Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl Players To Watch
DE Sutton Smith, Northern Illinois: The extraordinary pass rusher followed up an All-America 14-sack season with 15 sacks, 24.5 tackles for loss, and 56 tackles in all. Everyone keys on him, and he still produces big plays on a consistent basis. Josh Corcoran came up with ten sacks on the other side, and between the two, they can take over games.
QB Marcus Childers: Northern Illinois: All of a sudden, he turned into Patrick Mahomes with a 300-yard, four-touchdown day to beat Buffalo in the MAC Championship. However, he has struggled all season long to get the passing game doing, only throwing for 200 yards one other time and giving away ten picks. But he wins games, and he can run.
RB Spencer Brown, UAB: The 6-0, 220-pounder carried the offense through a shaky passing game and a whole slew of inconsistencies. He finished the season with 1,149 yards and 16 touchdowns, coming through when the team needed him the most with a season-high 156 yards and a score on a workhorse 31 carries to beat Middle Tennessee for the Conference USA title.
OT Justice Powers, UAB: The 6-3, 295-pound First Team All-Conference USA right tackle isn’t massive, but he’s the key to the team’s running game and he’s the team’s best pass protector. It’ll be his job to deal with Sutton Smith and Josh Corcoran on the NIU defensive front – he needs to have an all-star performance to help keep them from dominating.