Arkansas State, FIU square off in Camellia Bowl matchup
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — CAMELLIA BOWL
Arkansas State (7-5, Sun Belt) vs. Florida International (6-6, Conference USA), Saturday at 5:30 p.m. EST (ESPN).
Line: Arkansas State by 2 1/2.
Series record: Arkansas State leads 6-2.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Florida International is looking to secure a winning record. Arkansas State is trying to sustain momentum heading into the offseason after winning four of its last five games. It’s been a difficult year for the Red Wolves and coach Blake Anderson, whose wife Wendy died in August after a two-year fight with breast cancer.
Arkansas State’s passing game against FIU’s defense. FIU ranks sixth nationally in pass defense, allowing just 178.5 yards per game and holding three teams under 100 yards. The Red Wolves rank 14th in passing offense, averaging 305.3 yard per game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Arkansas State: WR Omar Bayless is an AP All-American and Sun Belt Conference player of the year. Bayless has 84 catches for 1,473 yards and 16 touchdowns. He has also blocked two kicks. FIU: QB James Morgan needs four touchdown passes to break the school’s career mark of 42. Has been intercepted just three times this season.
FACTS & FIGURES
FIU coach Butch Davis and Alabama’s Nick Saban are the only active FBS coaches to have taken three different teams to three straight bowl games. ... Arkansas State ended the regular season with four consecutive one-possession games. ... Both teams are nursing bowl streaks. The Red Wolves have made the postseason nine straight years. FIU has done it three straight times for the first time and is making its fifth bowl appearance. ... Arkansas State quarterback Layne Hatcher has the highest pass efficiency rating (173.5) among freshmen.
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