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Nevada vs. Western Michigan: Live stream, watch online, TV channel, Quick Lane Bowl prediction, odds, spread

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Nevada and Western Michigan each logged Power Five wins in 2021 and will try to cap their seasons with a bowl win when they face off in the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit on Monday. 

The Wolf Pack was close to competing for a Mountain West Championship, losing three conference games by a combined six points, but those losses proved to be the hurdle between a strong team and competing for hardware in early December. Unfortunately for Nevada, many of the key pieces from that championship-caliber team won’t be part of the competition on Monday. 

Jay Norvell left after the season to accept the head coaching position at Colorado State and star quarterback Carson Strong opted out of the bowl game to prepare for the NFL Draft. There’s also been a handful of other opt-outs and transfer portal movement — including starting tight end Cole Turner opting out of the bowl — that have left Nevada with limited personnel on the field and the sideline. 

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Western Michigan, which saw its season hit a rocky patch after an early victory against eventual ACC Champion Pitt, is looking to claim its second-ever bowl win. 

Nevada vs. Western Michigan: Need to know

Next man up for Nevada: It’s impossible to replace Strong’s 4,186 passing yards and 36 touchdowns, considering not only his production but the high-end talent that has made him a top prospect for the 2022 NFL Draft. The quarterbacking duties will likely fall to Nate Cox, a 6-foot-9 senior who appeared in three games this year, with most of that work coming in garbage time. We know that Cox will likely lead the offense, but the next man up for some of those skill positions and the offense itself — considering Norvell and the team’s offensive coordinator both left for Colorado State — will be an unknown until the game gets underway. 

WMU has its own explosive offensive weapon: Nevada still has Romeo Doubs and a ton of skill talent used to putting up yards and points, but Western Michigan has a great answer in sophomore wide receiver Skyy Moore. The Broncos passing offense leaned heavily on Moore, who ranked No. 3 among all FBS receivers with 8.3 receptions per game, trailing only Purdue’s David Bell and Western Kentucky’s Jerreth Sterns. 

Broncos pass rush could be a difference maker: The Western Michigan defense finished the regular season ranking No. 15 nationally and No. 1 in the MAC with 3.08 sacks per game. That could be a problem for Cox as he gets settled in as the team’s new QB1, and he has players like senior defensive lineman Ali Fayad applying pressure in passing situations. Fayad’s 11.5 sacks in 2021 led the MAC ranked No. 7 nationally. Getting into a third-and-long situation against this WMU defense is the ultimate losing battle, with the pass rush contributing to a total opponent third down conversion rate (26.8) that ranked No. 4 among all FBS teams. 

How to watch Quick Lane Bowl live

Game: Quick Lane Bowl
Date
: Monday, Dec. 27 | Time: 11 a.m. ET
Location: Ford Field — Detroit, Mich.
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)

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Quick Lane Bowl prediction, picks

Featured Game | Nevada Wolf Pack vs. Western Michigan Broncos

It’s real hard to get behind this Nevada group that is going to be far from the team that we saw rate among the best Group of Five teams in the country. Western Michigan has its full host of offensive weapons and somewhat of a home field advantage playing in Michigan with the motivation of winning its second-ever bowl game. This one might get sideways for the Wolf Pack.  Prediction: Western Michigan (-7)

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Who will win the Quick Lane Bowl, and which side of the Nevada vs. Western Michigan spread hits over 60% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side to back, all from the advanced model that’s returned almost $3,600 in profit over the past five-plus seasons, and find out.



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Aaron Rodgers has 4th best odds to win 3rd straight MVP | FIRST THINGS FIRST

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Aaron Rodgers is optimistic about this upcoming NFL season. In a recent Sports Illustrated profile, the Green Bay Packers quarterback expressed how happy he was to be in the locker room, that he’s a ‘kinder, gentler QB’ and that fun things are coming. Fox Bet odds show Rodgers tied at 4th for the MVP award, behind Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, Josh Allen, and alongside Justin Herbert. Greg Jennings and Nick Wright decide how likely it is that Rodgers will three-peat his MVP win.



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2023 NFL Draft: Ranking the ACC’s top 10 prospects as Clemson defense loaded with talent

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The ACC fell short of placing a team in the College Football Playoff despite a strong season from Pittsburgh. The upcoming regular season represents a clean slate, and Clemson should feature one of the most talented defenses in college football. Although early days, CBS Sports took a gander at the best NFL Draft prospects in the tradition rich conference entering the 2022 campaign:

Davis does a great job of shooting gaps and creating chaos in the opponent’s backfield. He does a good job of stacking and shedding blockers to make an impact in the run game. 

