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Beef O' Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl 2011: Florida International Slight Favorite Over Marshall

The Florida International Golden Panthers (8-4, 5-3 Sun Belt), coming off their highest win total ever in a season, will take on the Marshall Thundering Herd (6-6, 5-3 Conference USA) in the 2011 Beef O' Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl on December 20 at 8:00 PM. OddsShark has listed FIU as 4.5 point favorites over Marshall.

This will be FIU's second straight bowl appearance. The Golden Panthers also ended the regular season with the distinction of having the best won-loss record of any of the Florida FCS schools.

FIU is led by the passing of quarterback Wesley Carroll (2,224 yards on the season) and the rushing of Kendrick Rhodes (1,121 rushing yards), as well as a stingy defense that only allowed 19.4 points per game this year. The Golden Panthers are likely to see two quarterbacks line up under center in the game for Marshall, with freshman Rakeem Cato the bigger threat through the air and sophomore A.J. Graham the bigger ground threat.

The two teams will meet up Tuesday, December 20 at 8:00 PM ET at Tropicana Field, with the game being aired on ESPN. This is the fourth year of the St. Petersburg Bowl, and the third time it has been sponsored by Beef O' Brady's.

For more on the FIU Golden Panthers and the 2011 Beef O' Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl, stay tuned to this StoryStream and to SB Nation Tampa Bay.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.