The start of the St. Petersburg Bowl is quickly approaching with many college football fans ready and waiting.
In this year’s game, the Thundering Herd of Marshall University will face the Huskies of the University of Connecticut (UConn) at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) December 26, 2015
Both teams delivered impressive performances during their respective seasons this year. The Marshall Huskies were not able to regain their Conference USA championship title, but a win today will still give them a 10-victory season.
“There’s no doubt we’d like to do that because we’d be the only team in the non-power five to get 10 wins for three straight seasons, but I’m not sure there is any added pressure. Any time you go in to a football game, you have to do a good job of preparing and let the game take care of itself.”
On the other side of the field, UConn coach Bob Diaco is also eager to guide his team towards adding a victory to their own season record. The Huskies finished the regular season with a 6-6 record, so a victory at the St. Petersburg Bowl will leave them with a winning season.
Diaco made it clear to the Hartford Courant that the St. Petersburg Bowl “isn’t just some bowl game.” On the contrary, Diaco said that “it’s backs against the wall.”
According to Bob, who is finishing his second season as a coach at UConn, having a winning season would be “a big deal” for the fans, student body, and even the people that work at the University of Connecticut. If the University of Connecticut Huskies win the St. Petersburg Bowl, the team will have its first winning season since 2010.
Who will win the St. Petersburg Bowl? According to the Hartford Courant, the odds are in favor of the Marshall Thundering Herd.
The team has reportedly been installed as a four-and-a-half point favorite for the big game. It may seem like the pressure of today’s game rests on the shoulders of Marshall quarterback Chase Litton, especially since he will be playing in his hometown of Tampa.
“I played high school ball over here. I played middle school ball here. It’s just normal. Definitely don’t want to come to Florida and lose a game…. We came to win a game, so let’s do it!”
The fact that Chase Litton is a freshman quarterback apparently doesn’t concern Doc Holliday heading into the St. Petersburg Bowl simply because of Litton’s performance during the regular season. Holliday claims that “Chase isn’t really a freshman anymore” since “he’s played a lot of football” and “played with confidence” as the team heads into their 13th game.
— Stephen Slade (@ssladephoto) December 26, 2015
However, the Huskies’ defense has proven to be a force to be reckoned with on the football field. Statistically, it is one of the strongest defenses that the Thundering Herd has faced, according to USA Today – allowing 19.5 points and 352.2 yards per game. Holliday has more than likely come up with a solid game plan to try to break through that defensive shield, but whether or not the team will be able to do so is the question at hand.
The St. Petersburg Bowl between the Marshall Thundering Herd and UConn Huskies will start at 11 A.M. (Eastern Time). You can watch the game on TV at ESPN or online, according to Bleacher Report, at Watch ESPN.
[Image Credit: Mitchell Leff & Rob Foldy/Getty Images]