The Kentucky Wildcats and the East Carolina Pirates are set to do battle today in the 2009 AutoZone Liberty Bowl. The game is scheduled to begin at 5:00pm ET at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee (ESPN). College bowl odds at Sportsbook.com are favoring the Pirates -145 on the money line.
Kentucky returned just 12 starters from last year's 8-5, Music City Bowl winning team, but they still produced a bowl eligible 6-6 record. The Wildcats began the season by winning their first four games; however, they come into today's contest having lost three straight. Head Coach Rich Brooks, in his sixth year on the job, saw his troops go just 2-6 in conference play and, as a result, finish dead last in the SEC's East division.
The Wildcats, who are 6-6 against the spread this season, averaged 22.4 points per game on offense while their defense allowed an average of 21.7.
East Carolina continued their resurgence this season, besting last year's 8-5 record with a 9-4 mark this year. Head Coach Skip Holtz has seen his team improve every year since he arrived on campus in 2005, with this year's squad being the best he has fielded. The Pirates went 6-2 in conference competition and finished in first place in Conference USA's East division. They also won the Conference USA title by beating Tulsa 27-24 back on December 6th.
The Pirates relied mostly on their tough defensive unit this year, which held opponents to 20.8 points per game on 335.3 yards per contest.
Liberty Bowl Betting Trend: The Under is 7-3 in Kentucky's last 10 games as an underdog with a spread between 0 to 3.5.
Kentucky Wildcats +3 (-105), Over 41.5 (-110), +125 (Money line)
East Carolina Pirates-3 (-105), Under 41.5 (-110), -145 (Money line)
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