GEORGIA SOUTHERN EAGLES (8-4) vs. BOWLING GREEN FALCONS (10-3)
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, Wednesday, Dec. 23
Las Vegas: Bowling Green -8
Both Mid-American Conference champion Bowling Green and 2014 Sun Belt champion Georgia Southern are left paying the price for Group of Five success this bowl season.
Bowling Green lost head coach Dino Babers to Syracuse, while Georgia Southern’s Willie Fritz hit the road for Tulane. Both spent just two seasons at his respective stop, winning 18 and 17 games in that time.
The similarities end there, as both teams enjoyed their success through vastly different styles. Babers brought an Art Briles-inspired air-raid attack to Bowling Green, which helped make Matt Johnson one of the most prolific passers in college football, and earned wide receiver Roger Lewis All-America recognition.
Fritz oversaw his own take on the option offense that long defined Georgia Southern, throughout its run as a Div. I-AA dynasty in the ’80s and ’90s.
The two also come into the Godaddy Bowl on opposite trajectory. Bowling Green won its second MAC championship in three years, while Georgia Southern lost a blowout at home to rival Georgia State to cap the regular season.
Georgia Southern’s rushing offense is the nation’s most productive, with star running Matt Breida setting the pace
With nearly a month to game-plan for the option, however, an effective Bowling Green rush defense should hold its own against the Eagles offense. A Georgia Southern defense that struggled against the pass will get sick of the Johnson-Lewis connection as the evening wears on.