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q123 Jan 16
The Heart of Dallas Bowl will be a rematch between two teams that played in October -- and one of them is heading into the game with a 5-7 record. Mike McGlinchey Super Bowl Jersey .Unusual? Yes. But scenarios like this simply come with the territory now.With 80 bowl spots to fill, some postseason games ended up with odd matchups this year. North Texas will play in the Heart of Dallas Bowl after going 5-7, and the game will be a rematch against an Army teams it met six weeks ago. Mississippi State is also going to a bowl at 5-7. The Bulldogs face Miami (Ohio) in the St. Petersburg Bowl.Were fortunate to have the opportunity, North Texas coach Seth Littrell said. At the end of the day, we didnt even feel like we could get in this way, but we did, and so were going to take it.Hawaii is also heading to a bowl with a losing record. The Rainbow Warriors (6-7) will play in the Hawaii Bowl against Middle Tennessee. The reason some sub-.500 teams were given a reprieve is because there werent enough eligible teams to fill all the spots.That shortage also allows Army (6-5) and South Alabama (6-6) to go to bowls even though both have multiple wins over FCS schools. Teams are only supposed to count one FCS win for bowl eligibility purposes, but since there were openings, the Black Knights and Jaguars are in.South Alabama faces Air Force in the Arizona Bowl. The Jaguars were supposed to play LSU in November, but that game was canceled when the Tigers needed to play a rescheduled game against Florida. South Alabama played Presbyterian instead and won, so that switch may have been the difference between reaching a bowl and missing the postseason.There were sub-.500 teams in bowls last season too, so this may be the new normal in college football. North Texas and Mississippi State werent exactly apologizing Sunday. The Bulldogs Twitter account boasted that Mississippi State is one of only five Southeastern Conference schools to reach a bowl every season this decade.Since the Academic Progress Rate plays a role in which sub.-500 teams play on, coaches can take pride in that.This is a great opportunity for one of the winningest senior classes in school history and for our program to build momentum for 2017, Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said in a statement. It also speaks volumes of our student-athletes for their commitment in the classroom to qualify for a bowl based on our successful APR.North Texas lost four of its last five games in the regular season, but reaching a bowl -- no matter how it happened -- is still a big step forward after the Mean Green went 1-11 in 2015.North Texas won 35-18 at Army on Oct. 22. Regular-season rematches are rare in bowls, but there are some positives for the Heart of Dallas Bowl in this matchup. The bowl was supposed to match Conference USA against the Big Ten, but with one Big Ten team in the playoff and three more in New Years Six bowls, there werent enough left for every bowl with ties to the league.We know that Army is going to bring a large contingency because the Texas area is one of their hotbeds, said Brant Ringler, the bowls executive director.North Texas in Denton, of course, isnt far from Dallas. Ringler said that was appealing as well.In the past couple years, you probably have noticed, the Conference USA championship has occurred, we received usually the champion or the runner-up, and it was probably going to look to be that way possibly this year as well, Ringler said. But when we had an opening in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl game that we also control, we did work out an agreement with Conference USA to have (runner-up Louisiana Tech) play in the Armed Forces Bowl. Therefore, it allowed us to be able to slide in the University of North Texas into the Heart of Dallas Bowl, which is a win-win for all of us all around.---More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25 .---Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister Jaquiski Tartt Super Bowl Jersey . -- Playing time has been limited for Maxim Tissot this season, so the Montreal Impact defender made the most of his first scoring opportunity on Saturday. Jerick McKinnon Super Bowl Jersey .C. -- When North Carolina freshman Ryan Switzer reported to training camp in August he was a little miffed to learn he was third on the depth chart at punt returner. http://www.49ersofficialfanshop.com/fred-warner-jersey-sales.html . Neymar curled home a free kick from just outside the area to put the 2014 World Cup host ahead in the 44th minute. Three minutes after the break, a simple through pass from Paulinho freed Oscar and the Chelsea star rounded goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong to extend Brazils lead. DURHAM, N.C. -- The Blue Devils and Cavaliers both pulled off impressive victories last week. So which team has more momentum now?Duke and Virginia meet Saturday in a deceptively important game that could put the loser into a substantial hole in the Coastal Division standings.Virginia (1-3, 0-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) has struggled in Bronco Mendenhalls first season, but is coming off a 49-35 win over Central Michigan as a slight home underdog to a Mid-American Conference school.We certainly have not arrived, Mendenhall said.Duke (2-2, 0-1) pulled off what counts as a stunner : The Blue Devils were 20-point underdogs at Notre Dame but rallied for a last-minute 38-35 victory.And now that theyre back to being the favorites -- Duke is favored by 3+ points -- they cant afford complacency.I think there is some truth when people say at times, success is harder to handle than adversity, coach David Cutcliffe said.Some things to know about the Virginia-Duke game:EDWARDS HURT: Dukes victory came at a pretty big cost: Kick returner and safety DeVon Edwards college career ended when he tore ligaments in his left knee on a kickoff. Edwards, a redshirt senior who returned six kickoffs for touchdowns during his career, will be replaced in that role by RBs Shaun Wilson -- who brought a kickoff back 96 yards for a key touchdown against Notre Dame -- and Joseph Ajeigbe. Alonzo Saxton II figures to fill his spot in the secondary.DUNCANT: Duke will be without leading rusher Jela Duncan, whos out with a leg injury. Wilson will replace him in the starting lineeup with Ajeigbe backing him up. Jimmie Ward Super Bowl Jersey. Duncan ranks eighth in the ACC in rushing at 78.5 yards per game.INJURED CAVALIERS: Virginias secondary took a hit, too, with cornerback Tim Harris having season-ending shoulder surgery and Juan Thornhill suffering an undisclosed injury during the Central Michigan game. Thornhill, though, is listed as probable at one cornerback spot this week but the other is a question mark after sophomore Myles Robinson is ruled out with a lower extremity injury.WELCOME BACKVirginia QB Kurt Benkert will finally take a snap in the state of North Carolina. Benkert was supposed to be East Carolinas starter last season but suffered a season-ending knee injury in August and transferred to Virginia after coach Ruffin McNeill was fired. Benkert set the school record with 421 yards passing in the win over Central Michigan. McNeill, meanwhile, also is at UVa as an assistant head coach and defensive line coach.THE SERIESThe Cavaliers have been the one team that Duke has dominated since Cutcliffes arrival in 2008. The Blue Devils have won six of eight in that span, but Virginia won 42-34 last year.GETTING PRESSUREDuke has 17 sacks in four games, with DT A.J. Wolf recording a team-best four. The Blue Devils had 17 sacks in all of 2015. That defensive front will face a test from a Virginia team that did not allow a sacks in the Central Michigan win.---AP College Football: www.collegefootball.ap.org ' ' '