2013 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl
Ohio Bobcats vs East Carolina Pirates
Tropicana Field – St. Petersburg, Florida
Monday, December 23, 2013, 2:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: East Carolina -12 1/2
Current Line: East Carolina -14
Opening Total: 62
Current Total: 62
Opening Money Line: ECU -525 / Ohio +425
Current Money Line: ECU -570 / Ohio +435
The 9-3 East Carolina Pirates and 7-5 Ohio Bobcats meet in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl Monday afternoon in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Pirates went 6-2 in the Conference USA East Divisi0n. The Pirates are 8-10 all time in bowl games. East Carolina has lost 4 straight bowl games including 43-34 to Louisiana in the New Orleans Bowl last year. The last bowl win for the Pirates came in the 2007 Hawaii Bowl against Boise State 41-38. East Carolina has qualified for four straight bowl games.
Ohio went 4-4 in the MAC East. The Bobcats are 2-5 all-time in bowl games. Ohio is playing in their fifth straight bowl game. The Bobcats have won two straight bowls, including 45-14 over Louisiana-Monroe last year in the Independence Bowl.
East Carolina is 2-0 all-time against Ohio. East Carolina won both legs of a home and home in 1996 and 1998, 55-45 in Greenville, North Carolina and 21-14 in Athens, Ohio.
Ohio is coached by Frank Solich. The Bobcats have road losses at Louisville 49-7, Buffalo 30-3, and at Bowling Green 49-0. and were upset at home by Central Michigan 26-23 and Kent State 44-13. Ohio has home wins over North Texas 27-21, Marshall 34-31, Austin Peay 38-0, Miami-(OH) 41-16 and Massachusetts 51-23 to close out the regular season, along with road wins at Akron 43-3 and Eastern Michigan 56-28. The UMass win snapped a three game losing streak for Ohio. The Bobcats are 6-6 ATS and the total is 4-8 this season. Ohio was an 19.5 point favorite against Massachusetts and the total was 52.
Ohio is outscoring teams 28-27 this season. Ohio is averaging 374.8 yards per game including 238.5 passing and 136.2 rushing yards. The Bobcats are #88 in total offense and #97 in rushing nationally. On defense, Ohio is allowing 392.3 yards per game including 212.2 passing and 180.2 rushing yards. The Bobcats are #29 in pass defense nationally. Ohio is +1 in turnovers with 22 takeaways. The Bobcats average 54 penalty yards per game and opponents average 70 yards per game. Ohio is 70/178 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 89/195. The Bobcats have forced 34 sacks and allowed 16 this season. Ohio is 42/52 scoring in the red zone with 29 touchdowns and opponents are 28/37 with 21 touchdowns. The Bobcats have five defensive touchdowns and have allowed a kick return for a touchdown.
Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton has completed 63.1% of his passes for 2,623 yards with 20 touchdowns and 9 interceptions, plus 39 carries for 10 yards. Back-up quarterbacks Derrius Vick and J.D. Sprague have each taken a few snaps this year. Each has a rushing touchdown.
Running back Beau Blankenship has 183 carries for 844 yards and 5 touchdowns, plus 15 catches for 62 yards. Ryan Boykin has 103 carries for 399 yards and 7 touchdowns along with 9 catches for 59 yards and a touchdown. Daz’mond Patterson has 28 carries for 183 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 7 catches for 43 yards.
Bobcat receiver Donte Foster has 63 catches for 858 yards and 6 touchdowns. Chase Cochran has 32 catches, 656 yards and 4 touchdowns. Matt Waters has 32 catches, 446 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is questionable with a shoulder injury Tight end Troy Hill has 19 catches for 253 yards and 2 touchdowns. Receiver Mario Dovell is out for the season with a knee injury. He had 15 catches for 142 yards and 2 touchdowns. Two little used tight ends Davon Henry and John Tanner are both questionable with shoulder injuries. Receiver Malik Rodriguez is questionable with a hand injury. Five defensive players and two offensive linemen are also on the injury report.
East Carolina is coached by Ruffin McNeill. The Pirates have losses to Virginia Tech 15-10 at home and road losses at Tulane 36-33 in overtime and at Marshall 59-28 to close out the regular season . East Carolina had won five straight games before the Marshall loss that cost the Pirates the C-USA East Division title. The Pirates have home wins over Old Dominion 52-38, Florida Atlantic 31-13, Southern Miss 55-14, Tulsa 58-24, and UAB 63-14, along with road wins at North Carolina 55-31, Middle Tennessee 24-17, Florida International 34-13, and at NC State 42-28. East Carolina is 6-6 ATS and the total is 8-4 this season. The Pirates were 3 point underdogs at Marshall and the total was 70.
East Carolina is outscoring teams 40-25 this season. The Pirates are #10 in scoring and #51 in points allowed nationally out of 125 FBS teams. East Carolina averages 459.8 yards per game including 331.5 passing and 128.3 rushing yards. The Pirates are #10 in passing, #102 in rushing, and #30 in total offense. ECU is allowing 363.2 total yards per game on defense, including 245.8 passing and 117.5 rushing yards. The Pirates are #90 in pass defense, #15 in rush defense and #30 in total defense nationally. East Carolina is +5 in turnovers with 21 takeaways. The Pirates average 42 penalty yards per game and opponents average 46. East Carolina is 105/195 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 108/230. The Pirates have forced 35 sacks and allowed 28 this season. ECU is 61/69 scoring in the red zone with 48 touchdowns and opponents are 31/42 with 25 touchdowns. The Pirates have 3 defensive touchdowns and have allowed 3 this season.
East Carolina quarterback Shane Carden has completed 71% of his passes for 3,866 yards with 32 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, along with 80 carries for 63 yards and 10 touchdowns. Carden is #6 nationally in passing yards and #8 in touchdown passes. Back-up Cody Keith is out for the season with an elbow injury.
Running back Vintavious Cooper has 205 carries for 995 yards with 11 touchdowns, along with 41 catches, 90 yards and a touchdown. Breon Allen has 56 carries for 268 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 8 catches for 105 yards. Chris Hairston has 49 carries for 186 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 6 catches for 60 yards. Little used running backs Zico Pasut and Cory Hunter are out for the season.
Receiver Justin Hardy has 105 catches for 1,218 yards and 8 touchdowns, and also has a touchdown pass. Isiah Jones has 54 catches for 556 yards and 5 touchdowns. Reece Wiggins has 24 catches for 352 yards and 4 touchdowns. Lance Ray has 28 catches for 237 yards and 3 touchdowns. Bryce Williams has 18 catches for 193 yards and 5 touchdowns. Davon Grayson has 18 catches for 176 yards and 4 touchdowns. He is out for the season as are three other little used receivers, Danny Webster, Quataye Smyre, and Jimmy Williams. Four defensive players are also on the injury report.
East Carolina is 9-0 ATS after a straight up win, 4-1 after passing for 280 yards or more, 6-2 after allowing more than 40 points, 9-4 after failing to cover, and 6-18 against teams with winning records.
Ohio is 5-1 ATS in non-conference games, 4-1 against C-USA teams, 3-8 after a straight up win, 2-7 after rushing for 200 yards or more, 1-4 overall and on fieldturf, 3-13 after scoring 40 points or more, 1-8 after a straight up win of more than 20 points, and 0-4 after allowing less than 170 passing yards.
Ohio can’t get into a shootout with East Carolina, or they will get blown out. Both teams have decent defenses so this could be a low scoring game. This seems like a lot of points, so I think Ohio stays within the 14 point spread.