In the Bahamas Bowl, played on Dec 22 at 12:30 p.m. E.T., the UAB Blazers (8-4), who finished second in the Conference USA West with a 6-2 record, are at the Ohio Bobcats (8-4), who finished second in the Mid-American East with a 5-3 mark. Our UAB plays Ohio 2017 Bahamas Bowl pick has the Bobcats as the favorites at either -7.0 or -7.5 and the over/under at either 58.5 or 59.0. The Blazers had a strong run at the end of the season, winning four of their final five, while the Bobcats struggled at the very end, losing their final two while going 3-2 overall.
The Blazers are putting up on average 29.6 PPG. Junior QB A.J. Erdely (61.8 COMP%, 16 TDs, 4 INTs) is an effective passer who can also drive to the goal line on the ground. In addition to his 16 passing touchdowns, he’s crossed the goal 13 times on the rush. Freshman RB Spencer Brown (237 ATT, 1,292 YDs, 5.5 AVG, 10 TDs) is a talented, dynamic force on the field. WR Andre Wilson (48 REC, 12.9 AVG, 6 TDS) is Erdely’s go-to pass catcher.
The UAB defense has kept teams to 24.3 PPG. Their pass defense has allowed on average just 188 yards. Sophomore CB Darius Williams is one of the reasons as to why this team is tough against the pass. Williams has five of the team’s 14 picks and 15 of their 45 PD. The team also has more than 70 TFL with Tevin Crews and Shaq Jones each notching a dozen.
- Freshman RB Brown is hard to stop
- Stalwart pass D
- Erdely is a solid QB
The Bobcats are scoring on average almost 10 more points per game than the Blazers. Averaging 38.9 PPG, they put a powerful ground attack on the field. Sophomore Nathan Rourke (54.4 COMP%, 15 TDs, 7 INTs) is a running quarterback who also passes well. He’s carried the ball 134 times, averaging 6.6 YPA and scoring 21 rushing TDs while accumulating 882 yards. Junior RB A.J. Ouellette and senior RB Dorian Brown have rushed for 980 and 605 yards respectively with each garnering seven scores. There are four receivers with 20 catches or more and a total of 11 TD receptions. Senior wideout Brendan Cope is tops with 35 catches and four TD receptions.
The Ohio defense, which is especially effective against the run, is holding teams to just under 26 PPG. The Bobcats have more than 60 TFL and a total of 65 PD. They put a tough prevent-defense on the field that can ably shutdown opponents before they really get started. Senior corner Brad Ellis leads the team with 17 PD; he also has two picks. LB Quentin Poling, also a senior, a leader on the off the field, tops the team in tackles (101), sacks (5), and TFL (12).
- Fantastic ground attack
- Good passing QB
- Hard to run versus this D
Three Bahamas Bowl Takeaways
For our UAB plays Ohio 2017 Bahamas Bowl pick, we offer these three important takeaways for you to consider-
- Can UAB stop Ohio ground game?
- QB edge goes to Bobcats
- Defensive edge goes to UAB (slightly)
Our UAB Plays Ohio 2017 Bahamas Bowl Pick
In this game, we are taking the favorite, which is Ohio at -7.0. That’s despite this team experiencing two losses in their final two games of the season. We think they definitely have the edge here and that their offense has too many weapons to be contained. We do like the over at 58.5. Both teams should score with the top team putting up close to 40 points and the loser around 20.