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Ohio Bobcats Face Georgia Southern Eagles in the Myrtle Beach Bowl




The Ohio Bobcats (9-3) face off against the Georgia Southern Eagles (6-6) for the fourth edition of the Myrtle Beach Bowl on Saturday. The very first bowl game to be played this bowl season, it's set to be a great showdown between two MAC and Sun Belt foes. Let's have a look at the tale of the tape.


Broadcast Info

Date: December 16th, 2023

Time: 11:00 a.m. EST

Where: Brooks Stadium, Conway, SC

TV: ESPN

Calling: Drew Carter, Dustin Fox, Stormy Buonantony

Radio: ESPN Radio (Check Local Listings)


Betting Information

Over/Under: 48.5

Line: Georgia Southern -3.5




Tale of the Tape: Ohio Bobcats

After finishing third in the Mid-American Conference with an overall record of 9-3 the Ohio Bobcats will play in the program's fifteenth bowl game. The Bobcats have a 6-8 record in Bowl games. Ohio's defense led by linebacker Bryce Houston, is ranked 4th nationally in total defense (according to NCAA.com) and is the strength of this team. The Bobcats will be without QB Kurtis Rourke who has entered the transfer portal. Rourke passed for 2207 yds and 11 touchdowns this season. Ohio also lost its two leading rushers to the portal, O'Shaan Allison and Sieh Bangura, who accounted for 1263 yds and 10 touchdowns. The hits keep coming for Ohio as their leading receiver, Miles Cross, is in the portal as well. Cross caught 47 passes for 617 yds and 5 touchdowns this season. On the defensive side of the ball, the Bobcats lose linebacker Keye Thompson to the portal as well.





Tale of the Tape: Georgia Southern Eagles

The Georgia Southern Eagles started the season 6-2 but ended the season on a 4-game losing streak. The Eagles are led by former Tulsa quarterback Davis Brin who has put up good numbers but is turnover prone. Brin has thrown for 3,431 yds, 22 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions (tied for most in FBS). Khaleb Hood has been Brin's number one receiver this season, amassing 917 yds and 5 touchdowns on 94 receptions. Derwin Burgess Jr., the Eagle's second receiver is a dangerous play-maker averaging 10.2 yds a catch. Jalen White leads the Eagles in rushing with 891 yds on 159 carries. On the defensive side of the ball, Georgia Southern has a secondary that is giving up 244.1 yds a game through the air. While their secondary is suspect, the Eagles have a front seven led by linebacker Marques Watson-Trent and defensive lineman Justin Rhodes who combine for 26 tackles for loss. Luckily, Georgia Southern has not had any notable players enter the transfer portal.





The Matchup - Myrtle Beach Bowl

When Georgia Southern has the ball, it will be strength vs strength. Ohio boasts a top 4 defense while the Eagles have a strong yet turnover-prone offense. While the Bobcats have played very well defensively, they haven't created a lot of turnovers and that bodes well for Georgia Southern and their turnover woes. It will be interesting to see what the Ohio offense, which wasn't very good before all the losses to the transfer portal, can do against the Eagle's sub-par defense. The Bobcats will also start their 3rd option, Parker Navarro, at quarterback. Navarro, a graduate transfer from UCF, has recorded 65 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, and 107 rushing yards with the Bobcats. It'll be interesting to see if Ohio can overcome their losses on offense by leaning on their stout defense.


Prediction

Look for this to be a low-scoring affair due to Ohio's strong defense and lack of experience on offense. Both defenses should shine in this game unless Parker Navarro and the Bobcats' new look on offense turns out to be an improvement over what they had in the regular season. Georgia Southern will need to avoid turning the ball over against Ohio's formidable defense if they want a shot at winning the first bowl game of the season. This game could go either way but with Ohio's losses to the transfer portal, I have Georgia Southern winning in a tight one.


Georgia Southern 20 - Ohio 17





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