense, a good-sized safety with size and range, but lacking ball skill. On offense Texas has receiver Collin Johnson, a big 6-foot-6, 220-pound receiver who hopes to finish his college career strong after battling a hamstring injury most of his senior season.

Utah has been improving in recent season and has become a force in the Pac-12. As you might expect from the 11th ranked team in the nation, they have their fair share of future NFL players as well.

The most highly regarded (as of now) are CB Jaylon Johnson and DT Leki Fotu. Johnson is a long, athletic, and very aggressive cornerback who has made plays through sheer bloodymindedness — though that aggression and competitiveness can bite him as he has a tendency toward grabbing receivers. Fotu is a massive (6-foot-5, 335-pound) defensive tackle with impressive strength, power, and short-area quickness. Given the Giants’ tendencies toward drafting dancing elephants at defensive tackle, he might be a guy to keep an eye on. Both Johnson and Fotu have the potential to be drafted in the second round.

Players To Watch

Texas

  • Brandon Jones (S)
  • Collin Johnson (WR)
  • Devin Duvernay (WR)
  • Zach Shackelford (C)
  • Samuel Cosmi (OT)

Utah

  • Jaylon Johnson (CB)
  • Leki Fotu (DT)
  • Bradlee Anae (EDGE)
  • Francis Bernard (LB)
  • Terrell Burgess (S)
  • Julian Blackmon (S)
  • Zack Moss (RB)