Military Bowl 2012: Bowling Green vs. San Jose St: TV Info, Predictions and More

David Luther@@davidrlutherFeatured ColumnistDecember 3, 2012

Military Bowl 2012: Bowling Green vs. San Jose St: TV Info, Predictions and More

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    The 2012 Military Bowl matchup is set, and football fans in the nation's capital will be treated to a meeting between the San Jose State Spartans and Bowling Green State Falcons.

    The Military Bowl was originally slated to host Army and a team from the ACC, but since the ACC didn't qualify enough teams and Army won't win six games this season, the selection falls to a MAC program and an at-large team.

    Here we'll take a look at how these two teams match up, and what to look for in this year's Military Bowl in Washington, D.C.

Gameday Info

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    The 2012 Military Bowl

    Where: Robert F. Kennedy Stadium, Washington DC

    When: December 27, 2012; 3:00 p.m. ET

    TV: ESPN

    Radio: KLIV, 1590 AM, San Jose, CA; WFRO, 99.1 FM, Fremont, OH

    Web: http://www.militarybowl.org/

    Line: San Jose State, -7½

Key Storylines

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    Bowling Green returns to a bowl game for the first time since 2009 when the Falcons fell short to Idaho, 43-42, in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

    The Falcons were 8-4 on the season, finishing second in the MAC East with a 6-2 conference mark behind division champ Kent State.

    Bowling Green marched to a bowl game this season despite a 1-3 start that included losses to Florida, Virginia Tech and Toledo.  The Falcons won six straight from September 29 to November 7 before dropping a November 17 meeting with then-No. 25 Kent State.

    In their two games against ranked opponents in 2012, the Falcons have lost by an average of just 10 points.

    San Jose State makes a return to the bowl season after a number of lean years, which includes a 2-10 mark in 2009 followed by a 1-12 finish in 2010.

    The last bowl appearance for the Spartans was back in 2006, when SJSU defeated New Mexico in the New Mexico Bowl, 20-12.

    San Jose State narrowly missed out on the WAC title this season, posting a 5-1 conference mark with the only loss coming to conference champion Utah State.

    San Jose State's only other loss on the season came in Week 1 to Stanford, and the 10-2 regular-season finish was good enough to earn them the No. 24 spot in the final BCS rankings.

    The 2012 Military Bowl will be the first-ever meeting between Bowling Green State and San Jose State.

Bowling Green State Depth Chart and Injury Report

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    Bowling Green has been relatively unscathed by injury throughout 2012, and all Falcons starters should be ready to go come game time.

