Auto Nation Cure Bowl: Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs Georgia State Panthers
On December 16, in chilly Orlando, Florida, the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers (6-6) will face off against the Georgia State Panthers (6-5) in the Auto Nation Cure Bowl at 2:30 PM EST. The Cure Bowl, at Camping Word Stadium, is a staple bowl game every year. It also continues to produce great games every year. With these two teams facing off, it should be no different from the previous exciting games played. With one team exceeding expectations, while the other has had a disappointing season. Let’s take a look at The Auto Nation Cure Bowl matchup.
Western Kentucky University has let down a lot of fans this year. Fans who expected them to be a contender for the C-USA Championship Game. Yet, Western Kentucky barely became bowl eligible, which was locked the second to last game of the season. After the dominant season last year, the offense seemed to miss a step. This came as a result of changing head coaches and changing the play style of the offense. Western Kentucky has been inconsistent for the majority of the season, but look to keep their bowl winning streak alive.
Georgia State has looked very week the majority of this season. Besides the final two losses of the season, they have exceeded expectations. Many projected the Panthers to be at the bottom of their conference standings. Georgia State is not dominant offensively, they just refuse to make mistakes, and play smash mouth defense. Georgia State also does a very good job at controlling the tempo of the game. Attempting to run the ball until the defense gets tired. While Georgie State has not played the same caliber of opponents as other teams, they have put up a great fight in every game. They deserve to be in this bowl game this year.
This is the second time Georgia State and Western Kentucky will face off. The first time, back in 2013, Western Kentucky won 44-28. While Georgia State looks to avoid history repeating itself, Western Kentucky is looking to win their third straight bowl game in Florida. While the regular season did not end the way Western Kentucky wanted it to, they once again qualified for a bowl. Four years in a row now. Georgia State is playing in their second in three years.
Georgia State is actually favored to win this game, mainly because of their suffocating defensive gameplay, and look to rewrite the past with a win against Western Kentucky. While Western Kentucky looks to pull off the upset and make history repeat, and beat Georgia State, just like last time. This is going to be a very good defensive game, but I believe that Western Kentucky will find a way on offense, and win against Georgia State, to win the Auto Nation Cure Bowl.