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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

Other Stories

  • NFL: Chicago at Detroit

    Thursday at 12:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Philadelphia at Dallas

    Thursday at 4:00 pm on FOX50

  • SEC: Arkansas at Missouri

    Friday at 2:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • HSFB: Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Friday at 11:35 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: Duke vs. Furman

    Tomorrow at 5:00 pm on 620am

  • CBB: NC State vs. Richmond

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on WRAL-FM

  • NHL: Hurricanes at Florida

    Tomorrow at 7:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions

    Thursday at 12:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
ECU 58
FRES 52
1st
CIN 5
NCCU 6
 
1st
WAS 1
ATL 4
 
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
GSW
8:00pm Tonight
MIL
DET
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
SAC
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
CHI
1st
UMO 0
OHIO 0
 
Final
ECU 58
FRES 52
Final
ELON 74
MRGST 73
 
Final
MIZZ 61
PURD 82
Final
MAR 55
HAW 62
Final
UNF 77
LIB 57
 
Final
CHAM 85
BYU 121
Final
BUCK 58
MDES 55
 
Final
UGST 85
WCU 70
 
2nd
UWGB 38
EVAN 37
 
1st
ARST 5
ALA 4
 
1st
OHIO 3
ARKPB 0
 
1st
UNH 7
BU 3
 
1st
OU 14
CHIST 15
 
1st
TOL 10
DET 6
 
1st
CLMB 1
FD 0
 
1st
QUIN 6
HART 5
 
1st
SFLA 8
HOF 6
 
1st
HARV 6
HOU 3
 
1st
BONA 13
JST 10
 
1st
STJOE 0
LIU 0
 
1st
SYR 2
GHND 0
 
1st
MLOWELL 17
MTIDA 12
 
1st
CIN 5
NCCU 6
 
1st
VT 2
NIOWA 7
 
1st
WOFF 6
OHVALLEY 11
 
1st
TEMPL 12
PENN 7
 
1st
RUTG 7
PETE 10
 
1st
BGU 10
SEMIZ 2
 
1st
LAS 5
Terriers 2
 
1st
UVA 15
TENST 2
 
1st
KENT 8
TXARL 5
 
1st
FSU 5
CITA 6
 
1st
PBY 2
TOCC 4
 
7:00pm Tonight
COOK
TENNM
 
1st
WMARY 11
WILL 9
 
1st
USB 11
WKENT 11
 
1st
HIGH 12
WMPEACE 8
 
7:30pm Tonight
PSU
AKR
7:30pm Tonight
SMU
ARK
7:30pm Tonight
ARMY
BING
 
7:30pm Tonight
CSOU
CARK
 
7:30pm Tonight
UMBC
HOW
 
7:30pm Tonight
ARZ
KYST
7:30pm Tonight
OREG
VCU
8:00pm Tonight
SCST
CIU
 
8:00pm Tonight
CREI
EILL
8:00pm Tonight
ALAAM
JVST
 
8:00pm Tonight
ABCHRIST
JCHR
 
8:00pm Tonight
TXSA
LOYC
8:00pm Tonight
NDST
MNCROOK
 
8:00pm Tonight
NEB
NEOM
8:00pm Tonight
VANDY
NORST
 
8:00pm Tonight
STLU
NCAT
 
8:00pm Tonight
MTST
NARZ
8:00pm Tonight
TTU
NWST
 
8:00pm Tonight
TULA
SOUTH
 
8:00pm Tonight
ILLCH
STXAVIER
 
8:00pm Tonight
TEX
RFLSH
8:00pm Tonight
BRAD
TAMCC
 
8:00pm Tonight
SMISS
TROY
8:05pm Tonight
DRAK
IUPUI
8:05pm Tonight
ARKST
LAM
 
8:30pm Tonight
FLGC
USF
9:00pm Tonight
COL
AFA
9:00pm Tonight
IDAHO
BSU
9:00pm Tonight
GRCN
BUF
 
9:00pm Tonight
ORU
LALAF
9:00pm Tonight
CHAR
MIAMI
9:30pm Tonight
ISU
MD
9:30pm Tonight
UMO
NW
10:00pm Tonight
SDST
PITT
10:00pm Tonight
MICH
VILL
10:05pm Tonight
SACST
BRISTOL
 
11:00pm Tonight
USC
CSFU
11:00pm Tonight
STAN
DEL
1st
CLB 1
WIN 1
 
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
LOS
8:00pm Tonight
STL
OTT
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
EDM
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
COL
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
CAL
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
NJD