2013 Free Beef O’Brady’s Bowl Picks
Ohio Bobcats vs. East Carolina Pirates
Monday, 12/23/2013Time: 2:00 pm on ESPN

Game Line: East Carolina -14 Total: 62.5 (@ JustBet)

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Free Beef O’Brady Bowl Game Picks Analysis: The East Carolina University Pirates take on the Ohio University Bobcats in the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The Ohio University Bobcats (7-5) are making their fifth straight bowl appearance. They won last year’s bowl game 45-14 over Louisiana-Monroe in last year’s Independence Bowl. Not only will Ohio be looking for their third straight bowl win, they’ll also be looking to defeat the third opponent from Conference USA this year. Earlier in the season, the Bobcats had impressive wins over North Texas (27-21) and Marshall (43-31) earlier in the season. Ohio did however struggle down the stretch, losing three of their last four games. In those three losses against Buffalo, Bowling Green, and Kent St, the Bobcats scored a combined 16 points in those contests. They ended the year on a positive note, with a 51-23 victory. The Bobcats offense averaged 238.5 yards passing, and 136.3 yards rushing per game while scoring 28 points per game. Their defense allowed 392 yards per game (55th in FBS) while giving up and average of 5.67 yards per play.

East Carolina (9-3) was in a good position to win the Conference USA championship. Those hopes were dashed when they were throttled at Marshall 59-28, snapping a 5 game win streak. The Pirates have had some quality wins this year on the road against Middle Tennessee State (24-17) and North Carolina (55-31). They have one of the best aerial attacks in the nation, led by quarterback Shane Carden. Carden was sixth in the FBS with 3,866 passing yards and eighth with 32 touchdown passes while leading the nation with a 71.0 completion percentage. They are an offense that is mainly an aerial attack, while only averaging 128.3 yards rushing per game. Their defense allows 25.2 points per game, while giving up only 363.3 yards per game, and 4.85 yards per play.

This is truly a tough call, as East Carolina missed out in playing in the Conference USA championship. Getting their doors blown out like that by Marshall was a truly deflating loss. Ohio on the other hand doesn’t come into this game on a roll either. They did win their regular season finale, yet it was against a UMass team that’s not too impressive. From what Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton said, it truly means a lot for the seniors to go to a fifth straight bowl. The last two seasons Ohio has been successful at putting a game plan together and being successful in their bowl games. East Carolina lost their bowl game last year to Louisiana-Lafayette 43-34, in what was somewhat a home game for the Ragin Cajuns. I think this is too many points, given the success that Ohio has had against Conference USA teams this year, and the success they’ve had in prior postseason appearances. On paper East Carolina looks like the better team, but I can’t see a team coached by Frank Solich getting blown out in a bowl game. I’ll take the points in what should be a high scoring affair.

2013 Free Beef O’Brady’s Bowl Picks (Side & Total): Ohio +14 Over 62.5
Free 2013 Beef O’Brady’s Bowl Score Prediction:  East Carolina 38 Ohio 3


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