Bowl Picks: 2016 Dollar General Bowl
[lead align=”default”]In the final bowl game of a busy Friday, the 2016 Dollar General Bowl features two leading teams from Group of Five conferences.[/lead]
The Troy Trojans were one of the best Sun Belt teams this season, and had a chance to win it. They were, in fact, the first Sun Belt team ever to be ranked this season. That joy was fleeting, but this is still a 9-3 team looking to make it an even ten.
As for the Ohio Bobcats, they were one of the few teams to give Western Michigan a game this season. Lots of people wondered that night if the Bobcats might blow up the Group of Five pecking order for the Cotton Bowl. Ohio fell short in that MAC title game, but at 8-5, they were assured a bowl bid.
Neither team won their conference, but both earned the right to be here.
2016 Dollar General Bowl: Team Backgrounds
8-5 (6-3 MAC)
10th bowl appearance in school history (2-7)
Best win: at Toledo, 31-26 on October 27
Worst loss: vs. Texas State, 56-54 (3OT) on September 3
One stat: Top 25 in scoring defense nationally (22.2 ppg allowed)
Sun Belt Conference
9-3 (6-2 Sun Belt)
6th bowl appearance in school history (2-3)
Best win: vs. Appalachian State, 28-24 on November 12
Worst loss: at Arkansas State, 35-3 on November 17
One stat: Also played Ohio in their last bowl appearance in 2010
2016 Dollar General Bowl: The Edge
Ohio is known this season for its defense, which is up there statistically and via the eyeball test. Since a Week 1 loss to Texas State, the Bobcats kept it very respectable and didn’t lose a game by double digits. In fact, after giving up 56 to the other Bobcats, they didn’t give up 30 again.
That will be put to the test against Troy. The Trojans average 34 points per game, which isn’t among the nation’s best, but it was good enough to get them nine wins. Troy’s Brandon Silvers was one of the Sun Belt’s best passers, leading the conference with 22 touchdown throws. It’s strength against strength, and you know what they say: good defense beats good offense.
2016 Dollar General Bowl: Pick
[header text=”Through 12-21-16 Bowls ATS” subtext=”41-49-1″]
[alert heading=”Ohio vs. Troy (-4)” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]Ohio +4[/alert]