Why UAB Will Win The Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl
– Like NIU, UAB lives on its defense, finishing second in the nation in third down stops and going through a brilliant midseason stretch allowing seven points or fewer in five of six games. Also like NIU, the pass rush is a dominant force, finishing fourth in the nation in sacks and fifth in tackles for loss. The Huskies have a good line, but it gives up too many sacks.
– Northern Illinois finds ways to come up with wins, mostly on the defensive side, but scoring points has been like pulling teeth at times. The O is averaging just under 21 points per game and with one of the worst downfield passing games in the country, averaging just 9.3 yards per completion.
– UAB holds on to the ball for forever, and in a game like this when points are going to come at a premium, time of possession will matter. NIU only controls the clock for around 28 minutes per game. Thanks to a defense that’s second in the nation in third down stops, UAB dominates the clock, owning the ball for over 33 minutes.