GMAC Bowl Preview

    
January 6th, 2008

I can sum up Rutgers' 52-30 win over Ball State in the International Bowl in four words: Ray Rice ran wild. 280 yards and four scores...that puts the NCAA career rushing mark within his reach, if he were to return for his senior year. We'll see what he decides in the coming weeks, but his workload at the college level may mean that he heads off to the next level. But you never know.

GMAC Bowl (Mobile, AL)
8 PM EST, ESPN
Bowling Green vs. Tulsa

The final non-BCS bowl game of the season promises to be an offensive affair as the West Division champs of Conference USA take on the team with the best record in the MAC East. However, thanks to a loss to Miami-Ohio and an unbalanced conference schedule (three teams only played seven conference games due to the odd number of members), the Redhawks played Central Michigan for the league title. Tulsa comes into this one with the nation's top ranked offense, averaging 558.9 yards per game. QB Paul Smith has thrown for more yards than every quarterback except for Texas Tech's Graham Harrell, along with fifty-four total touchdowns (42 passing). RB Tarrion Adams has run for more than 1,100 yards on the season, and the Golden Hurricane also have two receivers with more than 1,000 yards.

However, the Falcons are no slouch on offense either, ranking 42nd in total offense and 20th through the air, leading the MAC in passing offense. QB Tyler Sheehan has thrown for 3,123 yards and eleven scores this year, and is also one of twenty-one Falcons to have caught a touchdown pass this season. While Bowling Green hasn't run the ball particularly well this season (87th in rushing offense),they have averaged 184 yards per game in their last six contests. The key: who can make a stop. Tulsa ranks 111th in total defense, BGSU 78th. Also neither team has fared too well in the return game, but when you can move the ball like these teams can you don't need to gain a major advantage in special teams. If this one comes down to a late kick, put your money on Bowling Green's Sinisa Vrvilo, who has made all 46 extra points and fifteen of nineteen field goals.