As has been the case with most college football teams in 2020, Louisiana Tech and Georgia Southern have dealt with plenty of adversity this season. But despite all the twists and turns that have come with the 2020 college football season, both programs are ending their years in a familiar setting as they prepare to cap their seasons in a bowl game.
Georgia Southern is making its third straight bowl trip and fourth in seven years since becoming an FBS program in 2014, while Louisiana Tech is going bowling for the seventh straight season under coach Skip Holtz. But despite their recent bowl experience and statuses as successful Group of Five programs from the south, this will be their first-ever meeting with each other.
Louisiana Tech is 9-0 all-time against teams from the Sun Belt, but the Bulldogs (5-4) are a 5.5-point underdog anyway against a Georgia Southern team that finished the regular season 7-5. There may be a couple of reasons for that. For one, Louisiana Tech had three key offensive players opt out last month. Also, Georgia Southern's record could easily be better if not for four one-possession losses.
Louisiana Tech: Louisiana Tech finished 4-8 and missed a bowl in Skip Holtz's first season as coach back in 2013. The Bulldogs have not only reached a bowl game in every season since, but they have also won the postseason game each year. That makes them the only non-Power Five team to win a bowl in at least six consecutive years. The streak already includes one New Orleans Bowl victory as Louisiana Tech beat Arkansas State 47-28 in the 2015 rendition of the game. Keeping the streak alive will require the Bulldogs to do a better job against the run than they did in a 52-10 loss to TCU to close the regular season. The Horned Frogs ran for 333 yards and six touchdowns on just 35 attempts in that game.
Georgia Southern: The Eagles rank eighth nationally in rushing yards per game at 262.5 with an option attack that has been led by senior quarterback Shai Werts for the past four seasons. But Werts missed Georgia Southern's final two regular season games and might not be available for the bowl game due to a shoulder injury. That could mean former third-string quarterback Miller Mosley gets the start. The Wofford transfer was forced into action after an injury to backup Justin Tomlin in the regular-season finale against Appalachian State and completed 5 of 14 passes for 122 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions as the Eagles were forced to throw the ball while playing from behind. He also ran 13 times for 49 yards in the 34-26 loss.
Game: New Orleans Bowl
Date: Wednesday, Dec. 23 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome -- New Orleans
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
New Orleans Bowl prediction, picks
Even if Werts can't play, Georgia Southern's offense is solid enough to control the clock against a Louisiana Tech defense that has allowed 4.7 yards per carry to opponents this season. That means Louisiana Tech's impressive streak of six straight bowl victories may be coming to an end, as well as the program's perfect 9-0 record against Sun Belt teams. Pick: Georgia Southern (-5.5) | Georgia Southern 27, Louisiana Tech 20
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