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January 3, 2008

2007 Bowl Preview Series

The four "named" BCS bowl games are behind us, and while the national championship game on Monday night - featuring LSU and Ohio State - is garnering much of the nation's attention, there are a pair of remaining bowl games to be played before the huge showdown in New Orleans. The first, the International Bowl, features one of the nation's top running backs in Ray Rice as Rutgers goes up against Ball State. After that contest on Saturday, Tulsa and Bowling Green will go head-to-head on Sunday in the GMAC Bowl to lead into Monday night's title bout.

International | GMAC

SCS.comINTERNATIONAL BOWL - Rutgers vs Ball State
January 5 - 11:00 AM CST ESPN2 - Toronto, Canada

When Rutgers has the ball...

Theyíll be handing it off to talented running back Ray Rice. The junior has accounted for 144 of the Scarlet Knights 190 yards on the ground per game this season. Second string quarterback Jabu Lovelace has provided a nice second running option, picking up four yards per carry this season in limited time, while finding the end zone four times.
Quarterback Mike Teel has had an up and down season. He started off red hot but a thumb injury in October saw a tremendous decrease in his play. The full month of rest will be good for the junior. Teel has had two very talented targets in the receiving core this season in the forms of Kenny Britt and Tiquan Underwood. Both receivers accounted for more than 55 catches, 1,000 yards and 6 touchdowns on the year.

When Ball State has the ball...

Expect to see them air it out. Sophomore quarterback Nate Davis hasnít gotten much press this season, but he should have. The second year starter completed 57% of his passes during the regular season for nearly 3,400 yards and 27 touchdowns against just 6 interceptions. Consistency has been the name of the game too with five 300 yard passing games and only two games of under 200 yards. Davisís favorite target has been undersized junior receiver Dante Love. Love has hauled in 87 catches for over 1,200 yards and 9 touchdowns.
The Cardinalís run game hasnít been non-existent, but 147 yards per game isnít going to blow anyone away. Undersized running backs Frank Edmonds and MiQuale Lewis have split the majority of the carries. The two underclassmen have accumulated 973 yards on the ground with 8 touchdowns on 230 carries this season.

Star watch...

Rice, the recently named second-team All-American will be the player to watch in this one. His numbers are nearly identical to his oneís from last year, and Rice will enter the game averaging nearly 160 yards per game over his last seven games. Nate Davis will be the other big name to watch. The sophomore will have his hands full with the Big Eastís top pass rush, but his numbers this season should certainly earn the respect of the Rutgers defense.

Deciding factor...

Will Nate Davis and Donte Love be able to continue shredding opposing secondaries, or will the Rutgers pass rush, which helped hold opponents to just 160 passing yards per game, be too much for the Cardinals? There is no doubt this is the stiffest defense Davis has seen this season, will the sophomore be able to rise to the challenge?

The staff says...

- - - - - F o o t b a l l   S t a f f - - - - - - - - O t h e r   S t a f f - - -
David Gregg Joey Jonathan Matt Ben Daniel Eddie Larry
177-97 169-105 175-99 179-95 165-109 - S e a s o n   R e c o r d s -

SCS.comGMAC - Tulsa vs Bowling Green
January 6 - 7:00 PM CST ESPN - Mobile, AL

When Tulsa has the ball...

Expect huge numbers. The nationís number one offense is averaging nearly 560 yards per game, nearly 400 of those through the air thanks to quarterback Paul Smith. The senior is second in the nation with 4,753 yards and a whopping 42 touchdowns. Smith has completed at least 25 passes to seven different players, including receivers Brennan Mario and Trae Johnson, each of whom have over 1,000 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.
As if the Golden Hurricane didnít have enough firepower, they have a 1,000 yard rusher in Tarrion Adams. The junior has been inconsistent at points during the season, and was slowed for a couple of games in early November due to injury. Adams appears to be fully recovered though, having posted 100-yard games in two of his final three regular season contests.

When Bowling Green has the ball...

They will be throwing deep as well. The Falcons ranked 18th nationally in passing yards per game thanks to the play of first year starting quarterback Tyler Seehan. The sophomore has completed over 63% of his passes for over 3,000 yards and 23 touchdowns. Donít let the 11 interceptions fool you either, 5 of those came in a one sided loss to Boston College.
The run game hasnít been a tremendous focal point of the Bowling Green attack this season. Backup quarterback Anthony Turner has done more running than throwing this season, leading the Falcons with 501 yards and 9 touchdowns on 101 carries. Freshman running back Willie Geter has shown flashes of brilliance this season, including a 203 yard performance in a win against Kent State in October.

Star watch...

Pass happy fans will love this bowl match up. Smith and Sheehan will be the players to watch in this one. Each has completed over 60% of their passes, each has put up big numbers all season long, and each will be attempting a lot of passes downfield in this one.

Deciding factor...

Which defense shows up to play? Neither team has done well on the other side of the ball at all this season. Both are allowing around 30 points per game as well as 200 yards rushing per game to opponents. Since this is a battle of high powered passing attacks though a lot of the pressure will be on the secondaries. Bowling Green has faired a little bit better against the pass this year, but again, neither team has done a tremendous job preventing offenses from putting up big numbers.

The staff says...

- - - - - F o o t b a l l   S t a f f - - - - - - - - O t h e r   S t a f f - - -
David Gregg Joey Jonathan Matt Ben Daniel Eddie Larry
177-97 169-105 175-99 179-95 165-109 - S e a s o n   R e c o r d s -

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