College Football

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Pittsburgh (6-6) vs. Bowling Green (10-3)



Thursday, December 26th, 6 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By John Iatesta, Associate College Football Editor

GAME NOTES: The Pittsburgh Panthers will take on the Bowling Green Falcons in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl on Dec. 26 at Ford Field.

Paul Chryst's Panthers had an up-and-down season that saw wins against both Duke and Notre Dame, but the team's first season in the ACC was still considered a minor disappointment, with a 6-6 overall record and a 3-5 mark in the conference.

Adam Scheier will be the interim coach for the 10-3 Falcons after Dave Clawson accepted the head coach position at Wake Forest. The Falcons are coming off their biggest win of the season, knocking off the Northern Illinois Huskies in the MAC Championship Game, 47-27.

The two teams have only met three times with the Panthers holding the advantage 2-1. In their last meeting however, Bowling Green beat Pittsburgh 27-17 at Heinz Field in 2008.

The Panthers are paced offensively by their passing attack. They are averaging 236.8 yards passing per game, and 12.3 yards per completion. Tom Savage led the aerial attack with 21 touchdowns and only nine interceptions on his 376 passing attempts.

The running game was not as productive for Pittsburgh as they averaged just 114.9 ypg, on just 3.34 yards per carry. The Panthers have two key rushers in Isaac Bennett (4.8 ypc, seven TDs) and James Conner (4.8 ypc, seven TDs).

Outland Trophy and Bednarick Award winner Aaron Donald is the Panthers' top defensive player with 26.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks, which ranks 10th in the nation. Despite his efforts, Pittsburgh is still allowing 27.2 ppg which is 70th in the nation.

This is Pittsburgh's sixth straight bowl appearance and 11th since 2000. If the Panthers win it will be their first winning season since 2008.

Coach Chryst is excited for his team's chances against the Falcons.

"We're excited for the chance to play in another game against such a quality opponent. Bowling Green was impressive not only in their MAC Championship win, but all season long and we have a competitive game of football ahead. We are grateful to the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl and the City of Detroit for offering us this opportunity."

Falcons quarterback Matt Johnson lit up Northern Illinois in the team's last game by throwing for 393 yards and five touchdowns en route to upsetting the then 14th-ranked Huskies.

Johnson has had a very strong year this season and the MAC Championship game just typified that. He threw for 3,195 yards and 23 touchdowns with only seven interceptions.

An efficient passing attacked is backed up by a very strong rushing game. The Falcons are the 27th ranked rushing team in the nation, averaging 207.5 ypg at a clip of 4.9 ypc. Travis Greene led the attack with 1,555 yards on the ground with 11 touchdowns.

Bowling Green was led by its dominant defense this season. The Falcons have the eighth ranked defense by only allowing 308.7 ypg. They also keep teams from scoring by having the fifth ranked scoring defense, allowing just 14.8 points per game.

Coming off the Falcons' first MAC Championship in 21 years and third bowl bid in the last five years, Coach Dave Clawson left for Wake Forest. Scheier has been chosen to take over and patrol the sidelines for Bowling Green in this game. It is a challenge that he is up for.

"I am honored to serve as Bowling Green's interim head coach. The opportunity to lead this group of young men as we put the finishing touches on this special season is both humbling and exciting. This team and in particular, this group of seniors, has established a championship culture here at BG and I am confident that we will represent BGSU and the MAC well at the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl."

It will be tough for Pittsburgh to overtake the very strong and balanced Falcons. The Panthers have had some good wins this season but there up-and- down year will likely end on a sour note in the Motor City.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Bowling Green 34, Pittsburgh 17

12/20 09:53:40 ET

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  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Florida

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  • PGA: Waste Management Phoenix Open

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  • ACC: Duke at Notre Dame

    Tomorrow at 7:30 pm on 620am

  • ACC: NC State vs. Clemson

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  • SEC: Kentucky at Missouri

    Thursday at 9:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

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Scoreboard
Local
2nd
CAR 3
TAM 1
 
4th
IND 68
TOR 77
 
3rd
DET 45
CLE 55
 
Half
MIA 50
MIL 54
 
1st
DAL 16
MEM 9
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
CHI
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
WAS
2nd
AKR 59
BST 44
 
2nd
KSU 53
CMICH 45
 
2nd
VCU 62
GWU 37
 
2nd
TOL 65
UMO 65
 
Final
MICH 58
NEB 44
 
2nd
BGU 51
NILL 41
 
Final
EMICH 76
OHIO 40
 
2nd
VT 51
PITT 58
 
2nd
LAS 51
STJOE 46
 
2nd
TULA 50
TULSA 55
 
2nd
UGA 61
VANDY 56
 
2nd
KYST 46
WVU 51
 
2nd
BUF 71
WMICH 63
 
2nd
GEOR 39
XAV 52
 
1st
EVAN 35
INDST 30
 
Half
ORU 43
TABOR 24
 
9:00pm Tonight
OKST
BAY
9:00pm Tonight
PROV 0
DEP 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
ALA
UF
9:00pm Tonight
RUTG 0
MSU 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARK
TENN
9:00pm Tonight
AUB
TEXAM
9:00pm Tonight
UTST
WYO
9:05pm Tonight
SDST
FRES
10:00pm Tonight
CALST
SDCHR
 
10:00pm Tonight
NEV
UNLV
11:00pm Tonight
BSU
COLST
2nd Intermission
PHI 3
ARI 3
 
2nd Intermission
NYI 2
NYR 0
 
2nd Intermission
CLB 3
WAS 2
 
3rd
PIT 2
WIN 2
 
2nd
MON 3
DAL 1
 
2nd
FLA 2
DET 4
 
2nd
CAR 3
TAM 1
 
1st Intermission
NAS 0
COL 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
BUF
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
MIN
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
ANA