In our 2020 Armed Forces Bowl pick, featuring Southern Mississippi and Tulane, the Green Wave are favored by seven. This Armed Forces Bowl pick offers an over/under of 56.5. This is the 39th bowl game for 2019-2020. The 38th contest of this postseason, the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, will be played on January 3, which is the day prior to this one. There’s one more bowl game to go after this one. That’s the LendingTree Bowl, which will be played on Monday, January 6 at 7:30 pm ET. The following week on Monday, January 13 the College Football Playoff National Championship game will be played between #3 Clemson and #1 LSU.
In C-USA, the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (7-5) posted a 5-3 record. That earned them a third-place finish in the West. Two teams finished at the top with 6-2 records, the UAB Blazers and Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. In the AAC West, the Tulane Green Wave (6-6) came in third with a conference record of 3-5. The two top teams in that division, both at 7-1, were the #17 Memphis Tigers and #23 Navy Midshipmen.
2020 Armed Forces Bowl Pick – Regular Season
Over the first four games of the season, the Golden Eagles posted alternating wins and losses. During those four weeks, their biggest game was against #2 Alabama. The Crimson Tide beat USM 49-7. Over the next six games, Southern Mississippi went 5-1. They ended the regular season with losses to Western Kentucky and Florida Atlantic.
Our 2020 Armed Forces Bowl pick notes that over Tulane’s first six games, they went 5-1. The Green Wave’s only loss over those half-dozen games was to #10 Auburn. The Tigers beat Tulane 24-6. Unfortunately, for the Green Wave the second half of their season was a mirror image of the first. In their final six games, Tulane recorded one win and five losses. Memphis, Navy, and Temple were three of the teams that were victorious against the Eagles. The one team USM beat in that string of games was Tulsa. The final score in that game was 38-26.
Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles vs Tulane Green Wave – Stats
In terms of scoring points, Tulane is averaging a healthy 33.3 PPG, while Southern Mississippi is putting up 27.8. Of Tulane’s 455.2 total offensive yards, 249.8 are ground yards. On the other hand, USM, which has been good for 411.0 total yards, is accumulating a majority of their yards in the air. Consequently, they’ve been averaging 288.6 YPG in passing.
On defense, the Golden Eagles are holding opponents to 25.9 PPG. At the same time, Tulane is giving up 27.4 PPG. Total defensive yards allowed come to 350.3 PG for Southern Mississippi and 378.5 PG for the Green Wave. Tulane is permitting opponents a hefty 164.5 ground yards per game. Conversely, the Eagles are holding teams to 111.8 YPG in rushing.
Southern Mississippi at Tulane – Players
Both quarterbacks have issues with decision-making while both teams bring offenses to the field that can score. Tulane focuses on the rush and USM the pass. On defense, neither team s stellar. However, the Green Wave’s D can score and the Golden Eagles’ defense is adept at pressuring QBs.
Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles
QB Jack Abraham has 3,329 passing yards, completing 67.5% of his passes. Although he’s tossed a respectable 18 TD passes, the QB has also thrown almost as many picks (15). The receiving group includes four players who have 30 or more catches. WR Tim Jones has 66 receptions and three TDs, while wideout Quez Watkins has caught 55 passes for 1,024 yards and five TDs. Kevin Perkins and De’Michael Harris have just over 100 carries and just over 540 ground yards each. Perkins had three TDs and Harris five. In addition, Abraham has five rushing scores also.
On defense, Terry Whittington has recorded 7.5 of the team’s 38 sacks. DL Jacques Turner has posted five QB bring downs. Our 2020 Armed Forces Bowl pick notes that DBs Ky’El Hemby and Shannon Showers have two picks and three PD each, Hemby tops the team with 56 solo tackles and 87 total tackles. DB Ty Williams has defended 13 passes.
Tulane Green Wave
For the Green Wave, dual-threat Justin McMillan quarterbacks. McMillan has accumulated 2,229 passing yards and 704 rushing yards. He’s recorded 14 TD passes and rushed for 12 scores, averaging 4.6 YPA. McMillan, who’s completing 57.4% of his passes. has tossed 10 interceptions and been sacked 25 times. Various players share the rushing duties, including senior Corey Dauphine. Dauphine has 70 carries for 569 yards and seven scores. He’s averaging a hefty 8.1 YPA. McMillan’s top two receiving targets are Darnell Mooney 40 catches and five scores with and Jalen McCleskey with 35 receptions and three TDs.
Tulane’s defense has just 18 sacks, 10 interceptions, and eight FF with four FR. However, they have run two picks and one fumble recovery back for TDs. Safety P.J. Hall comes to this game with two picks and seven PD.
Five Keys to the Game
Our 2020 Armed Forces Bowl pick determines the following keys to this game:
- Fine QB accuracy and decision-making are essential for both teams
- Tulane’s ground attack has to be effective
- USM’s air game must produce results
- Green Wave D is problematic
- Golden Eagle rush defense could keep Tulane in check
Our 2020 Armed Forces Bowl Pick
Our 2020 Armed Forces Bowl pick does like the Golden Eagles in this contest. We find that Southern Mississippi is deeper on both sides of the ball. Still, a mistake or two by either team can turn the tide in this game. Our pick is the USM Golden Eagles at -7.0. As far as the over/under is concerned, we’re taking the under.