Georgia Southern Eagles vs. Bowling Green Falcons
Wednesday – December 23 – 7:00 pm CT
Ladd-Peebles Stadium – Mobile, Alabama
Records Before the Game
Georgia Southern Eagles (8-4, 6-2 Sun Belt)
Bowling Green Falcons (10-3, 7-1 MAC)
How They Got Here
The Georgia Southern Eagles started off the season shut out 44-0 on the road against the West Virginia Mountaineers. Then they reeled off five consecutive victories over some pretty weak opponents before splitting their last six. Other than their loss to Georgia, they weren’t even close. This is the first bowl berth for the Eagles and they’re happy to be in the mix.
The Bowling Green Falcons lost to the Tennessee Volunteers, Memphis Tigers and the Toledo Rockets this season. All three have pretty good offenses. The Falcons feasted on weaker opponents this season and defeated Northern Illinois in the MAC title game to get them to double digit wins. This year’s Godaddy Bowl makes it their 13th post season appearance.
Georgia Southern Eagles
The Eagles are probably the worst team in the nation when it comes to airing the ball out. At 61.8 yards passing per game they are ranked #128 in the country. On the flip side, their strength lies in their rushing attack. The Eagles usually tally 355 yards or so per game, giving them #1 bragging rights. Junior QB Kevin Ellison is the man under center and he isn’t known for being a dual-threat type of QB. He’s only completed 37 of 84 passing attempts in 11 games. However, he does have some wheels, eclipsing the century mark on the ground twice this season. When he isn’t toting the rock, Ellison will be handing the ball off to Matt Breida. The human bowling ball is a couple of sandwiches away from playing fullback. He has rushed for 1,540 yards and 16 TDs for the season. If there is a need for a pass attempt, Ellison will have WR BJ Johnson in his sites. No touchdowns on the season and only 243 yards to show for Johnson’s efforts. As mentioned, the ground attack is the bread and butter for the Eagles.
Bowling Green Falcons
On offense the Falcons are led by Senior QB Matt Johnson. His arm has helped the team achieve a #3 ranking nationally for passing offense. He put up 4,700 yards with 43 TDs and 8 picks. He knows the offense like the back of his hand and has seen all sorts of defenses. He won’t be easily rattled and knows where to throw the ball. He can scramble a bit, but don’t expect any type of long runs. RB Travis Green has put respectable number with 1,220 on the ground and 14 TDs. He can also catch the ball out of the backfield. Expect some screen passes in this match up. Johnson loves passing the ball to WR Roger Lewis. The recipient of 82 catches for 15 TDs makes him the go-to target. Lewis is shifty and runs his routes well. The Falcons are definitely a more balanced team on offense and expect them to stick with this in the Godaddy Bowl.
Since both teams are led by interim coaches (how often does that happen in a bowl game?), it’ll come down to the team with more experience. The Falcons are that team. The Eagles grind it out offense will be no match. Final Score: Falcons 41 – Eagles 27