The 2013 Beef O'Brady's Bowl features a matchup between the Ohio Bobcats (7-5, 4-4 MAC) and the East Carolina Pirates (9-3, 6-2 C-USA) that should be one of the most exciting games of Christmas week.
While this isn’t the flashiest battle of the bowl season, the opportunity for both of these smaller programs to gain national exposure will be valuable for the future of each school. It should also make for a hard-fought game.
Here is all the vital viewing information for the Beef O'Brady's Bowl and a full preview.
Where: Tropicana Field, St Petersburg, Fla.
When: Monday, Dec. 23, at 2 p.m. ET
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Preview and Prediction
East Carolina has the better overall roster, but a devastating loss in the final week of the season to the Marshall Thundering Herd, a program that the Pirates should have beaten, will have the team questioning what went so wrong.
Instead of winning its third Conference USA championship in six years, East Carolina was blown out and now faces an Ohio team with momentum on its side after beating the Massachusetts Minutemen on Nov. 29.
The Bobcats had lost their previous three games leading into the victory over the Minutemen. As great as Ohio played in the favorable matchup with Massachusetts, though, the Pirates have far more talent on offense and a stingier defense overall.
East Carolina boasts an impressive offensive unit, ranking 10th in the nation with 40.4 points per game. On the other hand, the Bobcats are ranked 71st offensively and have only managed to score 28 points per game.
The 12-point difference in average shows just how much prowess the Pirates possess on offense, but the dominance doesn’t stop there. East Carolina is only allowing 25.2 points per game to opposing offenses, while Ohio has given up an average of 35.6 points per game over the last four weeks of the season.
Led by the elite passing skills of Pirates quarterback Shane Carden—who racked up 3,866 yards passing, 32 touchdowns and 10 interceptions through the air and another 10 rushing touchdowns—East Carolina will avenge its heartbreaking loss to Marshall by winning the 2013 Beef O'Brady's Bowl.
Predicted Winner: East Carolina 44, Ohio 24
*Team ranks courtesy NCAA.com