If you want to see a match-up of two polar-opposite teams then this years GoDaddy Bowl is the one for you, featuring the Georgia Southern Eagles and Bowling Green Falcons. Contrary to what their name suggests, the Eagles love to run the football, and that has done nothing but bring them success since they joined the FBS 2 seasons ago. Last year, they won the Sun Belt conference outright but were not bowl eligible. This year, though they didn’t win the Sun Belt, they finished 8-4 and now find themselves in their first ever FBS bowl game. On offense the Eagles don’t do much apart from run the ball, very well, they are 1st in the FBS in rushing yards per game (RYG), averaging 355.6 RYG. As a result, they rank 128th of 128 schools in passing offense, totalling just 61.8 passing yards a game (PYG). However, they still manage an impressive 34.7 points per game (PPG) which is 51st in the FBs. Their defense though is a lot more rounded; they rank 22nd in total defense (337 YPG), 39th in passing defense (203.7 YPG), 27th in rush defense (133.1 RYG) and 41st in scoring (23.3 PPG). Though the Eagles don’t have any big time NFL porspects, Matt Breida and Kevin Ellison are certainly 2 players to watch. Breida (RB) and Ellison (QB) are front and centre in the Eagles triple-option offense. Breida leads the leam with 1540 yards and 16 touchdowns at 8.2 yards per carry, and Ellison compliments that with 642 yards and 8 touchdowns of his own. They are both juniors so are draft eligible, though it is unlikely they will be declaring this year. Their top seniors to watch are Antwoine Williams (LB) and Matt Dobson (FS). Unlike the Eagles, the Falcons like to sling the ball all over the field, and that system has carried them very well this season. They finished the regular season, which featured wins over two Power-5 teams – Maryland and Purdue – with 10 wins and a MAC Championship. However, they will be without head coach Dino Barbers after he left for Syracuse prior to this bowl game. The Falcons boast one of the best offenses in the country, they rank 5th in total offense (561 YPG), 3rd in passing offense (376.1 PYG), 43rd in rushing offense (184.9 RYG) and 5th in scoring (43.4 PPG). On defence though, they do struggle. They ran 78th in total defense (409 YPG), 94th in pass defense (247.2 PYG), 57th in run defence (161.6 RYG) and 62nd in scoring (26.7 PPG). They’re lucky they have such an explosive offense. There offensive success is thanks to the host of prospects they have on that side of the ball; Roger Lewis (WR), Travis Greene (RB), Matt Johnson (QB), Ronnie Moore (WR), Ryan Burnbrink (WR), Derek Lee (TE) and Alex Huettel (OG). Roger Lewis, though, is the pick of the bunch. Lewis a redshirt sophomore but could declare for the draft as he would be without his QB next year, so he may want to enter the NFL coming off a very productive season, in which he led the FBS with 1476 yards heading into his bowl game. At 6’1”, 199lbs, he has good size. He’s a good athlete and his is dangerous with the ball in his hands. However, he must work on his route tree and his ability to finish catches if he wants to excel at the next level. SS Eilar Hardy and K Tyler Tate shouldn’t be ignored either as NFL prospects. If you want to watch this game, or any of the other bowl games, the complete bowl schedule can be found here, where you’ll be able to see how and when you can watch every game.
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