Ball State-Tulsa: GMAC Bowl Guide
No. 22 Ball State (12-1) vs. Tulsa (10-3)
January 6, 2009
How they got here...
Ball State ran the table in the MAC before dropping the conference championship game against Buffalo. The Cardinals had climbed as high as 12th in the BCS standings before that loss.
Much like Ball State, Tulsa put itself in prime position to go undefeated before a late-season swoon. Back-to-back road losses to Arkansas and Houston left the Golden Hurricane in CUSA limbo until the Cougars lost to Rice on the final Saturday of the regular season. TU advanced to the conference championship, where they too fell short against East Carolina.
Nate Davis and David Johnson both rank in the top ten in quarterback efficiency for Ball State and Tulsa, respectively. However, both are out to make amends for miserable conference championship outings. David was intercepted and also had a fumble returned for a touchdown in the loss to Buffalo. Johnson was picked off five times by the ECU Pirates.
The Cardinals are in search of their first bowl win in seven tries.
Also of note...
Head coach Brady Hoke left Ball State to take the San Diego State job. His offensive coordinator, Stan Parrish, takes over the reins.
Tulsa co-offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn has agreed to join Gene Chizik's staff at Auburn, but he will be with the Golden Hurricane for Tuesday's GMAC Bowl. Head coach Todd Graham was also rewarded with a 10-year contract extension this week.
Ball State wins if...
The Cardinals can create turnovers. In Tulsa's three losses combined, they lost possession 15 times. The Golden Hurricane has been dominant when protecting the ball.
Tulsa wins if...
They can draw on last year's GMAC Bowl experience, a 63-7 blowout of Bowling Green. It was the largest margin of victory in bowl history, so don't be surprised if TU looks right at home in Mobile.
B/R Expert Picks...
Michael Cline Ball State
Lisa Horne Tulsa
miamimitch Ball State
Brian Scott Ball State
David Wunderlich Ball State
Justin Goar Tulsa
GeorgiaDawg Ball State
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