2012 Bowl Preview: Graphic Edge, Citizen's Bank, MississippiNovember 30, 2012
THE GRAPHIC EDGE BOWL
#18 Louisburg (6-2) vs. Ellsworth (6-4) – Sunday, 11:00 a.m. (CT)
UNI Dome – Cedar Falls, Iowa – WATCH LIVE
Hours before the UNI Dome hosts the national championship game, Ellsworth and No. 18 Louisburg will take the field in the Graphic Edge Bowl’s opening contest. The Ellsworth Panthers are making their 25th bowl appearance – sixth in the Graphic Edge Bowl – while the Hurricanes of Louisburg are making their first-ever trip to a bowl game.
Although the Hurricanes statistically have the worst offense of any team playing in a bowl this season, freshman Madison Mills has exceptional play-making abilities at quarterback. The signal-caller amassed 1,328 yards and 14 touchdowns through the air during the regular season and is responsible for 15 of the Hurricanes’ 20 touchdowns. Louisburg prides themselves on stellar defensive play, holding opponents to 276.9 yards and 20.4 points per game in 2012. First team All-NFC selection Stephen Williams leads the team with 63 tackles in his sophomore year at linebacker.
The Panthers turn to freshman Jordan Doyle for most of their offensive production. The second team All-MFC quarterback has thrown for 1,870 yards and 18 touchdowns, while rushing for 400 yards and five touchdowns. First team All-MFC selection Amari Williams is one of the top tight ends in the land, catching 42 passes for 511 yards and six touchdowns in his sophomore season. Freshman linebacker Irving Steele earned first team All-MFC honors on defense after leading the Panthers with 100 tackles this season.
CITIZEN’S BANK BOWL
#9 Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (9-2) vs. #15 College of DuPage (8-2) – Sunday, 1:00 p.m. (CT)
Carnie Smith Stadium – Pittsburgh, Kan. – LISTEN LIVE
Two programs with storied histories in bowl games will clash when No. 9 Northeastern Oklahoma A&M goes head-to-head against No. 15 College of DuPage in Sunday’s Citizen’s Bank Bowl. Despite not playing in a bowl since 2007, the Golden Norse of NEO are making their 27th bowl appearance. The College of DuPage Chaparrals are playing in a bowl game for the 18th time in school history.
Few schools in the NJCAA run as balanced of an offense as Northeastern Oklahoma A&M. Sophomore Clayton Mitchem provides the Golden Norse with a tremendous dual-threat at quarterback. Mitchem has thrown for 2,027 yards and 24 touchdowns, while rushing for 607 yards and a team-high 10 touchdowns this season. NEO sophomore running back Gerald Howse has recorded a team-high 624 yards and nine touchdowns in the ground game. Loaded with playmakers on defense, freshman cornerback Devron Moore leads the way with seven interceptions on the year – second-most in the country.
Utilizing two quarterbacks in their offense, the Chaparrals’ attack runs through sophomores Byron Dawkins and Patrick Ivy. With 188 rushing yards on the season, Ivy gives DuPage some versatility while Dawkins’ awareness in the pocket has led to him throwing for 1,252 yards and 13 touchdowns. Sophomore Johnny Holton has been the Chaparrals’ biggest threat in their receiving corps, hauling in 23 catches for 548 yards and eight touchdowns. DuPage’s stingy defense has held their opponents to just 255.6 yards and 19.3 points per game this season.
#7 Copiah-Lincoln (9-2) vs. Garden City (6-4) – Sunday, 1:00 p.m. (CT)
Biloxi Indians Stadium – Biloxi, Miss. – WATCH LIVE
Two of the NJCAA’s storied conferences will be featured in Sunday’s Mississippi Bowl when MACJC champion No. 7 Copiah-Lincoln faces off against Garden City from the KJCCC. Copiah-Lincoln will make only their third trip to a bowl game, while the Garden City Broncbusters are playing in their 19th bowl and first since 2005.
The Copiah-Lincoln Wolves won their first conference title since 1985 behind the arm of sophomore quarterback Chandler Rogers. Throwing for 2,387 yards this season, Rogers has hooked up with nine different receivers for his 22 touchdown passes. Freshman running back Darius Guy has provided the Wolves with a balanced attack, rushing for 822 yards and nine touchdowns in 2012. Defensively, Copiah-Lincoln is giving up 419.2 yards per game but has forced 29 turnovers. Wolves sophomore defensive end Jerrell Jordan has recorded the second-most sacks in the nation, claiming 12.5 of Copiah-Lincoln’s 37 sacks on the year.
Boasting one of the nation’s most electrifying playmakers, the Broncbusters have found a sophomore sensation in quarterback Nick Marshall (right). The KJCCC Offensive Player of the Year ranks fourth in the nation with 283.7 passing yards per game and has thrown for 18 touchdowns. Marshall has also rushed for a team-high 949 yards and has scored the second-most rushing touchdowns in the country with 18. Defense has been a liability for Garden City in 2012, allowing 429.3 yards and 39.8 points per game.