2015 GoDaddy Bowl Preview

January 4, 2015

I used to title this post “The Little Big One” before I knew about SEO and search rankings, but that no longer makes sense for another reason.

With the national championship game over a week away, it’s difficult to convince fans to watch a bowl game on a Sunday night after all the NFL Wild Card games have been played.

But for those of you still interested, Around The Corn has you covered. I’ll be watching.

Let’s take a look at the game being played on January 4.

GoDaddy Bowl

Arkansas State vs. Toledo (Sunday, 9 PM ET – ESPN)

Neither the MAC nor Sun Belt has seen any bowl action since before Christmas, so this has been something to look forward to for fans of those conferences. Arkansas State is making its fourth consecutive appearance in this bowl game. The Rockets will try to take down a squad that has familiarity with the bowl site, but has gone through a new coach each of the past four seasons.

Generally Arkansas State is one of the better offensive teams the Sun Belt has to offer and that is no different this season. Under head coach Blake Anderson the Red Wolves are extremely balanced on offense, averaging almost as many yards on the ground (229) per game as through the air (248). This is going to be difficult for Toledo to deal with, particularly through the air. The Rockets have one of the worst pass defenses in the country. Toledo does have the most potent offense in the MAC, however, and will count on running back Kareem Hunt to keep drives going. Hunt is third in the nation averaging 151.1 yards rushing per game and is a battering ram at 215 pounds. If the Rockets are to win this game, Hunt is going to have to break into the second line of defense a lot tonight.

The Rockets can be very exciting offensively but struggle to put teams away because the pass defense is just so bad. As a result, Arkansas State’s balanced offensive attack should be enough to keep the Red Wolves in this one. While Coach Anderson is new to this bowl game, many on the Arkansas State team are not. The Red Wolves have won two straight over MAC opponents in this game and I think they’ll be able to win a third tonight. I have them for 4 points in Bowl Mania.

My Pick: 35-31 Arkansas State

If you’d like to share your opinion on Around The Corn for any of the upcoming bowls, shoot me an email with your thoughts and prediction to kbecks@aroundthecorn.com. You can also like Around The Corn’s Facebook page or send me a tweet @KBecks_ATC. As long as you send your thoughts at least two days before the game is to be played, I can assure you that your thoughts will show up in an article.

– K. Becks

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