2016 Dollar General Bowl: Ohio vs. Troy Prediction, Game Preview

2016 Dollar General Bowl: Ohio vs. Troy Prediction, Game Preview

Troy

2016 Dollar General Bowl: Ohio vs. Troy Prediction, Game Preview

Dollar General Bowl Prediction, Ohio vs. Troy Game Preview, History, Scores


Three reasons why you should watch the Dollar General Bowl between Ohio (8-5) vs. Troy (9-3), why each team might win, honest thoughts, line and prediction.


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Date: Friday, December 23
Game Time: 8:00 pm
Venue: Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, AL
Network: ESPN

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Scroll down for the video preview and bowl history

The Bowl Matchup Ranking Of Awesomeness (1 best-40 worst): 39 out of 40

Three Reasons Why You Should Watch The Dollar General Bowl

If history is any indication, there should be lots and lots of points. The last two games were blowouts, but they were fun. Georgia Southern beat Bowling Green 58-27, and Toledo beat Arkansas State 63-44. Troy and Ohio don’t have a ton of firepower, but here’s where they can let it all loose.

Yeah, Ohio is a hard sell, but it plays close, interesting games. It’s a try-hard team that might not be a blast to watch, but seven of the last eight games were decided by a touchdown or less.

Both teams are going to care. Ohio is just 2-7 in bowls, losing two straight – including last year’s Camellia Bowl in painful last-second fashion to Appalachian State. Troy’s last bowl? 2010, beating Ohio in the New Orleans Bowl.

Here’s Why Troy Will Win The Dollar General Bowl

The Trojans have the run defense to stuff the Ohio O. The Bobcats don’t have much of a downfield passing game – if any. If they don’t run well, they can’t win. They’re not going to run well against a Troy defensive front that improved by leaps and bounds over last year. Teams are averaging 3.4 yards per pop against it.

Get the passing game grooving. Consistent, QB Brandon Silvers has been a 200-yard machine, hitting the mark in every game but the win over Southern Miss. Ohio has problems against smart, efficient passing games that gets its guys on the move. Troy – coached by a disciple of Mike Leach, Neal Brown – has a smart, efficient passing game that gets its guys on the move.

It’s a home-game-not-a-home-game. Played about 170 miles down the road from the school, Troy can get away just enough to have fun doing the whole bowl thing, but it’s not that far away that its fans can’t travel. Whatever home field advantage there will be will be for the Trojan side.

Here’s Why Ohio Will Win The Dollar General Bowl

Oddly enough, Troy is miserable at coming up with a third down stop. The Trojan D is fantastic against the run, it camps out in the backfield, and the secondary has been a major solid, but it’s getting roasted on third downs over the second half of the season, allowing 40% or more in four of the last five games.

Yeah, that whole great Troy run D thing, it’s been hit-or-miss. Unbelievable throughout the course of the season – it held Clemson to 122 rushing yards – it started to have problems late. The Arkansas State O line did a nice job in the blowout win in mid-November, while the Georgia Southern option offense worked just enough to get to 218 yards and a win. Run for 200 yards, beat Troy. Ohio has rushed for 200 five times, but not for a while.

Ohio can play a little run D, and it’s not hit-or-miss. The Bobcats haven’t allowed anyone to average more than three yards per carry in the last four games – including Western Michigan – and they’ve allowed just one rushing touchdown since mid-October and three since September. Troy has to throw to win.

You’ve Read This Far, So You Get Three Honest Thoughts On The Dollar General Bowl

Watch Jordan Chunn. The 6-1, 231-pound Troy running back is about as subtle as a box of hammers, but he’s going to have to be effective. Again, Ohio has a run defense, but if Chunn can do anything on first downs, everything else will open up wide.

Call this the generation game. 72-year-old Frank Solich took Nebraska to a BCS Championship game in 2001, lost, and was booted after a solid 2003 season because the program was seen as stagnant – the national championships haven’t exactly been flowing in Lincoln lately. Solid at Ohio, he’s carved out a nice 12-year run winning 88 games, two bowls, and four MAC East titles – but no MAC championships.

Troy head coach Neal Brown is just 36, but he’s seen as one of the hottest young offensive minds in the game. If he wins, and takes Troy from 4-8 to a ten-win season in just one year, he’ll start generating more of a buzz.

This is going to get lost in the glut of bowls, and it comes at the end of a Friday triple-header. Look, both teams have lost two of their last three, and there’s no brand name factor involved, but it should be just close enough to have on in the background if you need a distraction from talking to your family.

Super. So Who’s Going To Win The Dollar General Bowl?

Normally, the ground game and toughness of Ohio should be able to pull this off in a slow-and-steady-wins-the-race sort of way, and it proved it could hang with a high-powered passing attack, giving Western Michigan all it could handle in the MAC championship, but if Troy gets up early, this is over. The Trojan defense will be just sound enough after two early scores from two good, balanced offensive possessions, and Ohio will have to start throwing a bit. Troy will play with just a little bit more pep right out of the gate, and that’ll be enough as it hangs on in the final minutes.

Final Score

Troy 28, Ohio 23

Line

Troy -3.5, o/u: 49

ATS Confidence: 3
5: Your New Year’s Eve chances to score in your favorite bar
0: Your New Year’s Eve chances to score after covering a College Football Playoff semifinal

Must See Rating: 2
5: New Year’s Eve: Defected In The House, Ministry of Sound, London
0: New Year’s Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Special Co-Host Kathy Griffin

Get Tickets For The Dollar General Bowl

Dollar General Bowl History, Results

Dec. 23, 2015 Georgia Southern 58 Bowling Green 27
Jan. 4, 2015 Toledo 63 Arkansas State 44
Jan. 5, 2014 Arkansas State 23 Ball State 20
Jan. 6, 2013 Arkansas State 17 Kent State 13
Jan. 8, 2012 Northern Illinois 38 Arkansas State 20
Jan. 6, 2011 Miami Univ. 35 Middle Tennessee 21
Jan. 6, 2010 Central Michigan 44 Troy 41 (2 OT)
Jan. 6, 2009 Tulsa 45 Ball State 13
Jan. 6, 2008 Tulsa 63 Bowling Green 7
Jan. 7, 2007 Southern Miss 28 Ohio 7
Dec. 21, 2005 Toledo 45 UTEP 13
Dec. 22, 2004 Bowling Green 52 Memphis 35
Dec. 18, 2003 Miami Univ. 49 Louisville 28
Dec. 18, 2002 Marshall 38 Louisville 15
12, 19, 2001 Marshall 64 East Carolina 61 (2 OT)
12, 20, 2000 Southern Miss 28 TCU 21
Dec. 22, 1999 TCU 28 East Carolina 14

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