The Ohio Bobcats play the Troy Trojans in our 2016 Dollar General Bowl free pick. Ohio, which is no stranger to bowls, come into this game with a truly stingy defense. The Trojans made the top 25 rankings for five minutes this season. They become the first Sun Belt team to ever do so. Does that make them good enough to beat the Bobcats?
The Ohio Bobcats (8-5 Overall, 6-2 Mid-American Conference) took the MAC East and played Western Michigan in the title game. It was a good contest but the Bobcats came up short 29-23. In their final five regular season games, they were 4-1, which included a 9-3 win over Akron.
For the Troy Trojans (9-3 Overall, 6-2 Sun Belt Conference), it’s been an exciting year as they made the AP Top 25, lost to #2 Clemson in a close 30-24 game, and ran off five straight wins, including beating the conference’s top team Appalachian State. But they ended the season on a sour note, as Georgia Southern upset them 28-24.
The Bobcats are scoring 26.5 PPG. QB Greg Windham (55.2 COMP%, 12 TDs, 4 INTs) brings a solid passing game and an able rushing attack to the field. Windham has run for 382 yards and three touchdowns while averaging 4.5 YPA. He’s got a reliable group of receivers to toss to including Sebastian Smith (54 REC, 877 YDs, 16.2 AVG, 4 TDs). The rush attack includes Dorian Brown (150 ATT, 802 YDs, 5.3 AVG, 4 TDs) and Maleek Irons (91 ATT, 434 YDs, 4.8 AVG, 5 TDs).
The Bobcat D includes the MAC Defensive Player of the Year Tarell Basham (10 Sacks, 14.5 TFL). The defense is holding opponents to 22.2 PPG. They have 43 sacks, 98 TFL, and 20 FF. Add to those totals 48 PD, 37 QB hurries, and 13 INTs.
The Trojans are averaging 34.2 PPG. QB Brandon Silvers (64.2 COMP%, 22 TDs, 10 INTs) is a gifted quarterback with a great arm. He’ll be looking to three or four receivers in this game, including his top target wideout Emmanuel Thompson (72 REC, 737 YDs, 10.2 AVG, 5 TDs), as well as Deondre Douglas (54 REC, 627 YDs, 11,6 AVG, 6 TDs). RB Jordan Chunn (259 ATT, 1,232 YDs, 4.8 YDs, 13 TDs) has more than half of the Trojans’ rushing TDs.
Troy also has a fine defense. They have held opponents to an average of 22.0 PPG. One place where they excel is in the pick department. The team has 18 INTs. They’ve also accumulated 87 TFL. Other stats include 27 sacks, 9 FF, 32 QB hurries and 50 PD. These are all good numbers, but none quite as impressive as those put up by the Ohio D.
Our 2016 Dollar General Bowl Free Pick
Which wins in our 2016 Dollar General Bowl free pick? Is the team with one of the toughest defenses around, Ohio? Or will the much-improved Trojans be the victors? We are going with better defense in this one and picking the Bobcats at +5.5.
The 2016 Dollar General Bowl will be played Dec. 23 at 8 p.m. ET at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama, ESPN will carry the game.