Both teams are operating under interim coaches, but they should nonetheless be capable of executing the things that have made them successful throughout the season. Bowling Green won the MAC championship, while Georgia Southern was third in the 2015 Sunbelt standings. The Eagles are one of three Sun Belt teams who just finished transitioning to the FBS level and are making their first FBS bowl appearance.
Here's more on Bowling Green and Georgia Southern . . .
WHO: Bowling Green vs. Georgia Southern
WHERE:Ladd-Peoples Stadium, Mobile, Ala.
WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 23, 8 p.m. ET
8-4, (6-2 Sunbelt, 3rd)
• Georgia Southern resurrected its program in 1982 and thrived at the
FCS level, winning six national titles. After deciding to make the move
to the FBS, the Eagles have a 17-7 record in two seasons.
• Last year, Georgia Southern won the Sun Belt with an 8-0 mark, but was
ineligible for a bowl game as the program was in the second year of the
NCAA’s mandatory transition phase.
• So after 34 seasons, 11 conference titles and six national championships,
this will be Georgia Southern’s first NCAA postseason bowl game.
The three FBS programs appearing in their first bowl game in program
history this year - Georgia Southern, Appalachian State and Georgia
State - all hail from the Sun Belt Conference.
• This will be the first meeting between Georgia Southern and Bowling
Green on the football field.
• Georgia Southern is 16-4 all-time at neutral sites, including six games in
FCS National Championship games, four of which the Eagles won. The
program’s last neutral site game came in 2000 in Chattanooga, Tennessee,
as the Eagles beat Montana 27-25 for a national title.
• The Eagles are 7-8 all-time in games played in the state of Alabama,
including 1-0 in Mobile and in Ladd-Peebles Stadium, home of the GoDaddy
Bowl. The Eagles beat South Alabama 28-6 in 2014 for the program’s
first-ever Sun Belt Conference victory.
Impressive Offensive Output:
• After getting shut out in its opener, Georgia Southern has rushed for
47 touchdowns in the past 11 games. Matt Breida (16) and L.A. Ramsby
(12) have combined for 28 of those scores. The Eagles average 6.47
yards per carry, tops in the country and their 47 rushing touchdowns are
second behind Navy (48) for the national lead.
• Georgia Southern, which leads the nation with an average of 355.6
yards rushing per game, has averaged 439.8 yards rushing in its eight
wins. The Eagles have averaged 188.0 yards in their four losses.
• The Eagles have done a good job of controlling the ball this season and
stand ninth in the nation in average time of possession with a mark of
33:26 per game.
• Georgia Southern has three of the top single-game rushing totals in the
FBS this season: 507 vs. New Mexico State (3rd), 503 vs. Texas State
(4th) and 489 vs. South Alabama (7th). Army’s 556 yards rushing against
Eastern Michigan is the top FBS total in 2015.
All While Playing A Tough Schedule: All three of the Eagle’s FBS nonconference opponents in 2015 - West Virginia (Cactus Bowl), Western
Michigan (Bahamas Bowl) and Georgia (TaxSlayer Bowl) - are playing
in a bowl this postseason. The fourth non-conference team, The Citadel,
advanced to the second round of the FCS Playoffs. In all, six of the 12
teams on Georgia Southern’s 2015 schedule played or will play in some
form of NCAA postseason.
Eagles Running Back Matt Breida Part of 2,000-yard Rushing Club:
• Running Back Matt Breida became the 16th member of the 2,000-yard
rushing club at Georgia Southern with his 179-yard performance at Idaho.
He now has 3,040 career yards for his career and sits in ninth place
all-time at Georgia Southern.
• Breida is one of only four players with two of rushes of 80 yards or longer
this year. He leads the FBS lead in 60-yard runs (5) and is tied with
Florida State’s Dalvin Cook in 70-yard runs (4).
• On the season, he has racked up 1,540 yards rushing and a Sun Beltleading
16 rushing touchdowns. He has had big games against Western
Michigan (176 yards), The Citadel (164 yards) Idaho (184 yards), ULM
(149 yards), Texas State (205 yards) and South Alabama (187 yards) with
long scoring runs of 70, 34, 25, 87, 83, 66, 37, 48 and 75 yards.
Bowling Green Falcons
10-3 (7-1 MAC, MAC Champions)
• For the 13th time in school history, and the fourth consecutive season,
Bowling Green is going bowling. The Falcons, fresh off their 34-14 win
over Northern Illinois in the MAC Championship Game, will head to
Mobile, Ala. on Dec. 23 to play Georgia Southern in the GoDaddy Bowl.
• For Bowling Green, it is their third appearance all-time in the bowl
game. For Georgia Southern, who finished the season 8-4 overall, it is
their first bowl appearance in school history after making the move to
the FBS prior to the 2014 season. The matchup marks the first all-time
between the Falcons and Eagles.
• With their 34-14 win, Bowling Green won their 12th Mid-American
Conference Championship in school history.
• With his 15-yard completion to Gehrig Dieter, Matt Johnson surpassed
Ben Roethlisberger (Miami, 2003) as the Mid-American Conference’s
all-time single-season passing leader.
• With his touchdown pass to Derek Lee in the second quarter, Johnson
set the new MAC single-season record for passing touchdowns with 42.
He now has 43 TDs on the season through the air.
• Travis Greene led the Falcons in rushing with a career-high 183 yards
and two touchdowns. Greene was named MAC East MVP for the effort.
It was his 19th-career 100-yard game, just one shy of Dave Preston’s
career record of 20 100-yard games.
• With their 34 points, BGSU has now scored a school-record 564 points
this season. The previous school record was 532 points in 2004.
• The senior class won their 36th game during their careers and their
second MAC Championship. They are the second-winningest class in
Lighting Up The Scoreboard:
• Bowling Green has scored 564 points this season, averaging 43.4 points
per game. The 43.4 points per game are fifth-best in the country and tops
in the Mid-American Conference and the most ever scored in program
history in a single-season, which covers 96 years of football.
• So far through 13 games this season, Bowling Green has scored 40
points in eight games and at least 50 points three times.
• The most 40-point games in a season came in 2004, when the Falcons
did so nine times. The school record for 50-point performances in the
same season was four, which the 2004 team did.
Greene New Rushing King: With his carry in the first quarter against
Toledo on Nov. 17, Travis Greene set Bowling Green’s new record for
most rushing yards in a career. He surpassed Dave Preston (1973-76) on
the all-time list. Greene is in his third season at running back for the Falcons in 2015, after coming to Bowling Green and playing wide receiver
his first two years on campus. Greene owns the all-time career rushing
record with 3,773 yards.
Johnson Sets MAC Single-Season Passing Marks: Quarterback Matt
Johnson became the Mid-American Conference’s new passing (4,700
yards; 43 touchdowns) king in the MAC Championship Game, surpassing
Ben Roethlisberger’s record for passing yards and Omar Jacobs’ record
for passing touchdowns in a season. Johnson also set the school
record for both yards and touchdowns this season. He has surpassed quarterbacks such as Roethlisberger, Chad Pennington, and Byron Leftwich
this season in the MAC record books.
Johnson sits just 300 yards shy from becoming the 13th quarterback in
NCAA history to surpass 5,000 yards in a single season. Additionally,
Johnson is just 401 yards shy of surpassing 9,000 yards passing in his
career. Johnson has passed for 70 career touchdowns, one shy of tying the
school record for a career.