Only one bowl game on the cards for today as Marshall takes on South Florida in the Gasparilla Bowl. Marshall comes in with a record of 8-4 and though they have some notable pieces on offense, they are powered by a strong defense. A stout defensive line resulted in Marshall only giving up an average of 22 points per game.
Charlie Strong has his South Florida Bulls coming in with a record of 7-5 though his Bulls have struggled in conference with a record of 3-5.
GASPARILLA BOWL: Marshall vs. South Florida – 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
The Marshall Thundering Herd come in with a record of 8-4 and have a handful of intriguing prospects of significance, none bigger than wide receiver Tyre Brady. The senior wide receiver recorded 60 receptions for 819 yards and 9 touchdowns. Brady’s height, 6’3 make him a great physical receiver who can make contested catches as his 18 career touchdowns would back up. His hands are also a reliable asset as Brady will likely shape into a decent late round pick. Check back to see if Brady can improve his stock at this year’s Senior Bowl.
Linebacker Juwon Young transitioned from linebacker to defensive lineman for his senior year and racked up 43 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks. At 6’2, 250 lbs, Young is a bit of a tweener prospect as his size and weight offers limitations for both the linebacker and defensive line positions.
The Thundering Herd defensive line is also bolstered by Ryan Bee and Ty Tyler. Bee, a senior lineman is a great run stopper as his 6’7, 280 lb frame makes him a wall in run support. He lives in the backfield as his 29.5 career tackles for a loss show. One area where he thrives is his ability to get his hands up at the line of scrimmage with six pass defenses. Tyler on the other hand, enjoyed a breakout junior season in 2018 as his sacks leapfrogged from two in 2017 to a team leading eight this season.
Marshall’s secondary is patrolled by Malik Grant. The safety backs up the run game and is capable of making plays on the football. He recorded his first two career interceptions last season while also adding 90 tackles with nine tackles for a loss.
The South Florida Bulls will counter with a potent running game, powered by junior running back Jordan Cronkrite. Averaging 6.3 yards per carry, Cronkite possesses great speed and vision for the field of play. He will likely fill out as a change of pace back at the next level.
The Bulls loving going to tight end Mitchell Wilcox in the passing game as the junior tight end put in his most complete effort during the 2018 season. Wilcox’s previous high for receptions in a season is 12 but he shattered that last season, recording 40 catches for 506 yards and two touchdowns. Always known as an able and willing blocker, Wilcox showed that he could also contribute in the passing game and in a big way. Currently dealing with an ankle injury right now, it is unknown if he will suit up for the Gasparilla Bowl.