MAC Championship: Bowling Green Falcons vs. Northern Illinois Huskies (12/4)
Date: Friday, December 4 – 8 PM ET
Site: Ford Field – Detroit
NCAAF College Football Odds at BetAnySports USA Online Sportsbooks
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Pointspread: Bowling Green -13.5 (-109), Northern Illinois +13.5 (-101)
The Northern Illinois Huskies have a bit of an offensive problem on their hands as they get ready to play the Bowling Green Falcons for the Mid-American Conference championship in Detroit. The Huskies, who have played the Falcons the last two seasons in this title game, have been forced to play musical chairs at the quarterback position because of injuries. Drew Hare has been the starter for most of the season, and his numbers have been pretty good (64%, 14 touchdowns, four interceptions). But he’s not available for this one. His backup was already out, and Ryan Graham, who was inserted into the lineup, with a considerable drop in production, we might add, has an ankle injury.
That will leave NIU with freshman Tommy Fiedler, who is a walk-on to boot, and even though he is said to have shown some poise when his team inserted him into the lineup against Ohio, BetAnySports customers nonetheless know that this team will be handicapped on the offensive side. Can they run the ball? Well, certainly they are going to try; NIU has rushed for more than four yards per attempt only three times in twelve games. Bowling Green is not considered to have one of the better defensive units in the MAC, but they haven’t done a horrible job against the run (allowing 3.9 ypc in the conference), with only a couple of teams (Tennessee, Ohio) actually dominating them over land.
And there is little way that NIU is going to trade points, or so it seems, as Bowling Green is best in the MAC in both scoring and yards gained. Matt Johnson is unsurpassed when it comes to throwing the football, at least if we rely on statistics; Johnson leads all Division I NCAA passers with 4465 yards and has 41 touchdowns. What is especially astounding is that he has tossed only six interceptions in 499 attempts. Four of his receivers have pulled down at least 50 passes, which indicates that he knows how to spread it around.
BetAnySports USA online Sportsbooks patrons who have watched this team also know that what makes this attack run even better is the fact that they can run the ball with abandon. Travis Greene (5.7 ypc, 12 TD’s) and Fred Coppet (5.9 ypc) get Johnson the balance he needs. So it may come down to how well Northern Illinois can shut down one of these two components to the offense. They have allowed only three of their opponents to rush for more than four yards a carry.
Will this be the last game for Bowling Green coach Dino Babers? He has been rumored to be headed elsewhere, as many successful coaches from the smaller conferences do. Central Florida, where George O’Leary resigned earlier in the season, is said to be one of those potential destinations.
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