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College Football’s 20 Best Position Battles to Watch in December Bowl Games

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It’s bowl season and college football fans can celebrate (or is it mourn?) the end of the year with 41 games that have a little bit of everything. While most of the attention is paid toward the two semifinal games and some of the other major bowls, there’s a lot to enjoy among the dozens of intersectional matchups on tap this month. As good as some of the games look on paper however, some of the one-on-ones between the names on the back of the jerseys are even juicier than the ones on the front.

Whether you’re a college football fan, a coach or an NFL scout, here are 20 of the best position vs. position battles between offensive stars and their defensive counterparts on the other side heading into December’s bowl games. This doesn’t include the New Year’s Six/College Football Playoff games but that still leaves plenty of other matchups on the docket to consider for this exercise:

1. Citrus Bowl: LSU DLs Davon Godchaux and Lewis Neal, LB Arden Key, DBs Tre’Davious White and Jamal Adams vs. Louisville QB Lamar Jackson

A late-season slide didn’t prevent Jackson from taking home the Heisman Trophy and all eyes will be on the young quarterback as he takes the field for the first time as the nation’s most outstanding player in 2016. In one of the most anticipated non-New Year’s Six games, he’ll have a tough task at hand trying to get past scheming defensive coordinator Dave Aranda and his loaded Tigers unit, which will need playmakers at all three levels to step up if they want to stop — or at least slow down — the Heisman winner.

2. Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph, WRs James Washington, Jalen McClesky and Jhajuan Seales vs. Colorado DBs Chidobe Awuzie, Tedric Thompson, Afolabi Laguda and Ahkello Witherspoon

Aside from the Heisman winner in action against LSU, this is easily the best battle of the bowl season pitting one of the best offenses in the Big 12 against one of the stingiest secondaries in the country. Three-quarters of Colorado’s back four made an All-Pac-12 team this season and the fourth still held his own by being second on the team in tackles. They’ll be matched up against Rudolph, who throws a beautiful deep ball, and his speedy wideouts that all average better than 11 yards a catch.