December 25, 2015

Marshall (9-3) vs. Connecticut (6-6), 11 a.m. (ESPN)

Line: Marshall by 5.

Series Record: First meeting

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Marshall fell short of a goal of repeating as Conference USA champions, but have an opportunity to finish with at least 10 wins for the third straight season under coach Doc Holliday. A victory would give UConn, 2-10 a year ago in its first season under coach Bob Diaco, its first winning season since 2010.

KEY MATCHUP

Marshall freshman QB Chase Litton, who's thrown for 2,387 yards and 22 touchdowns, against a physical UConn defense that statistically is one of the toughest the Thundering Herd have faced. The Huskies rank 17th nationally in scoring defense (19.8) and 33rd in yards allowed (352.2). In addition, CB Jamal Summers led the American Athletic Conference with seven interceptions, and UConn's 17 picks overall is tied for 10th nationally.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Marshall: LB Evan McKelvey is Conference USA Defensive Player of the year; KR Deandre Reaves was the league's special teams player of the year; RB Devon Johnson has rushed for 555 yards and five TDs, and WR Davonte Allen has 56 receptions for 696 yards and five TDs.

Connecticut: QB Bryant Shirreffs has completed 60.3 percent of his passes for 1,992 yards, nine TDs and seven interceptions; RB Arkeel Newsome has rushed for 760 yards and six TDs, plus 40 receptions for 432 yards and three TDs, and WR Noel Thomas has 54 catches for 719 yards and three TDs.

FACTS & FIGURES

Marshall is 3-0 in bowl games under Holliday, beating Florida International in the 2011 St. Petersburg Bowl, Maryland in the 2013 Military Bowl and Northern Illinois to wrap up a 13-1 season in last year's Boca Raton Bowl. ... UConn is making its sixth bowl appearance, first since playing in the Fiesta Bowl as 2010 Big East champions. ... The Huskies is the only team that's beaten No. 14 Houston this season, limiting the Cougars to 318 yards - nearly 200 yards below Houston's season average. ... Tropicana Field is the home of major league baseball's Tampa Bay Rays. ... UConn's men's basketball program is familiar with the domed stadium. The Huskies won the 1999 national championship in the building.

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