Camellia Bowl Pick
The Raycom Media Camellia Bowl may be one of the least watched bowl Games there is this year. South Alabama is making a bowl Game in just their sixth year of existence which is an incredible feat and they get to play only about 2.5 hOurs from their campus in LAfayette. The Jaguars are a -3 point favorite over Bowling Green at betonline.
South Alabama is one of Four Sun Belt teams to have made a bowl Game and despite being 6-6 overall, made it over two teams with winning records in the conference. The main reason for that is because the Jaguars beat both Appalachian State and Texas State. On the downside, their Schedule picked up towards the end of the year and they lost Four of their last five Games. Although a 42-40 loss to Navy to close the year should give them some confidence as it’s the most points the offense has scored all year.
Bowling Green lost starting QB Matt Johnson early in the season and it’s impressive that they still made it to a bowl Game at 7-6. Much like South Alabama, they have been in free-fall, losing three straight Games to close the season. The Falcons don’t have a win against a team with a winning record and were destroyed in the MAC championship Game 51-17 against Northern Illinois.
In similar opponents, the Jaguars won at Kent State 23-13 in their opener, while BGSU beat KSU 30-20 back in November.
As seen in the Kent State Game, South Alabama has the better defense in this matchup, but Bowling Green has the better offense. Which side will win out?
The Jaguars are scoring just 22.1 points per Game on the year, which is incredible in itself, considering they scored at least 30 points Four different times (and 40 twice). They struggled mightily against better teams like UL-LAfayette, Arkansas State and Georgia Southern. Even though BG’s defense has been beaten up throughout the year, it’s unlikely South Alabama will be able to capitalize on that.
At quarterback, Brandon Bridge has been OK with 14 TDs and 6 INTs, but he’s only completing 51.9% of his passes. They’ll try and run as much as possible behind Kendall Houston (652 yards) who averages 4.9 yards per carry.
On the other end, Bowling Green is a little more balanced, even though Matt Johnson got hurt early in the year. James Knapke hasn’t been great at QB, but against poor defenses has shined multiple times. He has just 13 TDs and 12 INTs on the year. The Falcons should be able to run in this Game behind Travis Greene (908 yards, 10 TDs) and Fred Coppet (694 yards, 6 TDs). If Knapke limits his turnovers, BGSU will have the edge.
Expect there to be plenty of points in this Game as neither team has a really standout defense. Both teams have just Four wins against the spread this year, which furthers the point of this Game expected to be the least watched one of the bowl season.
The Jaguars have not covered in Four straight vs. a team with a winning record and are 1-6 ATS in their last seven Games overall. The Falcons are 0-3-1 ATS in their last Four bowl Games, but are 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 Games following an ATS loss.
In a Game that figures to be even, we need to look for potential motivating factors. Considering both squads come in losing a bunch of Games down the stretch, we’re going to have to look extra hard. The fact that this is the first Bowl Game in program history for South Alabama is what we’ll hang Our hats on here. Bowling Green had their sights set higher while this will be an absolute thrill and a major feather in the caps of South Alabama, should they come out on top here. South Alabama -3