The Mac-East winner Ohio takes on the Troy Trojans in the 2016 Dollar General Bowl in Alabama.
The Bobcats had a bad loss to Texas State to start the year, but then finished the year at 8-5 and made it to the MAC Championship Game. They had key wins over Miami (OH) and Toledo, both of which are bowl eligible.
Greg Windham and Quinton Maxwell both played quarterback this year and combined for 2,830 passing yards, 20 passing touchdowns and eight interceptions. They both have bad completion percentages at around 55%. Both players have the capability to run the ball as well to change the game. For this game, both quarterbacks will likely see some action.
Sebastian Smith and Papi White are the two best targets for the quarterbacks. Smith is a big receiver who plays on the outside. He currently has 877 receiving yards, but only four touchdowns. That isn’t good enough for his size. Papi White is a running back that moves around a lot. With 203 rushing yards and 608 receiving yards he is a key player for the offense.
Ohio has two running backs who have rushed for over 400 yards on the season. Dorian Brown has rushed for 802 yards and four scores. Maleek Irons rushed for 434 yards and 5 touchdowns. Brown has a good yards per carry average at 5.3.
Luckily for Ohio, they have the seventh best rush defense in the country and only allow 105 yards per game on the ground. Unfortunately, they have one of the worst pass defenses in college football and allow 257 yards per game.
Defensive lineman Tarell Basham has 11.5 sacks on the season to be their star. To go with Basham, Ohio boasts one of the best tacklers in college football, Blair Brown, who has 65 solo tackles on the year.
The Trojans had a really nice season at 9-3. Their only bad loss came at the hands of Georgia Southern, who can be a tricky team to beat. Troy’s solid wins include USA, Idaho and Appalachian State.
At quarterback, Brandon Silvers has played well. He has 2,945 yards passing on 65% passing. His 22 to 10 touchdown to interception ratio is also solid, as he will have to prove he doesn’t turn the ball over often with Basham pressuring him.
Silvers has three receivers with over five touchdowns: Emanuel Thompson (five), Deondre Douglas (six) and Tevaris McCormick (five). Thompson is the leader in yardage with 737 yards, but all three are valuable targets for Silvers.
Jordan Chunn has had a great season for the Trojans in the run game. 1,232 yards and 13 touchdowns. His yard per carry average of 4.8 could be a little higher, but is still good enough.
With their offense scoring 34.2 points per game, the defense usually just needs a few key stops per game. The rush defense for Troy gives up 124 yards per game, which is one of the best in the country. The weak link for Troy is the pass defense, which allows 241 yards per game.
Defensive lineman Rashad Dillard is the best on the team in creating pressure on the quarterback with 7.5 sacks. Defensive back Blace Brown takes full advantage of this pressure and has picked up six interceptions this season.
Troy will shut down the run game of Ohio and force them to pass. Dillard and Brown will help force turnovers, leaving it up to the Trojan offense. Ohio’s defense won’t be able to keep up with Troy’s offense.
Troy Trojans 38 Ohio Bobcats 23