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25 Questions Bowling Green

Program:

Where are the Falcons at:

Other than the fact they are breaking in a new coach Bowling Green is in the same place as UB, far below where they should be. Both teams were slated to be fighting for the east division but both teams have demonstrated an ignorance about how to win a game.

In their losses both teams have struggled in the red zone, both teams have failed to stop the run, and both teams have had some pretty ugly turnovers. Falconblog sums it up pretty well:
Inside the red zone, all those line of scrimmage and pressure issues are magnified. Seven guys are tough enough to throw against on an extended field. On a short field, it is even harder. And BG has simply not been as efficient inside the 20 as they have outside the 20.
Season High Point:

While the week one comeback win over Troy started the Clawson era of right I would think their comeback win over an ever more impressive Kent team would be the high point. In that game they made up a 12 point deficit in 12 minutes.

Season Low Point:

Both the Marshall and Missouri games were hard losses. While the quality of opponent and the second half collapse the Missouri game would normally be more disappointing losing to a top 25 team is not as frustrating as getting run over by Marshall, especially for Bowling Green.

Offense:

Do they take care of the Ball?

They are not exceptionally stingy but 1.1 turnovers per game is a very, very healthy number. The only games where turnovers were particularly bad were against Boise and Central Michigan (3 and 2 respectively).

How is their Passing Offense?

Best in the conference, by 50 yards a game. The Falcons throw the ball all over the field (well they run Barnes all over the field and then throw to him). Tyler Sheehan is having a monster year, even without his passes to Barnes he would still be behind only four MAC quarterbacks.

How is their Rushing Offense?

Not just the worst in the MAC, but the worst in all of the bowl subdivision. They get away with it because of the strength of their passing game, they have fewer attempts than anyone else in the conference and nearly ten fewer than UB. In addition to rushing the fewest times per game they rush for the fewest yards per attempt (about a full yard or more short of 11 other MAC teams).

How are their receivers?

Overshadowed by Barnes! As I mentioned above even if Barnes was not in the picture Tyler Sheehan would still have enough yards to better 8 teams. Chris Wright, Adrian Hodges, Tight end Jimmy Scheidler, and Half Back Willie Geter have all proven to be pretty potent receiving threats.

How about their offensive line?

They give Sheehan enough time to Pass, sometimes, but they are giving up way too many sacks (about 3 per game) and they are not getting any kind of push going when they attempt to run.

Are they High Powered?

Yes, this is a team that can kill you long no matter where they throw the ball. The Falcons have five receivers with multiple catches who average more than ten yards per reception.

How Well do they convert on 3rd?

They do a so-so job converting 42% of the time.

Can their offense close a drive?

No, as I mentioned earlier they are a good team that is having a terrible year in no small part due to poor performance in the red zone. The are averaging less than four points per trip inside the 20 this year, as bad as UB has been they are averaging better than four and a half.

Defense:

How Good is their defense?

They are in the bottom third of MAC teams with a rushing defense that ranks 112 in the country. They are giving up more than four touch downs per contest (but in all fairness Boise piled up the points).

Do they take the Ball Away?

The falcons are a little worse at taking the ball away than Buffalo is. Right now they are taking away one times a game (4 fumble recoveries against 5 interception). But for Bowling green the overall turnover situation is far better (-1 for the year versus Buffalo at -7).

Can they stop the Run?

No, with the exception of Troy just about everyone they play *literally* runs all over them
  • Missouri +70 yards over their season average
  • Marshall +100 yards over their season average
  • Boise +75 yards over their season average
  • Ohio +101 yards over their season average
  • Kent +72 yards over their season average
  • Ball State +109 yards over their season average
  • Central Michigan +101 yards over their season average
Can they stop the Pass?

Statistically a bit better than the run but given that opponents are running four times for every three passes it's hard to tell if thats because the pass defense is stronger or just because most teams would prefer to just run the ball.

How do they perform on third downs?

This is the one area in which their defense is pretty good. They are getting opponents off the field almost seven out of ten times. Thats better than anyone else in the conference.

How is their red zone defense?

Opponents are scoring nearly five points per trip inside the 20, and as noted above the Falcon themselves are only pulling just under four points per trip in.

How well do they get after the QB?

Like Buffalo, Bowling Green is mired in the bottom ten teams in the league when it comes to sacks. 1.125 a game is a terrible number.

Do they get after you in the backfield?

Again, like Buffalo bowling green is a team that just sits back, or is pushed back, and waits for the opposing offense to come to them.

Special Teams:

How is their return game?

About as toothless as Buffalo's, neither team has done anything significant on returns (punt or kicking).

How well do they defend returns?

Again they are, like UB, among the bottom quarter or so of all teams defending the run. When they kickoff or punt fans hold their breath. This Game looks to be the impotent force versus immobile object when it comes to special teams.

How well do they Kick?

About as poorly as UB kicking less than 70%, not good from long range, and is usually set for one FG miss a game.

How Well do they Punt?

Very weak, Nick Iovinelli is averaging around 37.5 yards a punt, and the falcons are giving up almost eleven per return.

How does the Falcons do on the Road?

Two of their three wins this season are on the road (both conference victories) so playing in Amherst should not be seen as a huge disadvantage for the falcons.

How Big is this game for Each Team?

Buffalo has a more difficult schedule ahead of them (Ohio, Kent, Miami) than Bowling Green (Miami, Akron, Toledo). If UB wants to finish 500 or better they have to win this game.