Ohio vs. Louisiana Monroe Bowl Pick: Independence Bowl 12/28

Last Updated: December 28th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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Independence BowlThe X’s and O’s of the Independence Bowl predictions aren’t shared by many expert handicappers, but here at Bankroll Sports, we are giving up all of our insight and telling you all of the keys to the game for the Ohio Bobcats vs. Louisiana Monroe Warhawks. The Independence Bowl picks are some of the hardest to make this year of all of the bowl games, so don’t miss out on all of our Ohio vs. Louisiana Monroe predictions!

2012 Independence Bowl: Ohio Bobcats vs. Louisiana Monroe Warhawks
2012 Independence Bowl Location: Independence Stadium, Shreveport, LA
2012 Independence Bowl Date/Time: Friday, December 28th, 2:00 p.m. (ET)
2012 Independence Bowl On TV: ESPN, Watch ESPN

Click Here For The Rest Of The 2012-13 Bowl Game Schedule And Other Bowl Game Previews

Key #1: Ohio has to get healthy along its offensive line
Health has been a big time problem for the Bobcats all season long, but the offensive line has taken the biggest hit for sure over the course of the last few weeks. Many don’t realize just how important the OL is for these smaller schools. The bigger schools tend to have some depth up front, while the little ones just don’t have the resources to go out and recruit second and third string offensive linemen for the “just in case.” For Ohio, that “just in case” has been enacted quite a bit of late, knowing that the team has five linemen that are on the injury report for this game. Just in the last game of the season against the Kent State Golden Flashes, with virtually an entirely new offensive line protecting him, QB Tyler Tettleton was sacked eight times and ended up losing 35 yards rushing on the day. Tettleton can move around in the pocket, but Cam Newton wouldn’t be able to find any running room or throwing room with an offensive line as bad as this one has been over the course of the last few games. If basically a whole month off didn’t get the Bobcats healthy, it at least needed to get the guys that are able to play in a position to block for Tettleton, or this is going to be a long game for the Ohio offense.

Independence Bowl Odds at BetRevolution Sportsbook
Ohio Bobcats +7
Louisiana Monroe Warhawks -7
Over/Under 60.5
Click Here to Bet Your Independence Bowl Picks!

Key #2: Kolton Browning needs to have one of those hero moments
QB Kolton Browning made himself an immediate hero in Monroe when he rushed for the touchdown in overtime that beat the Arkansas Razorbacks way back at the beginning of the season. It was the biggest play in the biggest game in the history of the ULM program, and it was the game that really sparked this 8-4 season, easily the most successful for the Warhawks of all-time. This is the first time that they have played in a bowl game in their school’s history, and Browning is the man that is going to have to figure out how to be the man to win this one. It doesn’t matter what else anyone does on the field. As long as Browning still has a chance to make some magic happen at the end, he has proven time and time again, in spite of the fact that he doesn’t have the flashiest numbers in the world, that he can get the job done. Ohio’s defense has been prone at times this year to mobile quarterbacks in the MAC, and this might not be an exception to that rule.

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Key #3: Beau Blankenship has to keep the ball moving on the ground
You might not realize it, but RB Beau Blankenship rushed for 1,500 yards this year for the Bobcats in spite of the shoddy play of the offensive line. The Iowa State transfer rumbled for 109 yards against a Penn State Nittany Lions defense that proved to be a strong unit at the end of the year, and he also rushed the ball 43 times for 269 yards and two TDs against the Massachusetts Minutemen in his best game of the season. This is a man that is a horse for sure. It isn’t about the yards per carry for Blankenship, though he did average a healthy 5.1 yards per tote on the season. It’s that he averaged carrying the ball 24.4 times per game and really wore down some of these defenses. This might be the best rushing attack that ULM has seen all season long, and it is going to be a real test to a ‘D’ that allowed just 135.8 yards per game this year on the ground, ranking 32nd in the nation. If Blankenship doesn’t get his 25 carries in this game and doesn’t turn those carries into at least 100 yards, the Bobcats are in a boatload of trouble.

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Posted in College Football - Last Updated on Friday, December 28th, 2012 @ 2:00 am (EST)
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