Military Bowl Preview
San Jose State (10-2) vs. Bowling Green (8-4)
December 27, 3 p.m. ET (ESPN)
What to expect from the Spartans: San Jose State was four points away from beating Stanford in the season opener, which would have put it at 11-1 overall – likely enough to bust the BCS over Northern Illinois. This is a team that has won six straight, scoring 40.1 points per game in that span. The offense has been extremely successful at finding the end zone through junior quarterback David Fales, who has thrown at least three touchdowns in all but one game during the Spartans’ current win streak.
Bowling Green owns one of the best pass defenses around (7th in the nation) and can put pressure on the quarterback in a hurry (37 sacks this season). But this is nothing Fales can’t handle: against one of the better defenses in the nation with BYU, he threw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns. If he can put up similar numbers against the Falcons, then SJSU will have no problem finding its 11th win of the season.
What to expect from the Falcons: Like San Jose State, this is a team accustomed to winning – as it has done so in seven of its last eight games. Since their alarming 37-0 loss to Virginia Tech, the Falcons have allowed 10.6 points per game, including six under 14 points. Remember, this is the same defense that nearly beat Florida single-handedly in Week 1.
For Bowling Green to come out on top, it will have to force Davis Fales into some risky passes and limit the downfield looks. This should help the Falcons’ running game – behind Anthon Samuel and John Pettigrew – stabilize short-field drives and keep that prolific Spartan offense off the field.
Synopsis: Defense, defense, and, uh, more defense. With coach Mike MacIntyre leaving for Colorado, I can’t help but think San Jose State’s offense will take a small hit. And with the matchup being how it is anyway, points could be very limited on both sides.
With both defenses having similar traits (massive pass rush, stingy run defense, lock-down secondary), this game will come down to one thing: quarterback play. The Spartans win that battle with Fales over the ineffective Matt Schilz, so I believe they have enough ammo to pull off the victory.
San Jose State 21, Bowling Green 20 --- via Bowl Predictions