College Football Military Bowl Betting Picks: Bowling Green Falcons vs #24 San Jose St Spartans

2012 Military Bowl
Thursday, December 27, 2012, 3:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Bowling Green State Falcons vs #24 San Jose State Spartans
RFK Memorial Stadium – Washington, D.C.
Opening Line: San Jose St -7 1/2
Current Line: San Jose St -7 (-115)
Opening Total: 47
Current Total: 43 1/2
Opening Money Line: SJSU -290 / BGSU +240
Current Money Line: SJSU -290 / BGSU +240

Bowling Green is a 7 point underdog against San Jose St in the Military Bowl Thursday in Washington, D.C.

The 10-2 San Jose St Spartans are #24 in the BCS standings. They will take on the 8-4 Bowling Green St Falcons in the Military Bowl in Washington D.C. This is the first ever meeting between the schools.

San Jose St has played in 8 bowl games all time. The Spartans have a 5-3 record all time in bowls, including a 20-12 win over New Mexico in the 2006  New Mexico Bowl, the last time SJSU made a bowl game. Bowling Green is 4-5 all time in Bowl games including a 43-42 loss to Idaho in the Humanitarian Bowl.

Bowling Green finished 6-2 in the MAC under coach Dave Clawson. The Falcons have won 7 of the last 8 games after a 1-3 start. BGSU has road losses at Florida 27-14, Toledo 27-15, and Virginia Tech 37-0 and home loss to Kent St 31-24. The Falcons have home wins over Idaho 21-13, Rhode Island 48-8, Miami-(OH) 37-12, Eastern Michigan 24-3 and 21-7 against Buffalo to close out the regular season. BGSU has road wins over Akron 24-10, UMass 24-0 and Ohio 26-14. The Falcons are 8-4 ATS and the total is 1-10 this season.

San Jose St finished 5-1 in the WAC under coach Mike MacIntyre. MacIntyre left the Spartans to become head coach at Colorado. Defensive coordinator Kent Baer will serve as the interim coach for the bowl game. The Spartans hired University of San Diego coach Ron Caragher as coach for next season. San Jose St will join the Mountain west next season as the WAC will no longer sponsor football.

The only losses for San Jose St came at Pac 12 champ Stanford 20-17 and at home against WAC champion Utah St. SJSU has won 6 straight games. The Spartans have home wins over UC-Davis 45-13, Colorado St 40-20, Texas St 31-20, BYU 20-14, and Louisiana Tech 52-43 to close out the regular season. SJSU has road wins at San Diego St 38-34, Navy 12-0, Texas-San Antonio 52-24, Idaho 42-13, and New Mexico St 47-7. The Spartans are 10-2 ATS and the total is 7-4 this season.

Bowling Green is averaging 373.9 yards per game on offense, including 216.5 passing yards and 157.4 rushing yards. The Falcons are outscoring teams 23-16 this season. BGSU is #8 in scoring defense, but #93 in scoring out of 124 teams. The Falcons are #87 in total offense and #81 in passing. The Falcons are +4 in turnovers with 17 giveaways. BGSU is averaging 60 penalty yards per game and has allowed 13 sacks. The Falcons are 72/197 on third and fourth down conversions and 27/43 scoring in the red zone with 21 touchdowns. Bowling Green has one of the best defenses in the country. The Falcons are allowing 289.7 yards per game including 173 passing yards and 116.7 rushing yards. BGSU is #14 or better nationally in all three categories, including #7 in total defense and against the pass. The Falcons have forced 21 turnovers and 37 sacks. BGSU opponents are 54/191 on third and fourth down conversions and 22/28 scoring in the red zone with 14 touchdowns. The Falcons have 4 defensive/special teams touchdowns this season.

Bowling Green quarterback Matt Schilz has completed 212 of 378 passes (56.1%) for 2,426 yards with 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He has been sacked 11 times, but does have a rushing touchdown. Running back Anthon Samuel has 185 carries, 966 yards and 10 touchdowns, along with 20 catches, 186 yards and a touchdown. John Pettigrew has 121 carries, 503 yards and 5 touchdowns, along with 8 catches for 71 yards. Andre Givens has 20 carries, 134 yards, and a touchdown. Running back Jamal Martin is out for the season with a knee injury.

Receiver Chris Gallon has 47 catches, 647 yards and 6 touchdowns. Shaun Joplin has 39 catches, 629 yards and 4 touchdowns. Alex Bayer has 34 catches, 398 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Ryan Burbrink has 36 catches for 305 yards. Three reserve wide receivers are questionable or out for the season.

San Jose St is averaging 451.8 yards per game on offense, including 327.4 passing and 124.3 rushing yards. The Spartans are #11 in passing and #104 in rushing. SJSU is outscoring teams 35-21 this season. The Spartans are in the top 30 nationally in total offense and scoring. San Jose St is +8 in turnovers with 23 giveaways. The Spartans average 49 penalty yards per game and have allowed 25 sacks this season. SJSU is 80/177 on third and fourth down conversions and  42/52 scoring in the red zone with 30 touchdowns. On defense, the Spartans are allowing 351.4 yards per game including 227.8 passing yards and 123.7 rushing yards. SJSU is in the top 30 nationally in total defense, against the rush, and in points allowed. The Spartans have forced 40 sacks and 31 turnovers. SJSU opponents are 69/198 on third and fourth down conversions and 26/34 scoring in the red zone with 19 touchdowns. The Spartans have 5 defensive/special teams touchdowns this season.

SJSU quarterback David Fales has completed 294 of 408 passes (72.1%) for 3,798 yards with 31 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. He has been sacked 25 times this season. Running back De’Leon Eskridge has 194 carries, 994 yards and 10 touchdowns along with 25 catches for 150 yards. Cornerback Tyler Eskin had 2 kickoff returns for touchdowns along with a rushing and receiving touchdown. He is out for the season with a shoulder injury. Blake Jurich has 43 carries, 174 yards and  3 touchdowns. Ina Liaina has a rushing touchdown and 2 receiving touchdowns. David Freeman is out for the season due to a suspension along with receiver Chris Kearney. Freeman had a rushing and receiving touchdown. Kearney hasn’t played this season.

Receiver Noel Grigsby has 73 catches, 1,173 yards with 9 touchdowns. Ryan Otten has 44 catches, 706 yards and 4 touchdowns. Chandler Jones has 48 catches, 618 yards, and 10 touchdowns, along with 79 rushing yards. Jabari Carr has 55 catches, 589 yards and 4 touchdowns. Kyle Nunn has 25 catches, 211 yards and a touchdown. No other Spartan has more than 9 catches.

Bowling Green is 7-1 ATS overall, 5-1 after a straight up win and a cover, after allowing less than 100 rushing yards, less than 20 points, and less than 170 passing yards, 4-1 after allowing less than 275 total yards, 6-2 on grass, and 4-11-1 against teams with winning records.

San Jose St is 7-0 ATS on grass, 5-0 after allowing 40 points or more, 4-0 after a straight up win, after rushing for 200 yards or more, and after allowing 450 yards or more, 10-1 in non-conference games, 8-1 against teams with winning records, 7-1 after scoring 40 or more points, 9-2 after a cover, 13-3 after passing for more than 280 yards, 7-2 after gaining more than 450 yards, 20-6 overall, 6-2 after allowing more than 280 passing yards, and 23-9 after allowing 100 rushing yards or less.

Bowling Green has an elite defense but the offense struggles. San Jose St has an explosive offense and a good defense. Apart from Toledo and Kent St, I don’t think Bowling Green has faced an offense as good as San Jose St, especially in the passing game. I think San Jose wins but Bowling Green keeps it close.

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