This week UB gets out of the business of being stomped by out of conference foes and get's in the business of showing the MAC we're way better than people think right now. We start that endeavor with Bowling Green. Before we get into 25 Questions, let's look at what happened the last time we went to Bowling Green:
Things have changed a bit since then, for one Bowling Green did a little beating up on Buffalo last season in a game which, as it turned out, was the difference between who did and did not go Bowling. Both Teams have changed coaches since 2008.
Greg Brandon committed career Seppuku when he called out the fans following the Buffalo Game, his replacement took Bowling Green to a bowl game in his first season and has put together one of the more potent offenses (at least through the air) in the conference.
Turner Gill followed up the MAC Championship with a five and seven season, which may have held him in Buffalo if not for the JayHawks massive need for the rare element 'anti-mangino' which is characterized as being overly calm in all situations.
Where are the Falcons at at:
They lost a lot of talent last season so this was supposed to be a bad rebuilding year for Bowling Green. But don't let their 1-3 record fool you, this team has been getting better by the week. They could easily be 2-2 this season if not for a bad turnover late in the Troy game. Unlike Buffalo they have beat an FBS team this year.
Season High Point:
Beating the soft creamy center out of Marshall. Sure they let the Herd stumble back into the game, and yes they had some areas of real concern but in the end it was a solid out of conference win.
Season Low Point:
It would be easy to point at Michigan but given the injuries Bowling Green went into that game with, along with zero expectation for a win, I am going to go with the season Opener against Troy. Bowling Green was driving late, down by only a score before they coughed up the ball, and the game, to the defensing SBC champions.
Do they take care of the Ball?
No, they have been awful holding onto the ball this season. The Falcon have thown seven picks and fumbled three times. They are tied with Buffalo for 10th in the conference
How is their Passing Offense?
Ignore the seven picks and be afraid. Matt Schilz has grown up quickly, despite missing the MIchigan game (or perhaps because he missed that game) he is over six hundred yards. Yes they have seven picks to four touchdowns, but there is a lot of potential.
How is their Rushing Offense?
How are their Receivers?
How about their offensive line?
They have not been able to rnu the ball and rank 113th overall in sacks allowed. This is a team that is struggling on the line. They have had their share of Injuries and it seems with the return of Ben Bojicic they may be beyond that but I don't think they stack up against UConn and the pass rush there was respectable.
Are they High Powered?
Yes, they are putting up more than 325 a game, and that's with the beating they took at Michigan factored in. Right now they are one of the top four offenses in the conference.
How Well do they convert on 3rd?
Very well, they are at 45% on the season and even managed a respectable 42% against the wolverines.
Can their offense close a drive?
They score 65% of the possible red zone points available to them, that is about the same as Buffalo.
How Good is their defense?
In a word, terrible! They have given up 475, 546, 393, and 721 so far this season. Even if you ignored Michigan as an outlier their average yards per game allowed (471.34) would put them just 0.41 yards ahead of last place EMU.
Do they take the Ball Away?
Yes, on the season they have eleven and have had more than two in every game. Seven of those eleven are interceptions.
Can they stop the Run?
To be fair I have to strip away the Michigan Game, and outside of Michigan they are on the low end of average in rushing yards per game.
Can they stop the Pass?
Yardage wise no, they are near the bottom of the conference. However, those seven picks are mighty scary especially given some of Buffalo's accuracy problems.
How do they perform on third downs?
They are giving up more than half of their opponents third down attempts. With the exception of Troy they have surrendered 50% or more to every team they have played.
How is their red zone defense?
They are giving up an insane 90% of the red zone points possible. On 21 trips their opponents have score 19 times (13 touchdown and six field goals).
How well do they get after the QB?
With just one sack per game they are not a huge threat.
Do they get after you in the backfield?
Three pre game, so no not really.
How is their return game?
Eugene Cooper is nearly as dangerous a punt return man as Terrell Jackson (they are 1/2 in the conference) and they are respectable in the kickoff game.
How well do they defend returns?
I know it's getting tired, but I have to say they do it better than us. They are actually in the top 40 nationally so Jackson has his work cut out for him.
How well do they Kick?
Brian Wright is zero for three outside of 29 yards.
How Well do they Punt?
Wright may have had difficulties as a place kicker but he is an amazing punter. A net of just under 44 puts him as one of the top 25 punters in the nation.
How good is Bowling Green at home?
Their only win of the season came at home, their only game keeping a foe nuder 400 yards came at home, and their only running game of more than 110 came at home.
How Big is this game for Each Team?
Bowling Green has a really unforgiving conference draw with trips to CMU and Toledo and a chance to host WMU. By comparison Buffalo draws EMU, BSU, and NIU. Also the Falcons don't get to play Akron where as Buffalo gets to avoid Kent (I think Kent is a far better team right now).
At 1-3 it's hard to see a path to six wins for Bowling Green that does not include this game. as much as this is a must win for Buffalo add just a touch more need for Bowling Green.