2011 GoDaddy.com Bowl Preview
The GoDaddy.com Bowl is the third match-up of the bowl season featuring a team from the Sun Belt Conference against a team from the MAC. The Sun Belt got off to a great start In the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl when Troy beat Ohio 48-21. In the Little Caesars Bowl on December 26th, Florida International represented the Sun Belt Conference with a last second victory over Toledo.
Middle Tennessee enters the GoDaddy.com Bowl with a 5-3 record in Sun Belt Conference play and a 6-6 record overall. The Blue Raiders won their last three games of the season to become bowl eligible. Miami (OH) enters the game with a record of 7-1 in the MAC and a 9-4 record overall. On December 3rd the RedHawks upset a talented Northern Illinois team to win the MAC title.
When Miami (OH) has the Ball
The RedHawks offense had trouble putting points on the board this year. Miami ranked 103rd in the nation in scoring at only 20.5 points per game and they only scored over 30 points once all year. Quarterback Zac Dysert threw for 2406 yards this season but only had 13 touchdowns to go with 12 interceptions. Dysert missed the last three games of the season and freshman Austin Boucher filled in well with 831 and 4 touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Armand Robinson has been great this season with 90 catches for 981 yards. Thomas Merriweather played well at running back and averaged 5.5 yards per carry on his way to 821 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Middle Tennessee ranked 66th in the nation in scoring defense at 27.5 points per game. The Blue Raiders did a good job of pressuring the opponent’s quarterback this season with 33 sacks and had 9 interceptions as a team. If Middle Tennessee can get after the quarterback against Miami they should be successful at keeping them off the scoreboard.
When Middle Tennessee has the Ball
The Blue Raiders were not explosive on offense this season, but they were balanced. Middle Tennessee averaged 193.6 yards per game passing and 178.5 yards rushing per game this season. Senior quarterback Dwight Dasher is the key to the Blue Raiders offensive attack. Dasher passed for 1388 yards and ran for 453 yards in the 8 games he played in this season. Dasher had trouble with interceptions this season throwing 14 picks and only 6 touchdowns. Senior running back Phillip Tanner averaged 5.6 yards per carry this season and finished the year with 841 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Miami’s defense was solid this season giving up 23.4 points per game this season. As a team the RedHawks sacked the opposing quarterback 32 times this season and ranked 11th in interceptions with 17 picks this season. Middle Tennessee has a quarterback that is prone to interceptions and the RedHawks will be looking to jump in front of a bad pass and take it to the house.
2011 GoDaddy.com Bowl Betting Lines and Prediction
Miami (OH) is favored in this game by 1 point and the over/under is set at 48 points. The x-factor in this game is Middle Tennessee quarterback Dwight Dasher. After a stellar junior season Dasher really struggled this season. Miami (OH) has a talented secondary and they should be able to harass Dasher into some bad decisions. I am picking Miami to win and cover against Middle Tennessee. I expect a close game with both teams finding ways to score, so my money is on the over.
Prediction: Miami (OH) 27 – Middle Tennessee 24