Screen plays Today's bowl games

Birmingham Bowl

Auburn vs. Memphis

11 a.m. from Birmingham, Ala.; ESPN

Records: Auburn 6-6, 2-6 SEC; Memphis 9-3, 5-3 ACC

The skinny: The key for Auburn will be the running attack, led by Jovon Robinson, who came on strong late in the season, and Peyton Barber, who has rushed for 976 yards and 13 touchdowns. Memphis will rely on QB Paxton Lynch, a potential NFL first-round draft pick who has passed for a school-record 3,670 yards and 28 touchdowns with only three interceptions this season. He's likely the best passer Auburn will face this season.

The stat: Memphis is allowing only 3.4 yards a carry.

The line: Auburn by 3

Belk Bowl

N.C. State vs. Mississippi State

2:30 p.m. from Charlotte, N.C.; ESPN

Records: N.C. State 7-5, 3-5 ACC; Miss. State 8-4, 4-4 SEC

The skinny: Mississippi State hopes to send senior QB Dak Prescott out a winner in his final game. Prescott passed for 3,413 yards and 25 touchdowns this season while rushing for 541 yards and a team-high 10 TDs. The Wolfpack's key weapon is TE/RB Jaylen Samuels, who has a team-high seven TD catches and has rushed for 315 yards and seven TDs.

The stat: Mississippi State has outscored its opponents 96-34 in the fourth quarter this season.

The line: Miss. State by 6 ½

Music City Bowl

Texas A&M vs. Louisville

6 p.m. from Nashville, Tenn.; ESPN

Records: Texas A&M 8-4, 4-4 SEC; Louisville 7-5, 5-3 ACC

The skinny: After opening the season with three straight losses, Louisville can finish with victories in six of its final seven games and give coach Bobby Petrino his 100th career win. The Cardinals also are looking for their third win in their past four bowls. Texas A&M, with sophomore QB Jake Hubenak making his first start, is trying to send home a second straight senior class with four straight bowl victories.

The stat: Louisville has won six of its past eight against SEC teams.

The line: Louisville by 4 ½

Holiday Bowl

No. 24 Southern Cal vs. Wisconsin

9:30 p.m. from San Diego, ESPN

Records: Southern Cal 7-5, 5-3 Pac-12; Wisconsin 9-3, 6-2 Big Ten

The skinny: Call this the Rose Bowl Light. While this normally would make a good New Year's Day matchup in Pasadena, the Trojans are in the Holiday Bowl for the second consecutive year while the Badgers are making their first trip to the bowl. USC won a pair of Rose Bowls against Wisconsin in 1953 and '63. … QB Cody Kessler, the 2014 Holiday Bowl Offensive MVP, leads the USC offense. He has passed for 3,315 yards and 28 TDs this season. Trying to stop Kessler and the Trojans will be Badgers OLB Joe Schobert, a second-team All-America selection amassing 9 ½ sacks, five forced fumbles and 18 ½ tackles for loss.

The stat: USC has won the past 13 games against Big Ten teams, including the past eight bowl games against the conference.

The line: USC by 3 ½

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