The MAC concludes tonight with the MAC Championship in downtown Detroit. Northern Illinois is rather familiar to this spot, as is Bowling Green. This is actually a repeat of the last two years in the MAC. The Falcons won the first meeting 47-27 and then Northern Illinois returned the favor with a 51-17 drubbing of Bowling Green. This season Bowling Green comes in as the heavy favorites with a 12.5 advantage on the spread. This is due in large part because of the extensive injury list at the quarterback position for the Huskies. I suspect this spread would have been tight if Drew Hare was healthy to start. However, Northern Illinois isn’t even going to have their second string option at their disposal in this game. Ryan Graham, the backup, might be out as well as he is listed as questionable with a leg injury from last week. Freshman Tommy Fiedler did a pretty nice job filling in with 113 yards passing and a touchdown. This is a different ball game though with it being the MAC Championship and all. Also, it would be the first start of his career as a freshman. If I were a betting man, ha okay of course I am, I’d be leaning towards Fiedler getting the start.
Bowling Green has relied on an explosive offense moving the ball down field. Playing in the MAC they don’t get any attention at all, but they can move the ball with excellent efficiency. The Huskies are going to need to rely on the defense if they want to hang around in this one. I don’t suspect third string freshman Fiedler walking into this game and lighting the scoreboard up. They’ll need to rely on their defense that gave Ohio State some difficulties earlier in the season. They’ve only allowed 30 or more points in one of their last six games. In college football, sadly, that has become a big accomplishment. I think this game is going to be a story of offense vs defense. If the Northern Illinois offense can’t get into a rhythm and need to punt often, it is going to be difficult on the Huskies to hold them down the entire game, though. While the Falcons boast a terrific offense, their defense is no slouch either. The MAC Championship is our pick for tonight, as we get championship weekend starting off in downtown Detroit at Ford Field.
Bowling Green Falcons vs. Northern Illinois Huskies Betting Odds:
Bowling Green -12.5(-110)
vs. Northern Illinois +12.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Bowling Green vs. Northern Illinois Pick:
The Huskies enter tonight with a record of 8-4. They were on a six game run before losing to the Ohio Bobcats 26-21 last week. Northern Illinois has the leading interceptor in college football, Shawun Lurry, who has 8 picks. Their defense has allowed just 24.8 points per game this season. We have been so used to the Huskies having a pretty explosive offense. At least one that is good. The Huskies with their third string quarterback starting I am not sure what to expect. The offense hasn’t been explosive by any means throughout the season, Fiedler is a little of a wildcard. Bowling Green isn’t far off from the Huskies, allowing an average of 27 points per game.
Where do you expect to find the Bowling Green offense? They are actually 2nd in all of college football in total yards accumulated on the season. Further, they are tied with Western Kentucky with 46.6 points scored per game. Western Kentucky has a damn good offense that people haven’t taken note if, but there hasn’t been much attention to Bowling Green. In the MAC, you don’t expect to find much attention but they are real good. Conversely, Northern Illinois is averaging 34.6 points per game. However, that wasn’t with their third string quarterback. The public has been on Northern Illinois throughout the entire week and the line has risen 4 points in Bowling Greens direction. It seems to me that the Falcons will be too much for Northern Illinois to keep up with. It looks too easy to take the points with the Huskies. Bowling Green wins this by a couple touchdowns.