SPOOKY EXPRESS BOWLING FOR DOLLARS SELECTION AND ANALYSIS THREAD
Arkansas State vs. Northern Illinois
Sunday, January 8, 9:00 pm
The final bowl game before the BCS National Championship, and I almost forgot to post some analysis. Arkansas State caught fire after a loss to Virginia Tech early in the season, running the table with 9 straight victories to go undefeated in conference play. The rush of fine form can mostly likely be attributed to junior quarterback Ryan Aplin, whose dual threat abilities are something to keep an eye on. Throwing for 3200 yards and rushing for another 600, Aplin is clearly the man to stop on this team, and if the Huskies can contain him, they should be able to stifle their offense. Defensively, the Red Wolves have posted an amazing defensive display in conference, giving up just 19 points a game on average. While these numbers were posted in the Sun Belt conference, it still is impressive for any team to hold opponents to those low numbers. Whether or not the Huskies’ offense can break this wall certainly remains to be seen.
The Huskies had some early season difficulties against Wisconsin and lowly Kansas before turning on the jets with an 8 game winning streak to end the season as MAC champions. NIU’s streak of recent excellence can only be placed on one man: their own dual threat quarterback, Chandler Harnish. Harnish leads the team in both passing and rushing yards. Unlike Arkansas State, the Huskies have talented running backs to aide Harnish when he’s in trouble. Starting back Jasmin Hopkins is the main target during the Huskies’ option formations. All the Huskies’ offensive stats, though, are nearly overshadowed by their shoddy, Jekyll-and-Hyde defensive play. They could play extremely well for 3 quarters, but somehow break down in the fourth and nearly lost games because of it; they also gave up a season high 60 points in a win over Toledo.
While the Huskies have a defense that is suspect to the passing attack along with the fact that I have Arkansas State winning this game by two touchdowns its a no brainer that I am riding with the Wolves. Obviously the weaker competition does put a bit of trepidation into making this a huge play the power numbers have been just outstanding once again this bowl season so lets ride with them and update this as we get closer.
ARKANSAS STATE PK (moneyline)
ARKANSAS STATE/NORTHERN ILLINOIS OVER 65 POINTS (Opinion)
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