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GoDaddy Bowl 2015: Georgia Southern Shocks Bowling Green 58-27

Georgia Southern sets Sunbelt record for Points in a Bowl Game

Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

Mobile, Alabama was the soggy scene for the 2015 edition of the GoDaddy Bowl.  The MAC champion Bowling Green Falcons entered the tilt sporting a 10-3 record and feeling a bit slighted not facing a Power 5 team in its bowl game.  Georgia Southern entered Ladd-Peebles stadium for its first bowl game in program history.  The Georgia Southern squad is no stranger to Mobile, having defeated South Alabama here for its first Sun Belt Conference victory in 2014.  The GoDaddy Bowl also featured a matchup of interim coaches.  Dell McGee was named interim coach for Georgia Southern, while Brian Ward was charged with leading the Falcons into battle.  It was windy and wet when the ball was teed up and ready to go.

Bowling Green took the opening possession, and Georgia Southern was ready.  Bowling Green quarterback Matt Johnson and crew were able to pick up one first down, but had to punt.  Georgia Southern's offense took possession, and quickly demonstrated why the triple option can give teams trouble.  QB Kevin Ellison looked especially nifty pitching the ball at seemingly the last possible moment.  After marching down the field, running back L.A. Ramsby punched it in from the one yard line.  With 8:52 left in the first quarter, The Georgia Southern Eagles led 7-0.

The second quarter began with the Falcons forcing Georgia Southern with a 3 and out.  Clint Stephens had a nifty return of 21 yards that set up Bowling Green with excellent field position at their own 49. Matt Johnson found Gehrig Dieter on a 51 yard strike, and just like that Bowling Green was up 20-9.  The Eagles really needed a response, as Bowling Green was starting to take over the game.  Matt Breida broke a 36 yard run, and Georgia Southern was in business at the Falcons' 34 yard line.  Wesley Fields had the answer Georgia Southern was looking for, breaking a 26 yard run that made the score Falcons 20, Eagles 16 with 7:53 left in the half.  Georgia Southern put together a time consuming drive, but faced a 4th and 5 on the Bowling Green 31.  Kevin Ellison escaped an intense pass rush, and connected with Montay Crockett for an improbable touchdown.  It was Crockett's first catch all season for the Eagles. With 1:27 left in the half, it was Georgia State leading the MAC champion Falcons 23-20. Travis Greene broke a 52 yard run on the ensuing Falcon drive, and Bowling Green was in the red zone with under a minute in the half. Greene took it in for the score, 27-23 Falcons.  Bowling Green only needed 5 plays and 51 seconds to regain the lead just before half.

Georgia Southern got the ball first in the second half, but after a botched snap found themselves in bad field position.  After converting a big third down play, the Eagles again were on the march.  The Eagles were gashing Bowling Green with strong runs up the middle.  Wesley Fields was big on the drive including a physical 18 yarder that took the Eagles down to the Bowling Green 3.  Favian Upshaw had the exclamation point, cashing the drive in for Georgia Southern. With 7:28 left in the half the Eagles now led, 30-27.  This was Georgia Southern's 50th rushing touchdown of the season, good for tops in the nation.

Matt Johnson was quick to respond, marching the Falcons down the field in short order.  The Eagles defense stiffened, putting Bowling Green in a 3rd and Toledo on Georgia Southern's 28 yard line. Bowling Green went for it on fourth down, and tried a draw that Georgia Southern smelled a mile away.  The short run resulted in a turnover on downs.  Favian Upshaw then gave the Falcons a taste of their own medicine, scoring on the first play of the drive.  It was an 80 yard scamper that took 11 seconds.  It was Upshaw's career long rush. Georgia State 37, Bowling Green 27.  Bowling Green turned it over on the next possession when Matt Johnson lost control of the ball trying to pass.  After two quick plays, the Eagles scored again to make it 44-27 with 1:51 left in the third.  Matt Breida scored his first touchdown of the game on the one yard carry.

Matt Johnson fumbled the ball again on the next possession, setting up the Eagles inside the 10. The weather was definitely having a role in the QB's ball security. Bowling Green needed a stop desperately, as all momentum was with Georgia Southern.  The third quarter ended with Georgia Southern with a 2nd and goal from the 8.  Favian Upshaw ran in for his 3rd TD of the night to make the score Georgia Southern 51, Bowling Green 27.

Johnson tried to rally the Falcons with some downfield passes, and quickly had Bowling Green on the march.  The Georgia Southern defense tightened near midfield forcing a Falcon punt.  Bowling Green was running out of time, and Georgia Southern had 12:50 of clock to run out.  They went back to ground and pound.  After getting one first down, they were forced to punt.  If the Falcons had any comeback ideas, this would have to be it.  Down 24 with 9:52 left in the game, time was simply running out.  After forcing a 3 and out, Georgia Southern began working the clock with efficiency.  Favian Upshaw sealed his MVP of the game award with his fourth touchdown of the game.  The 42 yard run made it 58-27, Georgia Southern.  Bowling Green finishes up the season with a mark of 10-4.  Georgia Southen improves to 9-4.  The game ended with Georgia Southern in the victory formation.  Final score 58-27.