    Offensive Depth Chart

    QB

    7 Matt Schilz, 6-3, 220, Jr.

    11 Matt Johnson, 6-0, 210, Fr.

    RB

    6 Anthon Samuel, 5-11, 188, So.

    20 John Pettigrew, 5-8, 178, Sr.

    FB

    89 Tyler Beck, 6-2, 259, Jr.

    42 Chris Pohlman, 6-1, 253, So.

    WR

    9 Shaun Joplin, 6-2, 197, Jr.

    10 Herve Coby, 5-11, 177, Fr.

    WR

    81 Chris Gallon, 6-4, 221, Fr.

    13 Travis Greene, 5-10, 176, Fr.

    TE

    82 Alex Bayer, 6-4, 253, Jr.

    88 Kendall Montgomery, 6-5, 268, So.

    LT

    79 Fahn Cooepr, 6-4, 300, Fr.

    59 Darion Delaney, 6-3, 303, So.

    LG

    52 Dominic Flewellyn, 6-3, 293, Jr.

    71 Chip Robinson, 6-5, 335, Sr.

    C

    65 David Kekuewa, 6-2, 308, Jr.

    62 Spencer Cairo, 6-2, 289, Fr.

    RG

    55 Alex Huettel, 6-3, 291, Fr.

    78 Dominique Wharton, 6-3. 302 Sr.

    RT

    73 Jordon Roussos, 6-4, 303, Sr.

    60 Scott Hodges, 6-7, 297, Sr.

    Defensive Depth Chart

    DE

    43 Bryan Thomas, 6-2, 260, So.

    99 Bryan Baird, 6-3, 237, Fr.

    DT

    91 Chris Jones, 6-1, 293, Sr.

    92 Zach Colvin, 6-2, 268, So.

    NT

    93 Ted Ouellet, 6-3, 282, Jr.

    51 Taylor Royster, 5-9, 252. Fr.

    DE

    46 Charlie Walker, 6-2, 238, So.

    96 Ronnie Goble, 6-2. 247. Jr.

    BUCK

    33 Paul Swan, 6-0, 230, Jr.

    7 DJ Lynch, 5-11, 242, So.

    MLB

    5 Dwayne Woods, 5-11, 225, Sr.

    28 Coy Brown III, 5-11, 214, Fr.

    ROV

    11 Gabe Martin, 6-1, 224, So.

    3 Brian Sutton, 6-0, 190, So.

    CB

    1 Darrell Hunter, 5-8, 177, So.

    12 DeVon McKoy, 5-10, 178, So.

    CB

    8 Cameron Truss, 5-10, 182, Jr.

    19 Will Watson, 5-11, 175, Fr.

    S

    15 Ryland Ward, 5-10, 198, So.

    14 Jude Adjei-Barimah, 5-10, 205, So.

    S

    24 BooBoo Gates, 5-11, 213, Jr.

    22 Josh Pettus, 5-9, 203, Jr.

    Special Teams Depth Chart

    K

    49 Stephen Stein, 5-11, 187, Sr.

    98 Tyler Tate, 5-11, 175, Fr.

    P

    95 Brian Schmiedebusch, 6-3, 226, Jr.

    87 Matt Oczypok, 5-10, 189, Jr.

    LS

    44 Cory Johnson, 5-11, 210, Sr.

    47 Clay Rolf, 6-6, 278, So.

    KR

    24 BooBoo Gates, 5-11, 213, Jr.

    20 John Pettigrew, 5-8, 178, Sr.

    PR

    17 Ryan Burbrink, 5-8, 181, Fr.

    24 BooBoo Gates, 5-11, 213, Jr.

San Jose State Depth Chart and Injury Report

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    San Jose State hasn't been bitten by a swarm of injury bugs this season, and the Spartans injury list is fairly clean, save two notable exceptions.

    Linebacker Derek Muaava is lost for the season (ACL). The Spartans will also be without Tyler Ervin, who continues to nurse a shoulder injury.

