Military Bowl and Holiday Bowl previews

Associated PressDecember 28, 2011 

Military Bowl

Air Force (7-5) vs. Toledo (8-4), 4:30 p.m.

What's at stake: Military pride, young pride. Army and Navy had losing seasons, so it's up to the Air Force to carry the banner for the service academies. Toledo coach Tim Beckman departed this month for Illinois, so it's up to the Football Bowl Subdivision's youngest coach to lead the Rockets.

Key matchup: Toledo's defense against Air Force's triple-option. Neither defense is much to write home about.

Players to watch: AIR FORCE: QB Tim Jefferson is the first player in service academy history to lead his team to four consecutive bowl games. TOLEDO: Junior WR Eric Page has set school records for catches in a season (112) and career (293), as well as career yards receiving (3,387). He also is a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award, given to college football's most versatile player.

Notes: The game is expected to be a shootout featuring distinct offenses. Toledo's spread attack averages 42.3 points, and Air Force's triple-option rushes for 320.3 yards per game (second among FBS schools behind Army). ... The Military Bowl was to pit Navy against an ACC team, but Navy isn't bowl-eligible and the ACC ran out of bowl-eligible schools. Holiday Bowl

California (7-5) vs. Texas (7-5), 8 p.m.

What's at stake: Texas has lost three of its past four, including a 24-point loss at Baylor in the regular-season finale, but Cal has won three of four, with the loss being by three points to Stanford.

Key matchup: Texas quarterbacks Case McCoy and David Ash against Cal's defense.

Players to watch: CALIFORNIA: LB Mychal Kendricks was the Pac 12's Defensive Player of the Year. He had a career-high 96 tackles and 13 tackles for loss. TEXAS: QB McCoy has thrown for 1,034 yards, 7 TDs, 4 INTs.

Notes: Texas CB Quandre Diggs is the brother of former Longhorns star and current San Diego Chargers starting cornerback Quentin Jammer. Associated Press

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