The 2014 bowl season kicks off this Saturday afternoon, and continues with an evening (9:15 pm ET) game featuring the South Alabama Jaguars (6-6) of the Sun Belt Conference and the Bowling Green Falcons (7-6) of the Mid American Conference in the Camellia Bowl. South Alabama lost their last two regular season games to South Carolina (37-12) in a blowout and Navy (42-40) in a shootout. This after rolling to a 5-2 start to the season that saw the Jaguars defeat Kent St. (23-13) and Idaho (34-10) among others. Bowling Green lost their last 3 games to close the season, including a 51-17 shellacking against Northern Illinois in the MAC Championship Game.
The highlight of their season was a 45-42 win over Indiana on September 13th.
South Alabama is ranked 104th nationally in scoring offense with an average of 22.1 points per game and 87th among FBS teams in total offense with 372.8 yards per contest.. The Jaguars rank 57th nationally in points allowed with 25.8 per game and 60th in total defense 390.5 YPG allowed.
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Bowling Green is ranked 60th nationally in scoring offense with an average of 29.8 PPG scored and 46th among FBS teams in total offense with 427.8 YPG. The Falcons rank 107th nationally in points allowed with 33.9 per game and 119th in total defense 499.6 YPG allowed.
South Alabama vs. Bowling Green Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
South Alabama Jaguars -3
@ Bowling Green Falcons +3
Over 54 (-110)
Under 54 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
South Alabama vs Bowling Green Pick
The Jaguars are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games on fieldturf, 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games against a team with a winning record and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Falcons are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 bowl games, 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games in December and 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games overall. The Under is 4-1 in the Jaguars’ last 5 non-conference games, 5-1 in their last 6 games against a team with a winning record and 20-8-1 in their last 29 games overall. The Under is 16-5 in the Falcons’ last 21 games following a ATS loss, 6-2 in their last 8 games on fieldturf and 6-2 in their last 8 games overall.
The Jaguars are in their 6th season of existence as a program and only their 3rd season as an FBS school, and this will be their first appearance ever in a bowl game. They averaged only 19 PPG during their ugly 1-4 close to the regular season. They also defeated only two teams with a winning record, Texas St. being one of them and their only win in their last 5 games. Bowling Green has a much stronger recent history, reaching a bowl game in each of the last 3 years and 5 of the last 8 seasons overall. Their record has not been stellar in those bowl games, as they have lost the last 4 they have appeared in.
The Achilles heel for the Falcons has been their woeful defense, as evidenced by their ranking 107th nationally in points allowed and 119th in total defense. Fortunately for them, South Alabama has one of the least productive offensive units in the country that averaged 3 PPG less than their already low average during their 1-4 finish. Bowling Green likes to play very fast on offense under Head Coach DIno Babers, a disciple of Baylor’s Art Briles, and the Falcons took less than 2 minutes to score on 27 of their 43 touchdown drive. Look for the Falcons offense to tire out and outscore the Jaguars who were running on fumes down the stretch. Take the Falcons and the points here.