FIU Golden Panthers (8-4) at Toledo Rockets (7-5)
College Football: Friday, December 21, 2018 at 12:30 pm (Thomas Robinson Stadium)
The Line: Toledo Rockets -4.5 -- Over/Under: Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Florida International Golden Panthers and Toledo Rockets will square off in the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl on December 21st at Thomas Robinson Stadium.
The Florida International Golden Panthers advanced to their 2nd consecutive Bowl Game after finishing their regular season with an impressive 8-4 overall record. Florida International finished 6-2 in conference play and fell just short of advancing to the C-USA Championship game after falling to Marshall by a 28-25 margin in their regular season finale. Florida International will be looking for its first Bowl victory since 2010 when they beat Toledo in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.
On the season, Florida International is averaging 34.6 ppg on 417.6 total yards per game (247.6 passing yds/g; 170.0 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Florida International has been led by QB James Morgan who has completed 65.3% of his passes for 26 TD & 7 INT while averaging 227.3 passing yds/g. The top receiving targets for Morgan and the Golden Panthers have been CJ Worton (3.0 rec/g; 51.7 yds/g; 6 TD), Austin Maloney (2.3 rec/g; 48.5 yds/g; 5 TD), and Maurice Alexander (2.9 rec/g; 37.0 yds/g; 5 TD). Leading the way for the Golden Panthers backfield has been Napoleon Maxwell (10.1 att/g; 56.1 yds/g; 7 TD) and D’Vonte Price (7.0 att/g; 43.4 yds/g; 5 TD).
Defensively, Florida International is allowing their opponents to average 24.7 ppg on 386.7 total yards per game (188.3 passing yds/g; 198.4 rushing yds/g). The Golden Panthers defensive forced 21 turnovers this season and finished their regular season with a turnover margin of +9.
The Toledo Rockets finished their regular season strong, winning 4 of their last 5 games, and earned their 5th consecutive trip to Bowl Game after finishing the regular season with a 7-5 overall record (5-3 MAC-West). Toledo will be happy they won’t be facing Appalachian State after dropping their last two Bowl games to the Mountaineers and will be looking to pick up their first Bowl win since beating the Temple Owls, 32-17, in the Boca Raton Bowl in 2015.
On the season, Toledo is averaging 41.1 ppg on 448.5 total yards per game (224.9 passing yds/g; 223.6 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Toledo has been led by the backfield trio of Bryant Koback (11.6 att/g; 72.9 yds/g; 13 TD), Art Thompkins (8.2 att/g; 46.9 yds/g; 6 TD), and Shakif Seymour (9.4 att/g; 43.8 yds/g; 5 TD). QB Eli Peters (54.6 Comp %; 15 TD; 7 INT; 143.0 passing yds/g) has done a decent job replacing Mitchell Guadagni (57.5 Comp %; 13 TD; 3 INT; 150.4 passing yds/g; 61.1 rushing yds/g) since losing him for the season due to a shoulder injury. The top receivers for the Rockets have been Diontae Johnson (3.6 rec/g; 55.3 yds/g; 7 TD), Jon’Vea Johnson (2.4 rec/g; 50.9 yds/g; 7 TD), and Cody Thompson (3.6 rec/g; 49.3 yds/g; 10 TD).
Defensively, Toledo is allowing their opponents to average 30.2 ppg on 430.1 total yards per game (257.8 passing yds/g; 172.3 rushing yds/g). The Rockets forced 20 turnovers on the season and finished the regular season with a turnover margin of +3.
The Golden Panthers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall and 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games following a straight up loss. The Rockets are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall however, just 2-5 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games.
Florida International is a solid team that outside of their 49-14 loss to FAU, has been a tough team to beat on both sides of the ball. Toledo once again had a solid offensive attack, however, the injury to Mitchell Guadagni really hurts this passing game. Toledo’s backup QB Eli Peters put up decent number since taking over the starting job, however, he didn't play much in terms of competition down the stetch (Ball State, Kent State, & Central Michgan) and I think he is going to struggle agianst the Florida International defense. Florida International has a solid QB in James Morgan who should have success agianst the Rockets 105th ranked passing defense and I think the Golden Panthers at worse cover this with the points.