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FRANKLIN AMERICAN MORTGAGE MUSIC CITY BOWL STORYLINES
Texas A&M vs. Louisville
By: Aldo Panessidi
Welcome to the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl featuring Texas A&M against Louisville. This will be an exciting game with Louisville winning 28-17 over Texas A&M. Play the best fantasy college football contests at Fanpicks.com
Texas A&M will have a new quarterback when it faces Louisville in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl on Dec. 30 in Nashville, Tenn. Sophomore Kyle Allen and freshman Kyler Murray, who combined for 2,896 yards, 22 touchdowns and 14 interceptions while splitting time this year, announced they were transferring out of Texas A&M as the Aggies began bowl preparations. Sophomore Jake Hubenak (a transfer from Blinn Junior College) is the only other Aggies quarterback to throw a pass this season.
The Cardinals, won five of their last six games to qualify coach Bobby Petrino for a school-record sixth bowl appearance, also used two starting quarterbacks this season. Dual-threat freshman Lamar Jackson led the Cardinals in rushing yards (734) and touchdowns (nine) in 11 appearances and six starts. Sophomore Kyle Bolin is a pocket-passer and threw for 1,154 yards, seven touchdowns and six interceptions.
The pressure will be on the two defenses to slow these offenses full of talented, young skill players. The Aggies rank third nationally in tackles for loss – led by Myles Garrett’s SEC-best 18.5 – and held teams to 161.2 passing yards. Devonte Fields had 19.5 tackles for loss while the Cardinals ranked 13th in total defense (323.4).
TEXAS A&M Season Overview (8-4, 4-4 SEC): Allen made nine starts and Murray had three while Hubenak went 12-of-27 for 92 yards and one touchdown in five appearances. Hubenak will have plenty of targets in Christian Kirk (70 catches for 925 yards, six TDs), Ricky Seals-Jones (42, 542, three) and Josh Reynolds (40, 730, five). Kirk, the SEC Freshman of the Year after recording 1,659 all-purpose yards, finished with a 24.4-yard average and two scores on punt returns.
LOUISVILLE Season Overview (7-5, 5-3 ACC): Jackson – who threw for 1,613 yards, 10 TDs and eight interceptions – is practicing taking snaps under center after spending most of the year in a pistol or shotgun formation. Jamari Staples (36 catches for 610 yards, three TDs) and James Quick (35 catches for 551 yards, five TDs) led the team in receiving while freshmen Ja ylen Smith (27 catches, 372 yards, one TD) and Traveon Samuel (18 catches, 177 yards, one TD) got valuable experience. Brandon Radcliff added 587 yards and seven scores on the ground.