Preview: Bowling Green Falcons


Bowling Green
#21 Michigan

Game Stuff
When: September 25, 2010
Where: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
Time: 12:00PM Eastern
TV: ESPN2 (Bob Wischusen, Brian Griese)
Local Radio: FM 104.3 WOMC, AM 1050 WTKA
Line: BGSU +26
Last Meeting: 2000, #6 UM 42, BG 7
Series Record: UM Leads 1-0
Michigan Record: 3-0 (0-0)
Last Game: Win vs UMass 42-37
BGSU Record: 1-2 (0-0)
Last Game: Win vs Marshall 44-28

Bowling Green Stuff
Location: Bowling Green, OH
Enrollment: 22,882
Conference: Mid-American Conference (East)
Nickname: Falcons
Head Coach: Dave Clawson
OC: Warren Ruggerio
DC: Mike Elko
Offensive Scheme: Multiple
Defensive Scheme: 4-3
2009 Record: 7-6 (6-2)

A Little History
Bowling Green State University ranks #114 in overall attendance in the NCAA. Michigan, with their newly refurbished stadium, ranks #1 again. I don't know what that means, but it seems like a fun stat to start off with. What Michigan fans might not realize, is that UMass (our week 3 opponent) ranks higher in average attendance than BGSU does.

Anyway, Bowling Green sits about 20 miles south of Toledo, along Rt. 23. If you're on your way to Columbus, for your bi-annual visit, you drive right past Bowling Green. The university is best known for it's college of education. But to Michigan fans, it's probably known for it's hockey team, which competes in the CCHA.

BGSU's head coach, Dave Clawson is 1-2 in his 2nd season. Last year, BGSU lost 4 of their first 5 games before rebounding well to go 7-6, and play in a thrilling game against Idaho in the Humanitarian Bowl in Boise. While BGSU is in a rebuilding year, Clawson has shown that, with talent, he can win. The Falcons will be a much improved team over the next couple years, but right now, it's a process of just getting better week-by-week.

Stats Comparison (through 9-18-10)

         Category                Michigan              BGSU         Advantage
Rushing Offense Avg/Yds286.3383.33MICH
Passing Offense Avg/Yds223.67258.33BGSU
Total Offense Avg/Yds510.00341.67MICH
Scoring Offense33.3330.33MICH
Rushing Defense Avg/Yds169.67194.00MICH
Pass Efficiency Defense120.83104.85BGSU
Total Defense Avg/Yds439.00465.67MICH
Scoring Defense23.6730.33MICH
Net Punting Avg/Yds31.6236.00BGSU
Punt Returns Avg/Yds-5.0015.14BGSU
Kickoff Returns Avg/Yds20.4020.76BGSU
Turnover Margin1.33.33MICH
Pass Defense Avg/Yds269.33271.67MICH
Passing Efficiency158.60120.73MICH
Sacks Avg/Gm.671.33BGSU
Tackles For Loss Avg/Gm4.673.33MICH
Sacks Allowed Avg/Gm.33 3.76MICH

Slightly less informative game preview than what I originally had planned
Michigan is determined to play better than they did last week against UMass. BGSU is just the right kind of opponent to do this against. We need to play a MAC school before jumping into the Big Ten schedule. We need to mop the field with a MAC school. We need to get our starters out of the game by the middle of the third quarter. We need to dominate this game. If not for the players confidence, then to shut up the fans who are already jumping off the tower for whatever reason. We're the largest group of nervous 3-0 fans in the nation. Michigan needs to play well...and we need to see Michigan play well.

Most intriguing stat of the week: Michigan ranks dead last in the NCAA in average punt return yards with -5 yds/avg.

BGSU Offense
The best thing going for Bowling Green is their offense. It always has been. Let's face it, in the early 2000's when Urban Meyer was making a name for himself, it wasn't with defense now was it? When you're a MAC school and you play larger name schools for a living, you only have enough time to devote to certain areas. Dave Clawson is following in some pretty big footsteps, but he's doing it the best way he knows how, and that is by playing smart, good offense.

BGSU features one of the best wide receivers in the nation, Kamar Jorden, who leads the country with 34 receptions, and is 6th overall with 343 yards. The only problem is the guy who's been throwing all of those passes to him is not going to be playing this weekend. Matt Schilz has an injured shoulder. His replacement, Aaron Pankratz came into the game last week in the 3rd quarter, and has never started a game before. The other guy is a freshman with zero game experience.

The running game doesn't get much better. BG ranks 111th in the nation in rushing, averaging 83.3 yards per game. Senior RB Willie Geter is BG's leading rusher with 66 carries for only 243 yards and 2 TDs. The best medicine for Michigan's sketchy run defense is an even sketchier run offense.

BGSU Defense
Like the offense, the defense only returns 4 starters from 2009. The D-line has been victimized so far this year giving up 194 rushing yards per game. 3 starters from 09 up front are gone, so BG is very young along the line. #55 DE Angelo Magnone is the leading tackler along the line with 12 total tackles for this year.

The linebacker corps are led by #47 MLB Dwayne Woods. He leads the team in tackles with 31 total in 3 games, 2 INTs and 1 INT return for a TD. He, along with #42 Eugene Fells and #10 Calvin Marshall lead this young unit (experience-wise), but they could make some plays and might be better than most people think. They will have their hands full trying to contain this Michigan offense.

The BG defensive backfield has been a revolving door since Clawson came to town. This year is no different. 3 of the 4 starters in the backfield are new this year. The #2 and #3 tacklers on the team are the two safeties, Jovan Leacock and Keith Morgan. That's not a good sign when your DBs are leading tacklers.

But they are older players across the board for this defense. Juniors and seniors abound, but not much experience to speak of as BGSU has had to replace the bulk of the players who sent them to the Humanitarian bowl last year.

Final Thoughts
For some strange reason, I am very confident about this game. After watching UMass run at-will against us last week, I can't explain why I feel this way, but I do. I don't feel like BGSU is as big of a threat at UMass was. UMass hit us at the right time, after a huge emotional win the week before. It was the classic let-down game. But this week, I think UM will rebound. We will come out more focused...with more of an attitude.

Plus, I just don't think BGSU is that good. The running game, which UMass used to tear us up, is not really a threat. Their starting QB is out with a shoulder injury, and they guy replacing him doesn't have much experience. And I think Michigan got it's wake-up call last week. I expect much improved performances from Jonas Mouton and Obi Ezeh. I also expect us to play better in the secondary...hopefully not using such a soft zone all day long.

BGSU is not very experienced or that good up front, so I want to see Martin, Van Bergen and Banks getting into the backfield and disrupting the passing game. We got great penetration in week 2 against Notre Dame, but wasn't able to get to the QB that much. If we can contain better than we did against UMass and disrupt the passing game, it will be a long day for BGSU on offense.

No comments

Post a Comment