Thursday's bowl games

  • Updated: December 25, 2013 - 9:48 PM

LITTLE CAESAR’S PIZZA BOWL

Bowling Green (10-3)

vs. Pittsburgh (6-6)

Where: Detroit

Time, TV: 5 p.m., ESPN

Line: Bowling Green by 4½

The skinny: Pittsburgh can finish a season with a bowl victory and a winning record for the first time since 2010, after bowl losses in 2011 and 2012 left the Panthers at 6-7. Panthers DT Aaron Donald earned a lot of trophies after leading the nation with 2.2 tackles for loss per game. He and the Pitt defense will try to slow a Falcons offense that averaged 35.4 points and 472.5 yards this season, led by RB Travis Greene, who has a single-season school-record 1,555 yards rushing. Bowling Green has a chance to match a school record with an 11th victory.

POINSETTIA BOWL

Utah State (8-5) vs. No. 24 Northern Illinois (12-1)

Where: San Diego Time, TV:  8:30 p.m., ESPN

Line: Utah State by 1

The skinny: It’s the final game for Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois’ dual-threat quarterback, who finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting. The Huskies offense also features RB Cameron Stingily and WRs Tommylee Lewis and Da’Ron Brown, but it faces an Aggies defense that has allowed only two 100-yard rushers and eight touchdowns rushing this season, and just 24 points in its last three games. Both teams are coming off losses in conference championship games — Northern Illinois to Bowling Green in the Mid-American Conference that cost it a BCS bid and Utah State to Fresno State in the Mountain West.

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