Raycom Media Camellia Bowl Preview

The Camellia Bowl makes its return after 20 years. Photo Courtesy: Timothy Kenny
The Camellia Bowl makes its return after 20 years. Photo Courtesy: Timothy Kenny

By Craig Fields

Game Info
South Alabama Jaguars vs. Bowling Green Falcons
Saturday – December 20 – 8:15 pm
Cramton Bowl – Montgomery

Reasons to Watch
The Jaguars will be making their first bowl appearance in school history. The program is only five years old and has already earned its way into a bowl game, making it the youngest program to ever do that upon joining the FBS. If they do manage to win, they would become the youngest program to ever win a bowl game. That would be a lofty title for a team who just fired their offensive coordinator at the end of the regular season. In the Sun Belt Conference they ranked 9th in scoring and offensive yards per game.

This is the first time in over 20 years that the Camellia Bowl will make a reappearance. The bowl game involves teams from the Sun Belt Conference and the Mid Atlantic Conference and is based in Montgomery Alabama. The most valuable player trophy is named after hometown legend Bart Starr.

The Teams
The Jaguars like to run the ball. A lot. They run the rock about 57 percent of the time and will be looking to control the clock most of the game. They rank 48th in the country in rushing, gaining about 185 yards per game. The Falcons on the other hand like to spread you wide and air it out or run the ball. Hopefully the defensive coordinator for the Jaguars knows how to stop an uptempo team like the Falcons because their no huddle mix of passes and rushes have had a few defensive coordinators scratching their heads and pulling their hair out.

Jaguars senior running back Kendall Houston is their work horse and will be looking to pick up yards against a suspect front seven of the Falcons. The senior does not have many NFL aspirations so there is little doubt that he will leave it all on the field on Saturday.

The Falcons sophomore quarterback James Knapke has had the epitome of an up and down season. He will be looking to stay off his back as he has gotten sacked 18 times this season and hurried a lot more. He has 13 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. At times he has looked like nothing more than a bus driver. But when you have two running backs like junior Travis Greene and sophomore Fred Coppet, sometimes all you need to be is a bus driver or game manager.

Both of these guys average over five yards per carry and have home run speed. Containing them will be tough but if the Jaguars are up to the task, they will make history.

Prediction: Bowling Green 31 – South Alabama 21