ABOUT OHIO (8-4, 4-4 MAC, 4-8 ATS): The Bobcats' 7-0 start was their best since 1968 and it came on the heels of a victory over Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl last season. However, to finish on a strong note again they will need to get over the late-season skid. In the finale against Kent State, Ohio's own mistakes hurt. Frank Solich's squad had two turnovers in the first quarter, both of which were returned for touchdowns. The Bobcats got the usual contributions from junior running back Beau Blankenship, whose 145 rushing yards gave him exactly 1,500 for the season, good enough to rank ninth nationally. Junior quarterback Tyler Tettleton was a steady presence under center. He had 16 touchdowns against only three interceptions and ran for four more scores. Ohio was invited to participate in the Independence Bowl after Louisiana Tech, which finished 9-3, did not immediately act on an invitation from bowl officials.
ABOUT LOUISIANA-MONROE (8-4, 6-2 Sun Belt, 8-4 ATS): Browning's primary target has been Brent Leonard, who ranks sixth nationally with 97 catches, 10 of which have gone for touchdowns. Leonard had 13 catches, including two on the game-winning drive in overtime, in the Warhawks' 23-17 victory over Florida International in the last game of the regular season. That was one of four overtime games for Louisiana-Monroe. They won three of them, including the opener against Arkansas, showing the late-game mettle that has made this the best Warhawks team since it joined what would become the FBS in 1994. This game will be played less than two hours away by car from the Warhawks' campus, making this a veritable home game for Todd Berry's team.