The holiday is over, which means a return to your preferred Saturday schedule is in order. After a short Christmas break, college football is back Saturday with a hefty slate of games.
The best of the Saturday games could come early in the Hyundai Sun Bowl (2 p.m. ET, CBS) when 8-4 programs Miami and Washington State meet in El Paso, Texas.
Three reasons to watch:
1. There will be a lot of points.
You just finished up watching Marshall and UConn, a game in which points will be hard to come by. And accompanying the Sun Bowl on ESPN is a bowl involving Washington, which also doesn’t give up many points. So allow Cougars coach Mike Leach, Luke Falk and Brad Kaaya to provide the offense for the afternoon. Miami has eclipsed 30 points in six games this season. Washington State achieved that mark seven times
Neither team is remarkable on defense, either. Miami and Washington State both allow 28.8 points per game, which ranks 82nd nationally. Against the two best offenses Miami faced this season, the Hurricanes have given up 58 (Clemson) and 59 (North Carolina) points. The Cougars allowed 30 points or more in five straight games.
2. It showcases two of the best quarterbacks.
Reason No. 1 serves as a launch point for the second reason, which is the spectacular, young quarterbacks the game highlights. Falk and Kaaya are only sophomores, and both rank among the top-25 passers in yards per game.
The Cougars' Falk leads the nation in attempts (53.7) and yards (387.8) per game. His 70.7 completion percentage ranks second nationally. Falk threw for 300 yards in 10 straight games and has thrown for 478, 497, 505 and 514 yards in games this season.
The Miami passing attack is conducted differently, which adds another interesting layer to the game. Though Wazzu relies on short completions, the Hurricanes throw down the field much more often. Kaaya averages 8.43 yards per attempt, and his throws on average travel 9.44 yards before reaching the targeted receiver, which ranks 18th nationally. Falk’s yards per attempt is 7.22, and his average throw travels 3.5 yards shorter than Kaaya’s. Only 10 percent of Falk’s throws travel 20 yards, which ranks 61st out of 65 Power 5 quarterbacks.
3. No one quite knows what Leach will say or do.
Sometimes Leach will wax poetic about pirates. Other times he will bemoan his players’ overweight, truncated girlfriends. He will criticize the public for giving too much attention to leaky footballs and reality stars. That time, Leach would feel, is better spent reading about historic Apache leader Geronimo, and Leach has just the book for someone to educate themselves on the subject. He will harvest garbanzo beans for snacks on morning walks to his job, which he obtained after riding his bike to his Key West-based interview.
Leach hasn’t won a bowl game since 2009. Washington State hasn’t won a bowl since 2003, the same year it last finished with a winning season. What might Leach say on the field after the game if he puts an end to those streaks?