2018 Dollar General Bowl: Teams, Facts, and Pick
Low prices in store, high intrigue on field.
Here comes the 2018 Dollar General Bowl from the Gulf Coast in Mobile, Alabama.
Named for a discount retail store, the irony is that this bowl has a nice seven-digit payout. The two teams vying for its trophy, or at least we assume it has a trophy, hail from the MAC and Sun Belt. They are the Buffalo Bulls, not Bills, and the Troy Trojans. Alliteration is strong with this bowl game, but which team is going to win?
2018 Dollar General Bowl: This Year’s Bowl Info
|Saturday, December 22, 2018, 7:00pm ET (4:00pm PT)|
|Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama|
|Broadcast on ESPN|
|$1,500,000 payout (Link: College Football Poll)|
|Buffalo is a 2-point favorite|
2018 Dollar General Bowl: Buffalo Bulls
|10-3 (7-1 MAC); MAC East Division champions|
|Lost MAC Championship to Northern Illinois|
|Best Win: Temple|
|Offensive Ranks (out of 130): Scoring Offense 26th, Total Offense 53rd, Rushing Offense 45th, 3rd Downs 41st, Time of Possession 29th, Turnover Margin T-27th, Sacks Allowed T-8th, Red Zone 119th|
|Defensive Ranks (out of 130): Scoring Defense T-46th, Total Defense 32nd, Rushing Defense 67th, Opponent 3rd Downs 36th, Sacks Per Game T-34th, TFL Per Game T-69th, Interceptions T-22nd, Opponent Red Zone 79th|
|Special Teams Ranks (out of 130): Field Goal Kicking T-84th, Punts 82nd|
2018 Dollar General Bowl: Troy Trojans
|9-3 (7-1 Sun Belt); Sun Belt East Division co-champions|
|Best Win: Georgia Southern|
|Offensive Ranks (out of 130): Scoring Offense T-58th, Total Offense 80th, Rushing Offense 56th, 3rd Downs 96th, Time of Possession 71st, Turnover Margin T-21st, Sacks Allowed T-63rd, Red Zone 57th|
|Defensive Ranks (out of 130): Scoring Defense 23rd, Total Defense 28th, Rushing Defense 29th, Opponent 3rd Downs T-64th, Sacks Per Game T-11th, TFL Per Game T-6th, Interceptions T-7th, Opponent Red Zone 21st|
|Special Teams Ranks (out of 130): Field Goal Kicking T-51st, Punts 12th|
2018 Dollar General Bowl: Head-to-Head
This will be the first all-time meeting between Buffalo and Troy. (Link: Winsipedia)
2018 Dollar General Bowl: Pick
Buffalo would have given a lot to be able to redo the second half of that MAC title game against Northern Illinois. A conference championship is a meaningful thing, arguably more meaningful than most bowl games, so blowing it is a harm. The Bulls have had weeks to stew on this and attempt to regroup. Finishing the game is going to be a key for them, not allowing another stout defense to take the game over late and give the opposing offense a chance to win.
Troy’s defense is up to the challenge. One item to watch, however, is if Troy has any success getting to the quarterback. Buffalo has been very solid in protecting theirs, while the Trojans are near the national lead in sacks generated per game. The Bulls have a big and fairly experienced first string on the offensive line to keep Tyree Jackson on his feet. Troy does not have someone as good as NIU’s Sutton Smith on their sideline but the Trojan defense is a cohesive unit that is particularly adept at shutting down the run. If they can do that, Jackson is more than proven as a passer, but Troy needs the defense to come up big to give them a chance.
Are we feeling lucky, then? Maybe a little. Not a lot, but a little.