Expect anything in the GoDaddy Bowl between Eagles and Falcons

Hayden Boudreaux

History will be made tomorrow as the Georgia Southern Eagles face off in their first ever bowl game against the Bowling Green Falcons in the GoDaddy Bowl to take place in Mobile, Alabama. The win would give the Sun Belt a 2-2 record in bowl games this year.

Many Eagle fans aren’t familiar with Bowling Green and several likely have never heard of them. The Falcons are an established program that has been around since 1919 and has had plenty of ups and downs throughout their stories history. Their current season is definitely one of the best their program has seen as they have picked up 10 wins and a MAC Championship in their third straight appearance in the championship game. Bowling Green will enter the game under similar circumstances as the Eagles as both head coaches who led their teams through the season will be absent from the sidelines as they took jobs at new schools. This will result in an interesting game plan from both squads as neither interim coach will take over official duties next season for their respective teams.  

The heavy hitter for the Falcons is no-doubt their quarterback Matt Johnson. The senior leads the MAC in passer rating as he leads the passing yardage conference total by nearly 1,000 yards and has thrown 43 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. His main target is equally lethal. Sophomore receiver Roger Lewis leads his statistical category as well with 82 grabs for 1476 yards and 15 touchdowns. This quarterback and receiver combo is the real deal but with a 50 percent chain of rain his abilities could be hindered enough for the Eagles to slow down the passing attack.

Typically, teams with such an efficient passing attack would not have much of a run game. Unfortunately this is not the case for the Falcons as their rushing attack is a huge part of their attack as well. Senior running back Travis Greene is the second leading rusher in the MAC with 1220 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground. The dual threat of the offense allowed for Bowling Green to be the most productive team in the MAC by 1500 yards while averaging over 43 points per game.

While not as explosive as their offense, the Falcon defense has a lot of firepower as well. Their defensive front is anchored by senior defensive lineman Taylor Royster and junior Terrance Bush. The two have combined for 12 sacks on the season (six each) and have picked up 49 and 59 tackles, respectively. Junior linebacker James Sanford is a bit undersized but has been able to establish himself as a starter this season with 87 tackles, three sacks and an interception.

The defensive backfield is led by junior corner Alfonso Mack and Dernard Turner and both have been a menace to MAC passing offenses. Mack has been the heavy hitter as he racked up 50 tackles this year along with six picks. Turner has had no problem wrapping up runners as he has pulled down 71 total tackles and picked off four passes for himself. While they are able to slow down the passing game, they rely on getting into the backfield which is seen by the Falcons leading the conference in sacks and tackles for loss.

Both teams have their struggles and with interim coaches and sloppy weather it is impossible to know what will happen. At face value, it seems the Eagles and their rushing attack will have the advantage in the weather, but only time will tell. A win for the Eagles would be an historic affair that would be a much needed boost to the program that has taken a few tough losses over the past month.