Fri 26/12/2014 - 18:14 EST

Illinois vs Louisiana Tech: Heart of Dallas NCAAF Bowl Game Prediction

Illinois vs Louisiana Tech: Heart of Dallas NCAAF Bowl Game Prediction
Following a day off to celebrate Christmas, North American football stadiums come to life again beginning with Louisiana Tech battling Illinois in the Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl. Game time is slated for 1:00 PM ET on December 26, 2014, at the legendary Cotton Bowl in Dallas, TX. We're bullish on the Bulldogs here.

Louisiana Tech: Take-away defense powers the Bulldogs

Coming off a dismal 4-8 record in 2013, expectations weren’t very high in the Bayou this season. That sentiment was echoed after Louisiana Tech opened their 2014 campaign with a 2-3 mark. Since then, the Bulldogs have posted a 6-2 record, both loses were by three points, outscoring their opponents by a 336-164 margin. Defense has keyed the Bulldogs success as they led the nation with 40 takeaways this season. La. Tech can also put points on the board as their 37.5 PPG ranked 13th and was led by RB Kenneth Dixon who amassed 1,542 total yards and scored 26 touchdowns.

Illinois: Fighting Illini earn a postseason bowl bid with back to back season ending wins

Like Louisiana Tech, Illinois is back in an NCAA Bowl Game for the first time since 2011. Facing a tough schedule, that included loses to Nebraska and Ohio State, the Fighting Illini closed their season with wins over Penn State (16-14) and Northwestern (47-33) to finish with a 6-6 record. That said, there’s not a whole lot to like about Illinois as they have questions at quarterback on offense and their defense ranked 108th allowing 33.9 points per game. RB Josh Ferguson (1,058 TYD 10 TD) and WR Mike Dudek (965 RYD 6 TD) will both need the game of their lives to pull off an upset here.

Heart of Dallas NCAAF Bowl Game Prediction: Senior QB Reilly O’Toole, who replaced starter Wes Lunt, led Illinois to their late season wins but he hasn’t faced a ball-hawking defense similar to what the Bulldogs bring into this contest. Complicating matters, the Illini run defense allowed 249.6 YPG (123rd ranking) and they now have to contend with Dixon who racked up 156 yards and three scores in the Bulldogs 26-23 late game loss to a solid Marshall squad in the Conference USA title game. Lay the line and back the Bulldogs with a 1000 unit wager at the William Hill sportsbook.

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs vs Illinois Fighting Illini - William Hill NCAAF Betting Odds

William Hill NCAAF Betting Odds - Louisiana Tech Bulldogs vs Illinois Fighting Illini

 

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