Northern Illinois vs UAB: The best from Conference USA will take on the best from the MAC on Tuesday at the 2018 Boca Raton Bowl. Kickoff between UAB and Northern Illinois is at 7 p.m. ET from FAU Football Stadium. Both teams will be looking to cap off spectacular seasons. with UAB having already reached double-digit wins for the first time in program history and NIU winning its first league title since 2014.
Event: Boca Raton Bowl 2018
Team: Northern Illinois vs UAB
Date: Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Game Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
UAB took down Middle Tennessee in Murfreesboro in the Conference USA championship game, a week after losing to the Blue Raiders in the final game of November. NIU, meanwhile, upset MAC Championship Game favorite Buffalo at Ford Field in Detroit to win their own conference crown.
The reward for both teams was a trip to Florida to face one another in this year’s Boca Raton Bowl. UAB brings one of the top defenses in the country, especially up front. The Blazers rank fourth nationally in sacks, fifth in total tackles for loss, and 10th in the FBS in points allowed. They have been equally good against the run and the pass, ranking in the top 20 nationally in yards allowed by land and by air.
Northern Illinois earned its trip to the Boca Raton Bowl thanks to a similar game plan. The Huskies rank No. 1 in the entire nation in sacks generated, as they average 3.85 per game, and they are also in the top six in total tackles for loss right behind UAB. Rod Carey’s crew has been better at stopping the run than the pass, and they have generated 11 fumble recoveries so far this year.
Which Group of Five conference champion will pull out a victory at FAU Stadium this weekend? Here’s how you can watch the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl between Conference USA champion UAB and surprise MAC winners Northern Illinois.