You’ve Read This Far, So You Get Three Honest Thoughts On The TaxSlayer Gator Bowl
– Usually, Jimbo Fisher doesn’t deal with minor bowls. The A&M head man missed out on last year’s Independence Bowl after leaving Florida State, but before that he coached in six New Year’s Six bowls in seven campaigns, winning five of them and, of course, a national title. Not to knock the TaxSlayer Gator, but this is the second-worst bowl he has coached in besides the 2011 Champs Sports.
– Like most things with NC State, the program doesn’t get a whole lot of credit for being amazing in bowl games. Going back to the 2003 Gator win over Notre Dame, the Pack are 8-3, with head coach Dave Doeren winning three of them. Throw in the 2011 GoDaddy when he was at Northern Illinois, and he’s 5-1 in bowl games. However he has yet to have a team finish in the top 20. Win, and that changes. One of the bowl games he missed was the 2013 Orange vs. FSU. However …
– Jimbo Fisher is 4-1 vs. Dave Doeren. Last season was the lone misfire – a 27-21 Pack win, but to be fair, that was the game after FSU lost QB Deondre Francois in the Alabama loss. Doeren wailed on Willie Taggart’s Seminole team 47-28 this year – but the two head coaches are very familiar with each other.
Super. So Who’s Going To Win The TaxSlayer Gator Bowl?
Can Texas A&M avoid the big turnovers? As long as the secondary doesn’t allow Ryan Finley to go crazy, and as long as the turnover margin isn’t too wild in State’s favor, Jimbo should have this.
His defense has had a month to prepare for the State passing game, the Aggie offense should be balanced enough to run its controlled attack like it needs to, and A&M will slow down the Pack running game enough to pull this off in a great game to end 2018.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Texas A&M 30, NC State 24
Line: Texas A&M -7, o/u: 58.5
ATS Confidence: 1
– CFN Confidence Pool
5: Being in the bar already
0: Watching ball drop … and then trying to get into the bar
Must See Rating: 4
5: New Year’s Eve: Ministry of Sound, London
1: New Year’s Eve: Times Square, New York