BOWLING GREEN FALCONS (6-3)
at OHIO BOBCATS (8-1)
Kickoff: Wednesday, 8:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Ohio -3.5, Total: TBD
Two MAC powers collide Wednesday night when streaking Bowling Green seeks its sixth straight win (SU and ATS) at 8-1 Ohio.
The Falcons have been completely dominant during the five-game surge, outscoring opponents 157 to 33, and allowing an average of 67 rushing YPG. The Bobcats bounced back from a loss at Miami-Ohio with a 45-14 thumping of Eastern Michigan last Thursday. Ohio is now 5-0 SU (3-2 ATS) at home, averaging 42.4 PPG in these five games at Peden Stadium in Athens, OH. These schools have split the past 16 meetings SU, but Bowling Green holds an 11-5 ATS advantage in this span. However, the Bobcats have won three in a row (2-1 ATS), including a thrilling 29-28 win at BGSU last year on a last-second field goal. This figures to be a tight contest, but the Falcons have the defense that can keep the score low enough to prevail. Each of these schools has played the same three teams in their past three MAC games (Akron, Miami-Ohio and Eastern Michigan), with Bowling Green outscoring them 85-25 in three wins and Ohio holding a 99-65 advantage, but losing to Miami-Ohio. BGSU also crushed UMass 24-0, while Ohio eked out a three-point win over the winless Minutemen, who haven't reached 17 points versus any other opponent. The Falcons usually play well in Athens, going 5-1 ATS (4-2 SU) in the past six visits. And road underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points off 1+ consecutive unders, an average offensive team (21-28 PPG) against an average defensive team (21-28 PPG), are 53-20 ATS (73%) in the past 10 seasons. The pick here is BOWLING GREEN to win ATS on Wednesday night.
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Bowling Green QB Matt Schilz has played very well in this series, throwing for 509 yards, 5 TD and 2 INT in two games versus Ohio. He's also stepped up his performance during the current five-game win streak, throwing eight touchdowns and just two picks. Top RB Anthon Samuel (neck) did not play in last week's 24-3 win over Eastern Michigan, but he does expect to start on Wednesday night. Samuel, who compiled 85 total yards and a touchdown versus Ohio last year, has surpassed 110 rushing yards in four of his past six games. Senior John Pettigrew did a solid job replacing Samuel last week with 136 yards on 24 carries (5.7 YPC) against EMU, so the team has a reliable fall-back option if Samuel isn't 100 percent. On the defensive side of the ball, the Falcons lead the MAC and rank amongst the nation's top-10 in both scoring defense (15.2 PPG, 9th in FBS) and total defense (290 YPG, 8th in nation). The Falcons have also forced 10 turnovers in the past three weeks, and allowed a total of 147 passing yards in the past two victories.
Ohio QB Tyler Tettleton had a strong performance in last year's win over Bowling Green, totaling 322 yards (194 pass, 128 rush) and 2 TD. He led his team on a 15-play, 83-yard drive that ate up the final 7:34 and set up the game-winning 23-yard field goal on the last play of regulation. Although his 263 total YPG is well below last year's 284 total YPG, Tettleton has thrown just two interceptions all year in 244 attempts, with 15 TD passes. Part of his dip in yardage has to do with the performance of junior RB Beau Blankenship, who has 1,097 rushing yards (122 per game) and 8 TD. After carrying the football at least 25 times in each of his first six games, Blankenship's workload has been lessened to 14.7 rushing attempts per game in the past three contests. A big reason Ohio is 8-1 because it ranks fourth in the nation in turnover margin with +1.7 per game. The Bobcats have forced 20 turnovers (11 fumbles, 9 INT), but have just five giveaways in nine games. This has helped compensate for an average defense allowing 387 total YPG, including a hefty 252 passing YPG.