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Each and every year, the Fiesta Bowl is one of the best bowl games in the country, and this year should be no exception. It'll be a real David vs. Goliath situation in college football betting action here in Glendale, AZ, as the Big XII champs, the Oklahoma Sooners, battle it out with the Big East champs, the Connecticut Huskies.
Fiesta Bowl Matchup: Oklahoma Sooners vs. Connecticut Huskies
Date: Saturday, January 1st, 8:30 ET
Location: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Fiesta Bowl Line: Oklahoma -16.5
Sooners Notes: Oklahoma is going to have to shake the demons from horrifying Fiesta Bowls of the past. It was shocked by the Boise State Broncos a few years ago in the game that really shook the very nature of college football betting action and gave a lot of credence to some of these mid major clubs. The Sooners were also beaten by the West Virginia Mountaineers just days after losing Head Coach Rich Rodriguez to the Michigan Wolverines. They do have a dynamic offense this year, as the trio of QB Landry Jones, WR Ryan Broyles and RB DeMarco Murray might be the best in America. This unit combined for 482.4 yards and 36.4 points per game this year. Jones, whom we have to remember is just a sophomore, threw for 4,289 yards and 35 TDs on the year, and he put the ball in the air a whopping 568 times. Broyles had 118 receptions, the most in the nation, accounting for 1,452 yards and 13 TDs. Murray does a little bit of everything. He rushed for 1,121 yards, caught 69 passes for 595 yards, and had 249 kick return yards on the year, accounting for a total of 19 trips to the end zone. The reason that the Sooners aren't playing for a National Championship though, is their defense. This unit just wasn't all that good this year, allowing 364.6 yards per game, something that was really unheard of by Head Coach Bob Stoops' standards.
Huskies Notes: Head Coach Randy Edsall is being rumored to go to virtually every single high end job in the country, but the tycoon that he is in the process of building here at Connecticut might be the start of something tremendous. The Huskies were once 2.5 games back in the Big East race, but the season really changed with a 16-13 OT win over the West Virginia Mountaineers. From that point forward, they went 5-0 SU and ATS, including winning four games outright as underdogs. The man that is going to be controlling this offense is RB Jordan Todman, who legitimately could have been a Heisman Trophy finalist this year. Todman carried the ball a whopping 302 times on the season, and he turned those carries into 1,574 rushing yards and 14 scores. The problem that he has is that there really isn't a passing game to speak of. Edsall has deployed three different signal callers this year, and none of the three have really been able to get the job done. QB Zach Frazer is going to be calling the shots, but completing 52.7 percent of his passes for just 1,202 yards and five TDs isn't anything that we are overly excited about. Defensively, the Huskies held teams to just 19.8 points per game this year, and only the Temple Owls put 30 points up on this squad.
The Final Word: Many think that the Huskies are going to pull off the upset here in Glendale, but the third time is the charm for the Sooners. If UConn falls behind in this game, it is dead, and this wasn't the case in Fiesta Bowls of the past against these guys. OU is going to get up early and put this one away from the get go, and even if the defense does end up getting plastered, the offense should always stay one step ahead. The Sooners are tired of hearing about the potential choke job. They flex their muscles on New Year's Day.
Fiesta Bowl Free Pick: Oklahoma -16.5
Fiesta Bowl Prediction: Oklahoma 37 – Connecticut 17