Posts Tagged ‘Military Bowl free picks’

Military Bowl Picks: East Carolina vs. Maryland Analysis

December 28th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on Military Bowl Picks: East Carolina vs. Maryland Analysis

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The Military Bowl pits two very interesting combatants against each other, as the ECU Pirates and Maryland Terrapins duke it out in Washington DC. But which team will be able to thrive here in our nation’s capitol? These three keys to the game are going to be the ones to watch for when making your Military Bowl picks.

Key #1: Maryland has to want to win one for Ralph Friedgen
It isn’t normal to see a team announce that its head coach is getting bought out at this juncture of the season, but that’s what happened to Friedgen and the Terrapins. The Turtles had a fantastic year this year and really bought into the philosophy of Friedgen, who just wanted to bring this team back to a bowl this year after a dismal 2009 campaign. He not only got the job done, but he was just a play or two against the Florida State Seminoles away from winning the ACC Atlantic Division and going to his first ACC Championship Game. The reward was getting to play a game virtually in their own backyard, as the trip to FedEx Field is a very short one from College Park. It’s really a shame to see Friedgen go, but the allure of bringing Mike Leach to town was just too good to avoid. The team loved playing for Friedgen this year, and it would be great to keep the mentality to win one for him.

Military Bowl Odds at Diamond Sportsbook
East Carolina Pirates +7.5
Maryland Terrapins -7.5
Over/Under 67.5
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Key #2: Dominique Davis has to continue finding ways to strike for this offense
For as great as the Pirates were on offense this year, there really weren’t that many superstars. Sure, WR Dwayne Harris and WR Lance Lewis combined to account 2,000+ yards and 171 catches this year, and sure, both double digits in TD receptions, but they really would have been nowhere this year without the play of Davis. Save Auburn’s QB Cam Newton, the Heisman Trophy winner, no other man accounted for more TDs in the entire country than did Davis. Though Davis doesn’t quite have the goods that Newton does as a runner, he did rumble for nine scores and would have had significantly more yards this year if not for the fact that he was sacked a slew of times. Where the magic really happened was in the air. From the very first game of the year against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane with that Hail Mary pass through the very end of the season, Davis was remarkable as a passer. The Boston College transfer completed 64.8 percent of his passes for 3,687 yards and 36 TDs this year in Conference USA, and he was only picked off 14 times. Maryland certainly didn’t have one of the better passer defenses in the ACC this year either, as this team allowed 220.9 yards per game, ranking just No. 63 in the country.

Key #3: The ECU defense needs to come up with something to succeed
Just like the Maryland defense was really nothing spectacular this year, neither was the offense. This team averaged just 345.0 yards per game this year, and the only star of the squad was WR Torrey Smith, who had 1,045 yards on the campaign and is coming off of a four TD game against the NC State Wolfpack in the regular season finale. Do watch out for QB Danny O’Brien, who might be in store for a very, very big day. East Carolina had a dreadful defense all season long, allowing the most yards per game in the country this year at 480.4. The Pirates ranked No. 108 in pass defense and No. 117 in rush defense. This was a unit that allowed 62 points to the Rice Owls, 76 to the Navy Midshipmen, and 49 to the Central Florida Knights, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, and Virginia Tech Hokies. That doesn’t even include the 42+ points allowed four other times this year either. All told, giving up 43.4 points per game. Even forcing turnovers wasn’t easy. The leader in INTs this year only had three picks, one of the worst such marks in the country.