Matchup: Bowling Green vs. South Alabama (-2.5, 53.5 at JustBet)
Date/Time: Saturday, December 20th @ 9:15 pm (EST)
Location: Montgomery, AL (Airing on ESPN)
Preview: The South Alabama Jaguars take on the Bowling Green Falcons in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl from Montgomery, Alabama.
Bowling Green comes in to Saturday night’s bowl game with a record of 7-6 and coming off a deflating 51-17 loss in the MAC conference championship game to Northern Illinois. The Falcons took a step back this season, and lost their starting quarterback Matt Johnson for the season due to injury in the first game of the season. They have a balanced offense averaging 251.5 yards passing and 177 yards rushing per game. Their defense leaves little to be desired, allowing 499.6 yards per game, and are ranked 119th in the nation in total defense.
South Alabama comes in to Saturday’s game at 6-6 and will be making their first bowl appearance in the history of their program. The Jaguars are led by quarterback Brandon Bridge, who some say has the tools to play at the next level. Bridge has missed some time this season, with 1648 yards and 14 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. They are running the ball with success, averaging 182 yards on the ground per game. On defense, they are allowing 5.6 yards per play, 390 yards per game, and are ranked 60th in the nation in total defense.
Both teams aren’t coming in with a lot of momentum and with the success that Bowling Green had last year, you have to question their motivation in this one. Yes, the Falcons made it to the MAC championship game, but the MAC East, and the MAC in general wasn’t near as strong as in recent years. The Falcons have lost 3 in a row, while the Jaguars have lost 4 of their last 5 games. Some say that South Alabama should be 7-5 due to a couple of controversial calls in a close 42-40 loss to Navy. I’m going to recommend a play on South Alabama here; the players should be pretty amped up to be in a bowl game, and with it being in their backyard, that can only add to the advantage. I simply just can’t back the Falcons here, they may have some recent postseason experience, but with that abysmal defense, the Jaguars might be able to put up enough points for a comfortable win.
2014 Camellia Bowl Pick: South Alabama -2.5, Over 53.5
2014 Camellia Bowl Score Prediction: South Alabama 38 – Bowling Green 27