No. 24 Troy will face No. 25 UTSA in one of the most intriguing early bowl season matchups on Friday afternoon in the Cure Bowl in Orlando, Florida. It's a rare contest between conference champions and is the first bowl game to feature two teams in the final College Football Playoff Rankings. The Trojans and Roadrunners each won 10 games in a row and possess offenses that could make this one of the wildest games of the year.
The Roadrunners have the top offense in Conference USA at 486.1 yards per game and are 12th in the nation in scoring offense at 38.7 points per game. The Trojans can light up the scoreboard as well, leading the Sun Belt with 25 explosive passing plays of 30 or more yards.
What will happen Friday afternoon? Let's break down the game and make a pick.
How to watch Cure Bowl live
Date: Friday, Dec. 16 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
Location: Exploria Stadium -- Orlando, Florida
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
UTSA vs. Troy: Need to know
All eyes on Frank Harris: If you haven't watched Roadrunners quarterback Frank Harris play, get ready. The dude can sling it. He finished 11th in the nation with 297.3 yards passing per game, seventh in yards per attempt (9.0) and seventh in passer rating (167.37). He announced earlier this month that he will return to the team for his seventh year of eligibility. Don't be surprised if he's asked to light it up and bring more eyeballs to his team (and himself) heading into the offseason.
Back-and-forth is coming: Trojans quarterback Gunnar Watson went 12 of 17 for 318 yards, three touchdowns and a whopping 18.7 yards per attempt in the Sun Belt Championship Game win over Coastal Carolina, but this isn't a new development. Watson finished third in the Sun Belt with 8.7 yards per attempt and is one of the most dangerous deep threats in the country. The Roadrunners' defense finished the season having allowed 27 passing plays of 30 or more yards -- tied for the worst mark in the conference. Get your popcorn ready.
Situational stats will tell the tale: The Roadrunners led Conference USA in third-down conversion percentage at 50%, and the Trojans finished 81st in the nation in defensive third-down conversion percentage at 40.41%. The Roadrunners topped Conference USA in red zone scoring percentage at 90.16%, while the Trojans finished 57th in the country and eighth in the Sun Belt in defensive red zone scoring percentage at 81.58%.
Cure Bowl prediction, picks
UTSA is the more complete team and will show why against Troy. Harris is a legit superstar and will tear up a Trojans defense after getting nearly three weeks to prepare. Troy won't be able to keep up with the tempo and explosiveness of the Roadrunners offense, and Harris will lead his team to the slight upset. Prediction: UTSA +1.5
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