Miami Beach Bowl Game Preview

By EFN Staff
Published: 12/19/2015

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (11-2) vs. South Florida Bulls (8-4)

Bowl Game: Miami Beach Bowl
Kickoff Time: Monday, December 21, 2:30 PM
Location: Marlins Park, Miami, Florida

The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers are making their third bowl appearance in four seasons after winning a school-record 11 games. South Florida, coached by former Western Kentucky boss Willie Taggart, improved by four wins from a year ago to 8-4, and makes its first appearance in a bowl game in five years.

Players to watch
  • Hilltoppers quarterback Brandon Doughty leads the nation with a 71.8 completion percentage and 45 touchdown passes, and ranks second in passing yards with 4,594.
  • South Florida quarterback Quinton Flowers has thrown for 2,023 yards and 21 touchdowns, and also has 883 rushing yards and a team-best 10 rushing touchdowns.

Key Stats

  • The Hilltoppers have a 1-1 record in two previous bowl appearances, losing the 2012 Little Caesars Bowl and winning the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl last year.
  • South Florida has a 4-2 bowl record, winning three straight.
  • Taggart took Western Kentucky to the 2012 Little Caesars Bowl, but did not coach the game after accepting his current position with the Bulls.
  • South Florida running back Marlon Mack averages 6.6 yards per carry, rushing for 1,273 yards and eight touchdowns this season.
  • Western Kentucky has five receivers with at least 500 yards, and four have caught at least seven touchdown passes.
  • Hilltoppers wide receiver Taywan Taylor’s 17 touchdown receptions rank second in the FBS, and his 1,363 receiving yards are tied for fourth.
  • South Florida has won four of six meetings between the two schools, the last of which came in 2010.