The depth of Clemson’s defensive line allows the team to rotate players and keep everyone fresh. It has a lot of talent along the front seven. In addition to Myles Murphy, Trenton Simpson, Bryan Bresee and Davis, defensive tackle Ruke Orhorhoro, edge rusher Xavier Thomas and edge rusher K.J. Henry have NFL potential. Thomas, in particular, is poised to showcase his talent this season.

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The buzz surrounding Nelson began early in the process. He has great size for the position and long arms to dictate competition in the trenches. If the technique matches in 2022, there is an opportunity to rise significantly in an offensive tackle class that appears wide open. A wealth of talent at the position has flooded the NFL in recent years with Rashawn Slater, Tristan Wirfs, Penei Sewell and others chief among them.

8. Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College

Flowers has been on the NFL’s radar for a few years now. An injury to quarterback Phil Jurkovec impacted the receiver, as there were a lot of missed opportunities during which Flowers had slithered behind coverage. He ranked No. 23 in yards per reception (16.95) among wide receivers with at least 40 receptions in 2021. With a healthy Jurkovec, the Pittsburgh native will have a good chance to remind talent evaluators of his potential. 

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The nation’s No. 1 overall high school recruit in 2020 missed most of last season with a torn ACL. The talent is evident, but it is unknown what to reasonably expect from Bresee coming off the injury this season. The Maryland native carries his weight really well and is just a natural athlete. He does a good job of stacking blockers while peering into the backfield and has good top end speed.

Connecticut quarterbacks are having a bit of a moment as both Kentucky’s Will Levis and Van Dyke are considered potential early draft choices. The latter throws with touch and does not panic when pressured. However, there is at least one moment each game where he unnecessarily throws into coverage. Experience can resolve some of those frustrations. 

While his ability to make plays with his legs may fall short relative to other quarterback prospects, he is capable of making accurate throws off-platform. He ranked No. 11 in passer efficiency last season, according to TruMedia. Players above him include Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Alabama’s Bryce Young and Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett.

It could be easy to take Bergeron for granted because nothing he does is overwhelming, but he is consistent. Similar to Virginia Tech’s Christian Darrisaw, it just looks easy for the Quebec native at times. He plays with good leverage and balance and has an even-keeled style of play. Active eyes allow him to pick up stunts into his gap. 

Cornerback Garrett Garrett Williams is another prospect who has the talent to join this list by season’s end.

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4. Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina

The NFL has shown a willingness of late to add wide receivers who are traditionally undersized: Wan’Dale Robinson, Tutu Atwell, Jahan Dotson, etc. Downs was one of the most productive wide receivers in college football a year ago, and that had a lot to do with his ability to create chances for himself. He does a good job of creating leverage with body mannerisms and precision into his breaks. Downs finished third in yards after the catch (757) last season, according to TruMedia, behind Western Kentucky’s Jerreth Sterns (1,135) and Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba (791).

3. Tony Grimes, CB, North Carolina

Grimes has good size and great speed for the position. He profiles as an NFL man coverage cornerback, but the ball production has just not been there yet. With so much talent in that Tar Heels secondary, it should create more opportunities for the Virginia Beach native to compile statistics. If he puts it all together, there is a good chance that he is one of the first cornerbacks off the board next April. 

Grimes was one of the rare football reclassifications who moved from the 2021 recruiting class to 2020. As a result, he should be one of the younger cornerback prospects available.

Simpson is one of the most versatile defenders in this potential NFL Draft class. He is not Micah Parsons but could excel in a similar role allowing him to play in the box, rush the passer and cloud passing lanes. The Charlotte native finds himself around the ball often because of his quick key and trigger. First-year defensive coordinator Wes Goodwin has a lot to work with this season.

When comparing size, Murphy stacks up to last year’s No. 1 overall selection — Travon Walker. Murphy is a good athlete but is realistically not going to match Walker’s historic NFL Combine performance. Murphy does have more exposure to what would be considered a traditional edge rusher role than Walker at the same point in his career. The former shows active hands and an ability to turn speed to power. When attempting to identify the likely first-round selections in the preseason, Murphy jumps out.

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KD to Nets: 'Trade me or fire Steve Nash, Sean Marks' | FIRST THINGS FIRST

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Kevin Durant is not budging on his desire to leave Brooklyn. In fact, Shams Charania reports that during his meeting with Joe Tsai, KD submitted that the only way he would stay with the Nets is if the owner fires head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks. Nick Wright lays out why Durant basically all but ensured he would be traded with this move, and why he’s calling KD’s ultimatum a checkmate.



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