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5 Players to Watch: Arizona Bowl... if it was still happening

Boise State travels to Tucson to take on Central Michigan

NCAA Football: New Mexico at Boise State Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Bowl was canceled after Boise State had a Covid outbreak within the program. This post was written before the announcement and it’s still worth a read.

It may not have been the season the Broncos and their fans wanted, but they will look to finish the season off with a bang and build some momentum for the 2022 season when they travel to Tucson to take on Central Michigan in the Arizona Bowl. The Broncos should be fairly healthy in their final game of the season and enter the game as comfortable favorites, but will a potential lack of motivation come into play? Here are some players that you should be keeping an eye on before the New Year’s Eve showdown.

1- Khalil Shakir (Boise State)

Shakir continued to build his legacy as a fan favorite when he declared that he would be playing in the bowl game despite being a surefire NFL draft pick. Shakir is a 1,000 yard receiver who also returns kicks and occasionally gets involved in the run game. He will look to finish off his Boise State career in a big way.

2- Lew Nichols (Central Michigan)

Nichols is the leading rusher in the nation with more than 1700 yards on the ground. The Chippewas will look to get Nichols the ball early and often. The Broncos will focus on slowing Nichols down and should open things up in the passing game for Central Michigan.

3- JL Skinner (Boise State)

The junior safety is one of the most improved players on the Boise State roster. He will be tasked with moving up to the line of scrimmage and slowing down Nichols and the Chippewa rushing attack. If Skinner has a big day, it doesn’t bode well for Central Michigan.

4- Gage Kreski (Central Michigan)

Kreski is the leading tackler for Central Michigan and is also solid in pass coverage. Kreski will be tasked with slowing down a Bronco rushing attack that struggled for much of the season but started to come on strong once George Holani got healthy.

5- George Holani (Boise State)

This offense is different when Holani is healthy. He gives the Bronco offense that second dynamic weapon that they missed for much of the season. If Holani is at full strength, the running back battle will be a fun one to watch.

DraftKings odds: -8 Boise State, 54.5 o/u

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.

Which players will have the biggest impact on this game? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.