2010 New Orleans Bowl Preview
Ohio vs. Troy is not exactly a marquee bowl match up. In fact, if you are reading this article you most likely attended one of these universities, are betting money on every bowl game, or you accidentally landed here while searching for information on the New Orleans Saints Super Bowl. Whatever reason led you to this page, please stick around, you may learn something you can use to impress your friends.
Troy enters the New Orleans bowl with an overall record of 7-5 on the season. The Trojans took advantage of an easy schedule to become bowl eligible. Of the twelve teams Troy played this year only four of had records of .500 or above. In those four games Troy went 1-3. The Trojans seven wins came against teams with a combined record of 25-60.
Ohio earned a bowl bid this year with a 6-2 record in conference play and an overall record of 8-4. The Bobcats also took advantage of their soft schedule this year. Ohio beat an FCS school (Woffford), a team with a record of 1-11, and three teams with records of 2-10. Ohio did have an impressive win on the road over Miami (OH) this year, easily beating the Redhawks 34-13 on their home turf.
When Ohio has the Ball
Ohio is not very intimidating on offense. Not very intimidating is my nice way of saying that their offense is horrible. Ohio’s leading rusher, Vince Davidson, ended the season with 509 yards while averaging only 3.9 yards per carry. Bobcat quarterback Boo Jackson is ineffective as a passer throwing for less than 2000 yards and only 15 touchdowns to go with 16 interceptions. Backup quarterback Phil Bates will also see time, but he is more likely to run than throw. Bates was second on the team in rushing with 508 yards and averaged an impressive 7.0 yards per carry.
Fortunately for Ohio’s anemic offense they are going up against the Trojans below average defense. Troy was 92nd in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 31 points per game. Troy did have some success rushing the passer this year recording 35 sacks on the season. If Troy can continue that success they should be able to rattle Boo Jackson enough to get him to make bad decisions and turn the ball over.
When Troy has the Ball
What Troy lacked defensively this year they made up for with an explosive offense. Troy had the 27th best scoring offense in the nation at 32.9 points per game. The Trojans open up the field with a spread offense and a quarterback that likes to throw to all his weapons on offense. Freshman quarterback Corey Robinson had a great season with 3320 yards and 24 touchdowns. Eleven different player caught touchdown passes for Troy this year. The x-factor on offense is Jerrel Jernigan, a senior wide receiver. Jernigan did it all for the Trojans with 74 catches and 755 yards through the air, 325 yards rushing, and he completed 6 of 7 passes for 41 yards and a touchdown.
Ohio’s defense played well this seasons allowing just over 21 points per game. Bobcat coach Frank Solich will have a lot to prepare for when they face Troy in New Orleans. Ohio will look to put pressure on the freshman quarterback from Troy. The Bobcats will have to make sure they know where Jerrel Jernigan is on every play and they have the tough task of being ready for anything.
2010 R+L New Orleans Bowl Prediction
This game features a strength vs. strength match up in Troy’s offense and Ohio’s defense, and a weakness vs weakness when Ohio’s offense is on the field against the Trojan defense. I typically favor the team with a better defense but I have a feeling that Troy will come out on top in this one. Ohio’s offense is really bad and their defense is going to spend a lot of time on the field. Troy’s spread offense will wear down the Bobcats, and the ability of Troy’s skill players on offense will be too much in the end.
Prediction: Troy 28 – Ohio 16