One of the joys of bowl season is watching college football played in Major League Baseball stadiums.
The St. Petersburg Bowl is one of these games, with Connecticut taking on Marshall at Tropicana Field, the home of the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Florida. Here are three reasons to watch the St. Petersburg Bowl:
1. UConn is back bowling, thanks to Bob Diaco.
The Huskies return to a bowl game for the first time since 2010, a 48-20 Fiesta Bowl loss to Oklahoma in the school's lone BCS-bowl appearance. This underscores a solid start to the Bob Diaco era. He is the first-ever UConn coach to make the postseason in just his second year in charge. The former defensive coordinator at Notre Dame has built a solid defense, which allowed 1.54 points per drive and 5.22 yards per play this season.
2. Think twice before heading to the fridge for leftovers if Marshall’s return team is on the field.
With UConn fielding a strong defense, Marshall could turn to its ability to change the game with special teams. Return specialist Deandre Reaves earned Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Year honors with three returns for touchdowns this season. Reaves had a 93-yard kick return for a touchdown against Kent State, a 97-yard kick return for a score against Western Kentucky, and a 69-yard punt return for a touchdown against Florida International. Reaves also excels as a slot receiver, recording 47 receptions for 617 yards and four touchdowns.
3. Connecticut cornerback Jamar Summers is a name to know.
The sophomore led the American Athletic Conference with seven interceptions, which tied him for third nationally. Summers did it all for the Huskies this season, with three interceptions in UConn’s final four games. His interception return for a touchdown provided the only points in a 7-3 win against Tulane on Nov. 7. He also had the game-clinching interception during Connecticut’s 20-17 win versus Houston on Nov. 21. Summers was a All-American Athletic Conference first-teamer and could be eyeing All-American status in 2016 as one of America’s top play-making cornerbacks.