It has been a successful year for the Bowling Green Falcons in 2013 after finishing the 2012 season with an 8-5 record. Bowling Green has won the MAC title and it looks like they have improved greatly from a season ago with a 10-3 record and a win over an unbeaten team to end the year.
The opposite can be said for the Pittsburgh Panthers this season after finishing in second-to-last place in the ACC Coastal. However, they still have a chance to be a force to be reckoned with in a game that looks like they may be the underdogs in.
Bowling Green has been solid on offense this season, ranking in the top-35 in most offensive categories. The Falcons have a solid quarterback in Matt Johnson who has passed for 3,195 yards and 23 touchdowns on the season, hitting Shaun Joplin 48 times for 822 yards and three touchdowns. Travis Greene has been one of the best running backs in the nation this season, rushing for 1,555 yards and 11 touchdowns on six yards per carry for the 27th-best rushing attack in the nation.
Pittsburgh has relied more on the pass than the run this season, ranking 61st in the nation in passing yards per game as well as 112th in rushing yards per game. The Panthers’ starting quarterback, Tom Savage, has been solid this season, passing for 2,834 yards and 21 touchdowns while finding his favorite target, Tyler Boyd, 77 times for 1,001 yards and seven scores. Devin Street is close behind with 51 catches for 854 yards and another seven touchdowns. Isaac Bennett leads the lackluster rushing attack with 795 yards and seven scores.
Defensively, the Panthers have been a bit above average this season. Pittsburgh ranks 70th in the nation in points allowed per game while also ranking 33rd in yards allowed per game. Bowling Green has one of the best defenses in the nation, ranking fifth in points allowed per game and seventh in yards allowed per game.
Pittsburgh and Bowling Green will face off in the 2013 Pizza Bowl in Detroit, Mich., at 6 p.m. EST on Thursday, Dec. 26. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN.
PREDICTION: Pittsburgh 20, Bowling Green 30
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.