GoDaddy Bowl – Bowling Green Falcons (-7) versus Georgia Southern Eagles

Posted: December 23, 2015 in College football, Football
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This is the first all-time meeting between these schools. This bowl was formerly known as the GMAC Bowl from 2001-2010. This is Bowling Green’s first GoDaddy Bowl, but they did go to two GMAC bowls, winning in 2004 and losing in 2007. They are 1-2 SU/ATS all-time in bowls. Head coach Dino Babers accepted the Syracuse job and defensive coordinator Brian Ward will be the interim head coach here. Georgia Southern made a bowl in just their second season in the FBS. Head coach Willie Fritz accepted the Tulane job and running backs coach Dell McGee will be the interim head coach here.

Georgia Southern was undefeated in the Sun Belt Conference in 2014, but were ineligible for a bowl. After losing as expected at West Virginia to open the season, they reeled off five straight wins and then lost their first ever SBC game at Appalachian State. They then won three of four, with their lone loss on the road at Georgia in overtime. They split their last two as they were shocked by Georgia State as a three touchdown favorite. The Eagles run the triple option (356 rushing yards per game, 6.5 avg) and their defense held four foes to season lows in yards as they finished No. 11 in the FBS, allowing 90 yards per game less then their foes averaged on the season.

Bowling Green returned 15 starters, including 10 on offense and didn’t disappoint. Despite a brutal out of conference schedule that had them on the road in three of the four games, they went 2-2. Bowling Green then won their first six conference games, but then lost to Toledo for the sixth straight year. They rebounded to win their finale and then pounded Northern Illinois, 34-14 to win the Mid American Conference Championship. Their strength is on offense, as they averaged 561 yards per game and are No. 3 in the FBS, averaging 169 yards per game more then their foes allowed on average in the season. Quarterback Matt Johnson had six games with 400 or more yards passing, but has failed to throw for more than 274 in the last four. They haven’t seen the option and are just average in defending the run.

While Georgia Southern has a unique offense, they were held under 280 total yards in four games. They averaged 507 yards per game in their eight wins, but just 239 yards per game in their four losses. Against five bowl teams, the Eagles were just 1-4 as they were out-gained by 131 yards per game, but they did beat fellow MAC team Western Michigan, 43-17. Georgia Southern is much closer to Ladd Peebles Stadium so they should have the crowd edge. Bowling Green was plus 73 yards per game against bowl teams. Usually when a spread passing attack offense and a triple option offense meet, there are a lot of points scored and this game should be no different.


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