Taylor Royster said watching the Georgia Southern offense on film was awesome.
“I like what they do,” the Bowling Green senior defensive lineman said. “It’s fun to see, fun to watch. Going against it is going to be fun.”
The GoDaddy Bowl on ESPN at 7 p.m. at Mobile’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium is a meeting of polar opposites on offense. If you used Paul Revere’s early warning system, you’d wave one lantern for the Georgia Southern Eagles traveling by land and two for the Bowling Green Falcons taking to the air.
Only Washington State (397 yards) and Texas Tech (389.7) averaged more passing yards per game than Bowling Green’s 376.1. And no Football Bowl Subdivision squad averaged more rushing yards per game than Georgia Southern’s 355.6.
Bowling Green has an up-tempo offense that is carved out of the one that Baylor uses to torment its opponents. Georgia Southern will counter with a triple-option attack that launches from the shotgun or pistol formation.
“Bowling Green has one of the most high-powered offenses I’ve ever seen or had to face,” said Georgia Southern defensive coordinator Jack Curtis. “You try to simulate it with some scout teams, but it’s really hard to get that picture. You try to prepare for it, but when you get into the game, you’ve really got to adjust quick because it’s going to be faster than anything we’ve seen all year.”
Falcons interim head coach Brian Ward said the Bowling Green program is built on going fast on offense and scoring a lot of points. The Eagles, he said, will deliver an offensive scheme that’s different from any that he’s seen.
“Hopefully the answers are already in our defense,” Ward said. “We’re not going to recreate the wheel to stop what they’re successful at on offense.”
Ward said his opponent lives and dies with the big play on offense.
“If we can keep them from getting the explosive plays – like we’ve done a good job all year – we feel like we’re going to be successful defensively.”
Curtis, the Georgia Southern defensive coordinator, said the Eagles have played some very good passing offenses this year and tried various tactics including double-teaming or bracketing zones.
“The problem here is Bowling Green has too many guys to double,” he said. “They spread the ball around really well. When someone is on the field 120 plays, it’s hard to not have them score. You wear down and depth comes into play.
“It’s the same offense that Baylor runs where they score 60 or 70 points on people. It’s a really frustrating offense. You’ve got to be able to take some things away from them.”
This is the 17th bowl game that’s been held in Mobile and GoDaddy has been the title sponsor since 2011. The game had been played in January but was moved to December in keeping with the College Football Playoff schedule.
Georgia Southern is a first-time bowl participant and is representing the Sun Belt Conference, which sent Arkansas State to Mobile the past four years.
Bowling Green is making its third appearance in Mobile’s bowl. The first came in 2004 and the Falcons were back in 2008.