The first weekend of Bowl Season kicks off on Friday with the #25 UTSA Roadrunners (11-2) battling the #24 Troy Trojans (11-2) in a Top 25 matchup in the Duluth Trading Cure Bowl to get Bowl Mania going. The contest will be the first time these two Group of Five programs have met each other in the schools’ histories.
Friday’s contest kicks off at 3 p.m. EST inside Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida. The Roadrunners are a one-point favorite, and the over/under total is 57 points
What to Know – #25 UTSA Roadrunners
UTSA opened up the 2022 season, losing two of three games to Houston and Texas but rallied during conference play to finish with ten-straight victories. The Roadrunners won the Conference USA Championship for the second consecutive season. Jeff Traylor is in his third season as the head coach of UTSA.
On offense, the Roadrunners scored 38.7 points per contest, backed by an offense that averaged 486.1 yards per game. UTSA’s defense allowed 26.5 points per contest, holding teams to 404.8 yards of total offense.
The Roadrunners finished the regular season with a 7-6 record against the spread and a 4-1 mark ATS over their final five contests. UTSA is 4-2 over its last six games as the betting favorite.
What to Know – #24 Troy Trojans
The Trojans opened in a similar fashion, dropping two of its first three before reeling off the final ten games of the year. Troy won its conference division and knocked off Coastal Carolina in the Sun Belt title game to claim its first championship. Former Kentucky defensive coordinator Jon Sumrall is in his first year as the head coach of the Trojans.
Offensively, Troy averaged 26.2 points and 374.5 yards of total offense per game. The defense for the Trojans surrendered 17.5 points per game, one of the best in the nation, allowing 325.6 yards of total offense to opponents.
Troy was 10-3 ATS during the regular season and 6-0 ATS playing away from its home field. The Trojans are 5-1 ATS in their previous six matchups and 5-0 ATS when playing as the underdog.
The Pick is In
Friday opens up bowl play, and college football fans get a Top 25 matchup on day 1. UTSA won their games with a high-tempo scoring attack, while the Trojans suffocated opponents and kept teams out of the endzone. Friday afternoon will be a battle of strengths in Orlando.
The old saying in football goes, “Defense wins championships,” and while that has been proven over time to be true, that won’t be the case in this one. Troy’s defense will get stops, but ultimately the UTSA offense will do what it needs to do to win the game.
Expect a fun brawl in the Sunshine State and a close game until the Roadrunners put it away late in the fourth quarter.
The Pick: UTSA Roadrunners ML