We’re previewing the bowl games! This is one of them!
History: While AdvoCare 100 has only been sponsoring the Independence Bowl for a few years, this is 37th game in the bowl’s history. While the sponsors have changed, the Independence Bowl name has not. The 11th oldest bowl in the country started its tradition on 12/13/1976 with a payout off $50,000 and has grown to a payout of $2.3 million. Independence Bowl match-ups have been good match-ups in the past with 10 of the last 13 games being decided by a touchdown or less.
Ohio Scouting Report: The Bobcats started out the season 7-0 but finished it 1-4. Injuries have plagued the Bobcats throughout the entire season contributing to the reason for the slow finish. QB Tyler Tettleton has lead the team with his arm by completing 62% of his passes this season while racking up 2,513 yards and 16 touchdowns versus only 3 interceptions. Tettleton is backed up by a strong running game in Beau Blankenship. Blankenship rushed for a school record 1,500 yards while having 8 100-yd games in 2012.
Buckeye Connection: You know the drill. We’d say more, but we’re still a bit chippy. Brady Hoke is confused, as he thought Ohio was not eligible for a bowl game.
LA Monroe Scouting Report: The Warhawks joined the FBS in 1994 and never enjoyed a winning season until this year. So, needless to say, they will be making their first ever appearance in a bowl game. The reason for success this year is the fact that the LA Monroe has not had a game in 2012 where they scored less than 20 points. They are led by QB Kolton Browning’s 2,830 yards passing and 441 yards rushing. WR Brent Leonard was one of Browning’s favorite targets with 8.1 receptions per game and 86.8 yards per game.
Buckeye Connection: The Buckeyes and the Warhawks have never squared off, nor are their any shared opponents this season. They beat Arkansas, played Auburn and Baylor tough this season, and might have given Ohio State problems during that early part of the season where OSU was still trying to figure things out.
Prediction: This games features good offenses and not-so-good defenses. Ohio did struggle down the stretch but look for them to want to prove something to the nation. LA Monroe will have a lot riding on their shoulders as well looking for their first victory in a bowl game. After slow starts, it’s a pretty good guess that both offenses will get rolling. In keeping with the tradition of close Independence Bowl games, this will probably come down to the wire and the team with bowl experience (Ohio) will have the edge. Ohio 48, LA Monroe 45.