The Liberty Flames (8-4) meet up with the Toledo Rockets (8-5) in the 2022 Boca Raton Bowl in the Sunshine State. Toledo and Liberty have met three times in the past, with the Rockets claiming victory in all three.
Tuesday’s kick-off is at 7:30 p.m. EST inside FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Florida. Toledo is a 3.5-point favorite, and the over/under total is 53 points.
What to Know – Liberty Flames
Liberty finished the regular season losing its final three contests after opening the year and winning eight of its first nine matchups. Playing their final season as an FBS independent team, the Flames will join Conference USA in 2023. Hugh Freeze was the Liberty coach since 2019 before accepting the Auburn head coaching job following the regular season.
On offense, the Flames average 28.3 points behind 400.2 total yards of offense per contest. Liberty’s defense limits opponents to 24.9 points and 345.0 yards of total offense per game.
Liberty’s offense is focused on the run game, where the Flames went to the ground nearly 60% of the time. Dae Dae Hunter and Shedro Louis split time out of the backfield, combining for 1,342 yards and 13 touchdowns.
The Flames were 5-7 against the spread during the regular season and 2-5 ATS over their last seven games. However, Liberty is 10-1 ATS in the previous eleven matchups when playing as the underdog.
What to Know – Toledo Rockets
The Rockets are bowl eligible again for the second year in a row and are playing in their second Boca Raton Bowl. Toledo defeated Temple, 32-17, on its first trip to Boca back in 2015. The Rockets were winners of the Mid-American Conference and led by seventh-year head coach Jason Candle.
Toledo’s offense comes to Florida, scoring 32.1 points per game while averaging 405.8 yards of total offense. On the defensive side of the ball, the Rockets surrender 25.5 points and 331.9 yards of total offense to opposing teams.
Offensively, the Rockets’ scoring attack is guided by quarterback Dequan Finn and his passing and rushing combination. Finn completed 59.1% of his passes, throwing for 22 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. A true dual threat, Finn was the team’s second-leading rusher with 608 yards and eight touchdowns with his legs.
Toledo was 5-8 ATS in 2022 but covered the spread in its only contest on a neutral field. The Rockets were 1-5 ATS over their previous six games.
The Pick is In
Both of these teams like to play up-tempo offensively, so expect some quick scores but also some quick three-and-outs. Neither defense stands out on paper, leading to a game that should easily surpass 60 points total.
Toledo comes in with momentum, while the Flames limped through the regular season’s final month and will be without their head coach. Give us the Rockets to find the endzone last and win their second Boca Raton Bowl in an exciting finish.
The Pick: Toledo Rockets -3.5