Military Bowl Preview
Thursday, December 27th
Military Bowl - RFK Stadium Washington, DC 3:00 PM ET
Bowling Green Falcons vs. San Jose St. Spartans (-7/47)
How Bowling Green got here
Bowling Green finished second in the MAC East behind Kent St. with a 6-2 record and 8-4 overall. The Falcons won seven of their last eight games but they were still not guaranteed a bowl invite and they made it here based on the fact not enough ACC teams qualified for the postseason. While the run at the end of the season was nice, the Falcons defeated only one team, Ohio, that had a winning record. It was still a very successful season for Bowling Green as it was coming off consecutive losing campaigns and this can be a year to build on with a lot of players returning next season. The Falcons have not won a bowl game since 2004 so there will be plenty to play for here.
How San Jose St. got here
After winning only eight games the three previous season, San Jose St. surpassed that total 10 games into this year and won 10 games overall, its most wins since 2006 when it went 9-4 which was also the last year it was in a bowl game. The two losses came against Utah St. and Stanford which went a combined 21-4. The Spartans will not have the coach that turned the program around with them though as Mike MacIntyre left to take the same position at Colorado. Defensive coordinator Kent Baer will be the team's interim coach for this game and it will be interesting to see how the players respond as there was a mixed reaction to MacIntyre's departure. Considering San Jose St. has not won 11 games in a season since 1939, motivation should be high.
San Jose St. lineman Travis Johnson and Bowling Green tackle Chris Jones were Defensive Players of the Year in the WAC and MAC respectively.
San Jose St. was solid all over the place statistically as it ranked in the top one or two in the WAC in 12 of 17 major categories. Overall, the Spartans were 30th in total offense and 28th in total defense in the country and the scoring rankings on both sides were even better. Eight of their 10 wins came by double-digits. Bowling Green finished the season with an even better defense as it was ranked seventh overall and ninth in points allowed in the nation. It helped that the Falcons played the 136th ranked schedule in the country, the second easiest of all FBS teams. That didn't help the offense much though as Bowling Green struggled on that side of the ball as it was ranked 85th in total offense and 91st in scoring offense. A big intangible for San Jose St. is kicker Austin Lopez who finished the season 15-15 on field goals.
Bowling Green went Under in 10 of 11 lines games this season.
San Jose St. is 12-4 ATS in its last 16 games following a win against the spread.
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