Godaddy Bowl Pick

196
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GoDaddy Bowl

Georgia Southern

vs.

Bowling Green

12/23/15

This bowl Game has to be disappointing for Bowling Green after dominating in the MAC title Game. The Falcons travel to Mobile, Ala. to play in the GoDaddy Bowl against the third-place Sun Belt team. Georgia Southern is plenty happy with this draw, as it’s the first year the Eagles are FBS bowl eligible. As expected, the Falcons opened as a -7.5 favorite at 5 Dimes Sportsbook.

Bowling Green finished with a 10-3 record, but most notably for this Game, will be without head coach Dino Babers, who is on his way to Syracuse. This is still a team that contended with Tennessee and Memphis earlier in the season and even won at Maryland and Purdue. OUtside of a loss to Toledo, the Falcons carved through the MAC, including in the title Game.

A year after finishing 9-3 and not being bowl eligible, Georgia Southern backed that up with an 8-4 record, although didn’t win the Sun Belt this time around. Still, the Panthers had an impressive year. Maybe most impressive was an overtime loss at Georgia in late November. They also destroyed Western Michigan 43-17 early in the year (BG beat WMU 41-27). But that bad season-ending loss to Georgia State can’t be overlooked.

Georgia Southern’s defense will be the most important element in this Game against this high-powered Bowling Green offense. The Eagles have played good, but none of the other Sun Belt teams quite have an offense like Bowling Green’s.

The Falcons scored 43 points per Game and are led by a senior quarterback that absolutely dismantled everyone this season. A year after getting hurt in the first Game of the season, Matt Johnson came back for blood and in turn went for 47 touchdowns (4 rushing) and only eight interceptions, while completing 68.8% of his passes. His numbers haven’t been as big in recent Games, but that’s only because their running Game has gotten the job done. Senior running back Travis Greene is also having a nice year with 1,219 yards and 14 touchdowns. He went for 183 yards and 2 TDs in the MAC title Game. Fred Coppet provides a nice change of pace as well with 797 yards and 5 TDs on the year. Bowling Green is stacked at wide out too where they have Four guys that could lead the team in receiving on any given day.

BGSU lacks a bit on the defensive end, but has still been decent through the year. Holding two Big Ten teams to under 30 points were good showings.

But stopping Georgia Southern’s triple-option won’t be easy. The Panthers lead the country with 355 rushing yards per Game, and Bowling Green is middle of the line at stopping the run.

Quarterback Kevin Ellison rarely passes the ball as expected (where BG struggles the most), but he’s done well on the year averaging 6.4 yards per carry. The names to know in the backfield are Matt Breida and LA Ramsby. Breida has been unstoppable this year with 1,540 yards and 16 TDs while averaging 8.2 yards per carry.

Without its head coach and without much experience against triple-option offenses, the Falcons could have some trouble.

The Eagles are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 non-Conference Games and the Falcons have covered in Four straight against the Sun Belt. Oddly enough, both team’s ATS records this year were the same as their win/loss records (Georgia Southern 8-4, Bowling Green 10-3).

Our Pick – Bowling Green -7.5

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