ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. - East Carolina is favored by 13.5 points over Ohio in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl. The Pirates (9-3) are trying to cap off a 10-win season, which would be the second highest total in school history. The 1991 team won 11 games.
The Bobcats (7-5) ended the season losing three of their last four games.
Both teams are no stranger to post season play. ECU will be playing in seventh bowl game in eight years. Ohio will be playing in a bowl game for the third straight year.
Here is the tale of the tape: ECU is averaging 40.4 points per game while Ohio puts up 28 points per contest. Advantage: ECU.
The Pirates allow 25.2 points a game, while the Bobcats surrender 26.7 points per game. That's a push.
ECU's Shane Carden threw for 3,866 yards and 32 touchdowns, while tossing 10 interceptions. Ohio's Tyler Tettleton (son of former Major Leaguer Mickey Tettleton) threw for 2,623 yards, 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Advantage: ECU
ECU rushed for 1,540 yards this season, led by Vintavious Cooper, who has 995 yards and 11 touchdowns. The Bobcats piled up 1,635 yards as a team- Beau Blankenship has 844 of them and five TDs. Ryan Boykin has 399 yards and seven scores. That's a push
ECU's defense picked off 15 passes and fell on six fumbles for 21 turnovers, while giving it up 16 times for a +5 in turnover margin. Ohio had 14 interceptions and scooped up 11 fumbles for 25 forced turnovers, while giving it up 18 times for a +7 in turnover margin. Slight edge to Ohio.
For special teams, ECU averages 25 yards per kickoff return while giving up 22, and 11.4 yards per punt return while allowing 7.8. Ohio averages 20.2 yards per kickoff return and gives up 17.5, and 10.5 yards per punt return while allowing 5.6.
There is one common opponent: Marshall. The Pirates lost to Marshall 59-28 in the last game of the regular season, while the Bobcats beat the Thundering Herd 34-31 on Sept. 14.
East Carolina has the statistical advantage on paper, and that's why they are favored to win. But the game is played on the field. See you in St. Petersburg!