The 2021 Camellia Bowl features the 7-5 Georgia State Panthers against the 6-6 Ball State Cardinals. Here is the 2021 Camellia Bowl Preview.
Ball State Cardinals (6-6)
Ball State has made their second-straight bowl game by getting to six games. They defeated three bowl-eligible teams in Army, Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan. All six of their losses came against teams that qualified for bowl games.
The Cardinals score 24.4 points per game, ranking 94th in the country. They pass for 200.5 yards (ranked 94th) and rush for 175.7 yards per game (ranked 55th).
Drew Plitt has been quarterbacking the Ball State offense this season. He has passed for 2,248 yards, 17 touchdowns and five interceptions on 60.5 percent completion. Three receivers have put up solid numbers for the Cardinals. Jayshon Jenkins has 57 receptions for 683 yards and four touchdowns. Justin Hall has also been productive with 61 receptions for 613 yards and five touchdowns. Yo’Heinz Tyler leads the team in touchdown catches with six and also has 44 receptions for 435 yards.
Carson Steele leads the rushing attack for Ball State this season. He has 829 rushing yards and six touchdowns on the season. Will Jones and Justin Hall each have over 200 rushing yards behind Steele. Hall leads the team with six rushing touchdowns.
Their defense allows 26.5 points per game, which is tied for 70th in the country. They give up 169.5 rushing yards (ranked 93rd) and 246.2 passing yards per game (ranked 96th). Linebacker Jaylin Thomas and cornerback Bryce Cosby each have over 100 tackles on the season. Safety J.T. Wahee has a team-lead with seven passes defended.
Georgia State Panthers (7-5)
Georgia State won seven games to make their third-straight bowl game. All five of their losses came to bowl-eligible teams. They had one win over a team that qualified for a bowl game: Coastal Carolina.
The Panthers score 26.3 points per game, which ties them for 82nd in the country. They pass for 158 yards (ranked 119th) and rush for 224.5 yards per game (ranked eighth).
Darren Grainger took over at quarterback for the Panthers this season. He passed for 1,512 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions on 57.9 percent completion. Four pass-catchers have over 200 receiving yards for the Panthers. Jamari Thrash paces the team with 31 catches for 447 yards and three touchdowns. Tight end Roger Carter and wide receivers Sam Pinckney and Ja’Cyais Credle each have at least 20 catches and a touchdown to round out the top four receivers on the team.
Two running backs have done most of the damage on the ground for the Panthers. Tucker Gregg has 899 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. Jamyest Williams hasn’t been too far behind with 810 yards and nine touchdowns himself. Grainger is behind them from the quarterback position with 524 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
The defense allows 27.3 points per game, ranking 81st in the FBS. They concede 259.2 passing yards (ranked 110th) and 147 rushing yards per game (ranked 59th). Linebacker Jordan Veneziale leads the team with 87 total tackles. Blake Carroll has 82 tackles and has the team lead with 5.5 sacks. In the secondary, Antavious Lane has six passes defended and four interceptions.
The key matchup in this game is the Panthers’ rushing attack against the Cardinals’ rush defense. Georgia State will be able to run the ball and control the clock en route to victory.
Georgia State Panthers 24 Ball State Cardinals 17
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