If you’re looking to take a break from some of the continuing holiday festivities, Buffalo Bills fans will be able to catch their first glimpse of the “big-time” bowl games this Friday. With a slate of games that includes four ranked teams, a typical SEC powerhouse, and an up-and-coming Purdue squad, there’s enough action to distract from any and all family commitments. Below you’ll find information about each of the bowl games slated for today as well as the main NFL prospects to keep an eye on.
As always, let’s talk about the games, leave questions on prospects and enjoy the weekend.
Purdue vs. Auburn
Music City Bowl
1:30 PM Eastern, ESPN
Tigers quarterback Jarrett Stidham gets most of the press, but Auburn will look to completely shut down the Boilermakers’ offense with defensive lineman Derrick Brown and cornerback Javaris Davis. Brown has all the athleticism you’d want in a guy who’s 6’5” and 325 pounds. Purdue is a young team, but their offense has a couple 2019 third day-type prospects in quarterback David Blough and receiver Terry Wright. Both players were recently invited to the East-West Shrine Game.
#16 West Virginia vs. #20 Syracuse
Camping World Bowl
5:15 PM Eastern, ESPN
This game will be an offensive slug-fest, and most of the prospects to watch occupy that side of the ball. The Mountaineers offensive trio of quarterback Will Grier, wideout David Sills V and tackle Yodney Cajuste are all NFL worthy, with Grier and Cajuste hoping to eventually break into the first round with good pre-draft showings. Unfortunately, Grier has chosen to skip his bowl game to instead begin preparing for the draft. Orange receivers Jamal Custis and Sean Riley are both late-rounders, but on the field they’re polar opposites. Riley is the speedy slot target and Custis is the big, jump-ball specialist. Syracuse also has some underrated defensive line players, including tackle Chris Slayton, who just earned an East-West Shrine Game invite. Unfortunately, double-digit sack master Alton Robinson will not be playing for Syracuse, due to a suspension.
#24 Iowa State vs. #13 Washington State
9:00 PM Eastern, ESPN
The Cyclones are a young team, but they have an offensive core that includes running back David Montgomery and outside receiver Hakeem Butler. Montgomery will be fighting to be the first running back drafted in April, while Butler needs to prove that he can be more than just an elite jump-ball specialist. The Cougars’ offense is one of the more productive in the country, thanks to their signal-caller Gardner Minshew II. Minshew has accepted an invite to the Senior Bowl. The senior is afforded elite protection in the pocket because left tackle Andre Dillard is there to watch his blindside.