5 Reasons To Watch The Little Caesars Bowl

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5 Reasons To Watch the Little Caesars Bowl

Andrew Weber- USA TODAY Sports

The Little Caesars Bowl is shaping up to be a battle between which quarterback can be more successful. After an amazing performance in the MAC championship game, Bowling Green and Matt Johnson are hungry for more. On the flip-side of things, the Pittsburgh Panthers are trying to grab their seventh win on the year to avoid their third straight losing season. The Panthers have not had a winning season since back in 2010 when they went 8-5.

Bowling Green must be recognized as the favorite coming into this game for several reasons. First off, they absolutely dismantled Heisman candidate Jordan Lynch and then-No. 16 Northern Illinois during the MAC championship game. During that game, Johnson threw for 393 yards and five touchdowns, making this performance his career best.

Secondly, the Falcons are currently ranked fifth in the country with only 14.8 points allowed a game. Meanwhile, the Panthers have struggled all season on offense, even with break-out performances from quarterback Tom Savage and wide receiver Tyler Boyd. Defensively, the Falcons will need to be on their toes when Boyd is on the field, especially due to the fact that he broke Larry Fitzgerald’s freshman receiving record with 77 receptions.

Each team has a solid running attack going into this game, but each is also very different. Bowling Green has focused on having one back do all the work this season, that player being Travis Greene, who rushed for 1,555 yards and 11 touchdowns. Pitt has split the carries between Isaac Bennett and James Connor this season; both backs have more than 500 yards rushing and seven touchdowns each.

This game is going to get exciting fast, so make sure to have your $5 hot and ready pizza. Along with that motivation for you to watch this matchup, check out the slideshow to see five big reasons why you should be watching this game.

Baxter Colburn is a College Football writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Baxstar20, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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5. Pittsburgh's Tom Savage

Charles LeClaire- USA TODAY Sports

The majority of the offense will funnel off the play of quarterback Tom Savage. If he is able to connect with wide receiver Tyler Boyd early and often, his Panthers could have a chance at an upset. Savage threw for 2,834 yards and 21 touchdowns during the 2013 campaign. The biggest issue that will hinder Savage from having a good game is the issue of him being sacked 41 times this past season. His offensive line is in need of serious help, and if Bowling Green and exploit this serious weakness, it will be a long day for the Panthers' offense.

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4. The High Powered Offense of Bowling Green

Andrew Weber- USA TODAY Sports

It is a bit of a mystery as to where this explosive offense has come from, but they are certainly here to stay. The Falcons are averaging 472.5 yards a game, 265.1 of those are passing yards and 207.4 are rushing. Those numbers are not something to laugh at either; the Falcons are ranked 35 or better in each one of those categories in the nation. If Bowling Green can find a way to block the ACC defensive player of the year, Aaron Donald, they will have no problem slicing through the Pittsburgh defense.

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3. The New Larry Fitzgerald: Tyler Boyd

Charles LeClaire- USA TODAY Sports

Being able to break a record held by NFL great Larry Fitzgerald is one heck of an accomplishment. Boyd proved this season that he was one of the bright spots on a rather bleak Panthers offense that is ranked 86th in the nation in points scored a game. Boyd led all Panthers receivers with 77 catches, 1,001 receiving yards, and seven touchdowns. Panthers quarterback Tom Savage will be looking early and often for Boyd to make big plays and keep his team in the game.

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2. ACC Defensive Player of the Year: Aaron Donald

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The only player on the Pittsburgh Panthers that is capable of stopping Matt Johnson is Aaron Donald. With his team finishing up their first season in the ACC, Donald was influential in many of his team’s six wins. Donald was the recipient of four different awards this month. He took home the Nagurski Trophy, Lombardi Award, Outland Trophy and Bednarik Award; he was also named the 2013 ACC Defensive Player of the Year. With all of his success, he is now the most decorated player in school history.

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1. The Cannon Arm of Matt Johnson

Andrew Weber- USA TODAY Sports

We already know him as a dangerous player, but put him on a big stage like a bowl and he is guaranteed to take over the game. Matt Johnson is coming into this game with 3,195 passing yards, 23 touchdowns, and a 64.4 completion percentage. Because of his dominant 2013 season, Johnson helped lead the Falcons to a 7-1 record in the MAC conference. If he is able to get in a groove with his receivers early, it could be a long day for the Panthers' defense.

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