The Ohio Bobcats (8-5) will take on the Troy Trojans (9-3) in Mobile, Alabama at Ladd-Peebles Stadium for the Dollar Green General Bowl. The Bobcats are looking for their first bowl game victory since 2012, where they defeated Louisiana-Monroe to claim the Independence Bowl. While, the Trojans will be looking for their first post-season victory since 2010, where they beat Ohio for the New Orleans Bowl. The Bobcats will certainly come out with guns blazing making sure that it is not a repeat of 2010.
The Bobcats impressed a lot of people this season. Especially, their tough defense. The Bobcats are allowing just 105.8 rush yards per game, which is good for sixth in the nation. A defense led by senior linebacker Blair Brown and senior defensive lineman Tarell Basham. This defense is everywhere on field and does a great job filling the gaps in the run game. This bodes well for Ohio considering Troy possesses a great run game with running back Jordan Chunn. The Bobcats have rallied 24 turnovers and have allowed a measly 22.2 points per game, which is second best in their conference. Ohio’s defense has been the difference maker in wins this season, because their offense has been less than impressive.
Ohio’s offense has been up and down all season. To start off with the quarterbacks, Greg Windham and Quinton Maxwell have been screamingly inconsistent. Except, it seemed that Greg Windham got into groove in the MAC Championship game against Western Michigan after replacing Maxwell. In that almost upset of Western Michigan, Windham finished with 214 passing yards, three touchdowns and one interception. The interception came on the final drive, but other then that Windham was close to perfect. With the solid play from Maxwell at the end of the season, it looks like Ohio will be going with a two-quarterback rotation throughout the bowl game.
The run game has not been there for the Bobcats in the latter half of the season. Dorian Brown has rushed 150 times for 802 yards and four touchdowns this season. However, in his last four games he has only rushed 49 times for 178 yards. Windham and Maxwell will have to carry the offensive load if the Bobcats want to have a fighting chance against the Trojans.
The Trojans have been an offensive brute all season. They average 34.2 points per game, which puts them at 37th in the country and first in their conference. Quarterback Brandon Silvers leads this offense, and has thrown for 2945 yards, 22 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Silvers has not be exceptional in his last few games. The junior from Alabama has not thrown for over 250 yards in his last four contests. Silvers has had a lot of help from his running back Jordan Chunn, who has rushed for over 1200 yards and 13 touchdowns. Someone the Bobcats are going to have to keep a sharp eye on come Friday night.
Players To Watch
Tarell Basham, DE, Ohio - The MAC Defensive Player of the Year is a player that Ohio needs to be at his best to stop this Trojan offense. Basham was a force all season long, picking up 11.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss. The senior will look to disrupt the Trojan offense in every possible way. Basham is an excellent run stopper and has the speed to get to the quarterback fast. Silvers better know where the MAC Defensive Player of the Year is at all times or he will be in for some unwanted surprises.
Brandon Silvers, QB, Troy - Silvers will be someone to watch because Troy will rely on his arm all game. With Ohio’s stout run defense, the Trojans will need to find success through the air. Even with a solid running back like Jordan Chunn, the Trojans will need their quarterback to be at his best against this Ohio defense. Silvers has thrown for over 300 yards twice this year, and the Trojans are hoping for one of those games from their junior quarterback come Friday. Silvers will be returning to his home state of Alabama for the bowl game, and will be playing in a stadium he has played in many times before.
The stage is set for a great showdown between a great offensive team and a terrific defensive team. The Bobcats will be looking for revenge in Mobile, while Troy will be looking to break their six year bowl drought. It all goes down on Friday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in the great state of Alabama.