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Little Caesars Bowl preview: Bowling Green looks to beat Pitt for its 11th win of the season

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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(USA Today Sports Images)

Little Caesars Bowl
Pittsburgh vs. Bowling Green
Detroit, Mich.
Dec. 26, 2013

Bowling Green has been one of the most impressive teams few have talked about this season. The Falcons are going for a school-record 11 wins in the Little Caesars Bowl and are doing it on the same field where they defeated Northern Illinois in the Mid-American Conference title game and dashed Northern Illinois’ hopes of a repeat BCS berth.

The thing that makes the Falcons so good is their defense. They allowed 14.8 points per game, which is fifth nationally. The offense averages 35.4 points per game.

But how motivated the Falcons will be to get that 11th win will be in question, especially since they are going into this game without coach Dave Clawson, who recently accepted the head coaching job at Wake Forest. Special teams coach Adam Scheier will be the interim coach.

Meanwhile, Pitt has had an up-and-down season. It had strong wins against Notre Dame and Duke, but the Panthers lost four of their last six to limp into the bowl season. If Pitt does have a bright spot, its defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who won the Nagurski Trophy, Lombardi Award, Outland Trophy and Bednarik Award this season and is probably one of the most feared defenders in the country.

MASCOT FIGHT
This is an interesting fight because these two animals would probably never fight each other. However, if you had to pit them against each other, the falcon would have the advantage because of the aerial attack.

PREDICTIONS

Graham: Bowling Green 28, Pittsburgh 14. Bowling Green’s defense has been great through the last half of the season and it will stifle the Pittsburgh offense. BGSU quarterback Matt Johnson has played well in the latter half of the season and expect that to continue.

Nick: Bowling Green 31, Pitt 23. Aaron Donald plays a sluggish first quarter, perhaps weighed down by all the postseason hardware he carries out onto the field. He sheds it before halftime and torments the Bowling Green offense but its not enough.

Sam: Bowling Green 27, Pittsburgh 20. If Bowling Green plays like it did in the MAC title game, this will be a blowout. A long layoff and Clawson leaving for Wake Forest will both have an impact on the team’s play, but Pitt just isn’t a very good team. Matt Johnson is a really good player. Expect him to step up in clutch situations.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter!

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