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Military Bowl Preview: San Jose State, Bowling Green Defend Their Goal Lines Well

Get a hefty dose of patriotism and some good defense in a matchup between a WAC team and a MAC team who might actually be able to stop the scoring every once in a while


Military Bowl - Presented by Northrop Grumman, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Why it exists: #merica

The Teams: San Jose State and Bowling Green

How San Jose State got here: Throwing the ball. A lot. The Spartans ranked 102nd in rushing yardage per game in the FBS, but the passing offense is explosive; SJSU quarterbacks averaged 327.5 yards per game through the air. Most of that yardage was courtesy of David Fales, who was the third-most efficient passer in the nation with a 170.91 rating. Four different receivers average more than 50 yards a game. To top it all off, San Jose State has one of the best defenses in the WAC and a pretty good defense even when compared to other squads in the nation; only four times this year did an opponent score more than 20 points against the Spartans.

How Bowling Green got here: With ease. Anyone who has a beef with the SEC schedule-makers ought to take a look at what the Falcons got this year, which borders on the laughable. In fact, one of Bowling Green's eight wins this year comes against a team without a losing record -- one. Sure, someone from the MAC East has to play Eastern Michigan, and Bowling Green did beat Ohio, but this is easily one of the easiest slates in the country. (And some of the bad teams weren't merely bad, but atrocious -- we're talking the UMasses and Akrons of the world.) Part of it might have been a lack of a carefully thought out strategy; Bowling Green tried to win the MAC with the conference's best "defense," one of those newfangled things we in the SEC are pioneering.

College football fans care because: Neither of these teams is headed to the Big East yet, but the operative word in that sentence is probably "yet."

SEC fans care because: #merica

Watch this game if...: You don't mind the military-industrial complex all that much

The result: San Jose State 38, Bowling Green 24

Line: San Jose State by 7.5

(Record straight up: 5-3; ATS 2-6)