GoDaddy.com Bowl Pick: Arkansas State vs. Northern Illinois
- Updated: December 27, 2011
There aren’t all that many bowl games that are pitting two teams with double digits worth of wins against each other, but in one of the best NCAA football betting bowl games of the year, the Arkansas State Red Wolves will take the Northern Illinois Huskies.
Last year, the Red Wolves only ended up going 5-7, but a lot of college football handicappers saw them coming on this year. QB Ryan Aplin was fantastic this year, throwing 3,235 yards and 18 TDs against 13 INTs. He was also the team’s leading rusher with 605 yards and 10 scores. Aplin took nearly every single snap this year for Arkansas State, and he really is the heart and soul of the team. WR Dwayne Frampton caught 90 passes for 1,125 yards with six scores. WR Josh Jarboe also had 707 yards, while WR Taylor Stockemer averaged over 15 yards per catch and is one of the best deep threats that the team has to offer. At times, the squad gets one dimensional, which is problematic, but in the end, the only two teams that were able to beat the Red Wolves this year were the Illinois Fighting Illini and the Virginia Tech Hokies, both on the road, and in both games, the Sun Belt reps covered.
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Northern Illinois won the MAC this year in fine fashion, coming all the way back from down 20-0 to beat the Ohio Bobcats in the MAC title game. No matter how the games have gone this year for the Huskies, they have been successful. They took down the Toledo Rockets 63-60 on the road, and they also beat the Eastern Michigan Eagles 18-12. This is the final game in the career of QB Chandler Harnish, who is one of the best players in the history of the conference. Harnish has thrown for 2,942 yards and 26 TDs, and he has rushed for 1,382 yards and 11 TDs, some of the best stats for a dual threat passer in the entire country. Don’t rest on RB Jasmin Hopkins, who needs 61 yards to reach 1,000 for the campaign. He scored 15 times on the ground. There aren’t any receivers that are putting up huge numbers on the campaign, but there are a ton that have the ability to stretch the field and make the big play in a close game.
GoDaddy.com Bowl Keys To The Game: This game is going to be flat out awesome. These two teams can get up and down the field in a hurry with their dual threat quarterbacks. Whichever defense can slow down the other team’s quarterback is going to probably be the one that gets the upper hand in this one, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that that is going to be the only key. Special teams are always crucial in games like this, and with as bad as NIU’s kicking game has been, that could prove to be a real thorn in the Huskies’ sides.