    Offensive Depth Chart

    QB

    10 David Fales, 6-3, 220, Jr.

    14 Blake Jurich, 6-4, 230, So.

    RB

    2 De'Leon Eskridge, 5-11, 215, Sr.

    45 David Freeman, 5-8, 202, Sr.

    RB

    42 Ina Liaina, 6-1, 243, Sr.

    46 Ray Rodriguez, 6-1, 258, Sr.

    WR

    1 Jabari Carr, 6-0, 190, So.

    19 Kyle Nunn, 6-2, 198, Jr.

    WR

    23 Noel Grigsby, 5-1, 175, Jr.

    89 Chandler Jones, 5-11, 174, Jr.

    TE

    82 Ryan Otten, 6-6, 245, Sr.

    15 Peter Tuitupou, 6-4, 246, Sr.

    LT

    76 David Quessenberry, 6-6, 291, Sr.

    61 Amar Pal, 6-4, 282, Jr.

    LG

    74 Ryan Jones, 6-4, 298, Jr.

    62 Jeff Grattan, 6-4, 284, Sr.

    C

    54 Reuben Hasani, 6-3, 284, Jr.

    56 Doug Blacksill, 6-5, 275, Fr.

    RG

    75 Nicholas Kaspar, 6-4, 284,Jr.

    71 Keith Bendixen, 6-4, 291, So.

    RT

    79 Jon Meyer, 6-5, 284, Jr.

    72 Wes Schweitzer, 6-5, 270, Fr.

    Defensive Depth Chart

    DE

    43 Travis Johnson, 6-3, 244, Sr.

    95 Sean Bacon, 6-3, 226, So.

    DE

    41 David Tuitupou, 6-5, 260, Sr.

    53 Vincent Abbott, 6-0, 240, Sr.

    DT

    91 Joe Nigos, 6-1, 278, Sr.

    93 Foloi Vae, 6-3, 278, So.

    DT

    3 Travis Raciti, 6-5, 286, So.

    97 Anthony Larceval, 6-2, 284, Jr.

    LB

    31 Keith Smith, 6-1, 229, Jr.

    11 Josh Fasavalu, 5-11, 225, Fr.

    LB

    36 Vince Buhagiar, 6-4, 237, Jr.

    42 Simon Poti, 6-2, 220, Fr.

    LB

    34 Derek Muaava, 6-0, 235, So. (Inj.)

    44 Tony Zizzo, 5-11, 210, Jr.

    CB

    7 Tyler Ervin, 5-10, 176, So. (Inj.)

    6 Damon Ogburn, 5-11, 181, Jr.

    CB

    25 Ronnie Yell, 5-10, 188, Sr.

    12 Forrest Hightower, 5-10, 177, So.

    S

    81 James Orth, 6-2, 206, Sr.

    28 Simon Connette, 5-11, 193, Fr.

    S

    39 Cullen Newsome, 5-10, 207, Sr.

    21 Bene Benwikere, 6-0, 192, Jr.

    Special Teams Depth Chart

    K

    10 Harrison Waid, 6-0, 173, Jr.

    12 Austin Lopez, 6-0, 170, Fr.

    P

    10 Harrison Waid, 6-0, 173, Jr.

    12 Austin Lopez, 6-0, 170, Fr.

Bowling Green State Players to Watch: Chris Jones

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    For the most part, Bowling Green is a team comprised of a lot of solid players who work well together. That doesn't leave a lot of room for superstars, although the Falcons haven't really needed any to be successful this season.

    But we can't pass up an opportunity to mention Chris Jones, the stellar senior defensive lineman who led the MAC with 12.5 sacks this season.

    Who else had 12.5 sacks in the FBS in 2012?  Just guys like Georgia's Jarvis Jones and Texas A&M's Damontre Moore.

    Pretty good company.

San Jose State Players to Watch: David Fales, De'Leon Eskridge, Bené Benwikere

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    David Fales was one of the top players in the WAC this season, and was the most accurate quarterback in the conference, completing 72.1 percent of his passes.

    His 31 passing touchdowns also tied him for the top spot in the WAC, and his 3,798 passing yards ranks second behind Louisiana Tech's Colby Cameron.

    And while SJSU is a throw-first team, De'Leon Eskridge is capable of making an impact when called upon. With 10 rushing touchdowns and an average of over five yards per carry, you can expect the Spartans' ground game to be reason enough to keep the Ohio secondary honest.

    San Jose State also has an explosive playmaker on defense in Bené Benwikere. He led the WAC this season with seven interceptions while knocking down 11 balls this season.

Key Matchups

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    We've gushed about David Fales and we've touted the domination of Chris Jones.

    When you have the No. 2 passer in the WAC and the top defensive lineman in the MAC meeting in the same game, it's the proverbial irresistible force versus immovable object.

    Jones can have a major impact on this game if he can continuously get to Fales, and the entire San Jose State offensive line will have its hands full with this behemoth of a college player.

    So which matchup should you keep an eye on?

    Jones versus Fales? Jones versus SJSU LG Ryan Jones? Jones versus SJSU RG Nicholas Kasper? Jones versus SJSU C Reuben Hasani?

    All of the above.

Bowling Green State Will Win If...

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    First, Chris Jones needs to have another huge day.

    If David Fales is given time with the football, he'll pick apart the Bowling Green secondary without much problem.

    Secondly, Bowling Green desperately needs to find a way to move the ball more effectively against the Spartans than the Falcons did against their own conference this season.

    BGSU ranked 11th out of the MAC's 13 teams in total offense and 10th in scoring offense this season.  We know San Jose State can put up points, so the Falcons will need the ability to respond—not something at which they've excelled in 2012.

San Jose State Will Win If...

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    The Spartans have a better-than-average shot in the Military Bowl if they can collectively play as close to a perfect game as they did against Louisiana Tech in the regular-season finale.

    San Jose State proved that it can score as many points as needed against quality opponents while limiting a potent offense in critical situations.

    David Fales has already thrown 31 touchdown passes this season compared to nine interceptions. If he can continue his effective, efficient passing (72.1 percent completion rate) while limiting turnovers, the Spartans will enjoy this trip to the nation's capital.

Prediction

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    These two teams have had similar seasons for very different reasons.

    Bowling Green has been solid—but not spectacular—all year in the MAC, and has been completely overshadowed by some quality play by the top teams in the conference.

    San Jose State, on the other hand, established itself as one of the best teams in the WAC this season, and was capable of knocking off any conference foe on any given day.

    With the explosiveness the Spartans are capable of producing and Bowling Green's ho-hum style of offense (and lack of production), it may be a long afternoon for Falcons fans.

    Prediction: San Jose State 34, Bowling Green 16