College Football Preview: The 2015 Bowling Green Falcons
Bowling Green Falcons Preview
2014 Record: 8-6
Dino Babers and the Bowling Green Falcons look for a MAC title and another Bowl appearance in 2015.
Overview: The Bowling Green Falcons won the MAC East but lost in the conference championship before winning the Camellia Bowl to finish 8-6 despite substantial injuries. Can Dino Babers do even better in 2015 with a healthy roster?
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Offense: Bowling Green Falcons wanted a high paced attack in 2014 but that goal took a hit when quarterback Matt Johnson was hurt and James Knapke was forced in to action. Knapke hit on 58% of his throws for 3,173 yards with 15 scores and 12 picks. Johnson is back and whoever wins the starting job has plenty of weapons to lean on with 1,000 yard receiver Roger Lewis back. Ryan Burbrink and Ronnie Moore combined for over 1,400 receiving yards and with the return of Chris Gallon from injury the Falcons are loaded at receiver. Travis Greene pushed the 1,000 yard mark on the ground in 2014with Fred Coppet and Andre Givens adding 764 yards and 478 yards respectively and the numbers could improve further with the entire offensive line back including All MAC RG Alex Huettel.
Defense: The defensive line loses two of their top three but seven players are back that appeared in at least eleven contests. The worry is a lack of size among the top guys and too many big plays allowed while most of the graduating players were ends and most of the plays behind the line of scrimmage were made by the ends. With no real pass rushers up front the loss of MLB Gabe Martin (18 TFL) can’t be replaced. James Sanford is the top backer returning so last season’s backups and some new faces must fill the void. The secondary loses their top three but corner Nick Johnson recorded five picks and defended eight passes while fellow CB Darrell Hunter II broke up seven passes. CB Clint Stephens picked off four throws and defended nine passes overall so the cupboard is not bare with sever high profile recruits available.
Special Teams: Punter Joe Davidson is solid with a 42.5 yard average on 82 boots while Tyler Tate nailed 23-29 field goal attempts. Ronnie Moore and Clint Stephens are dangerous kick returners while Ryan Burbrink averaged nearly ten yards bringing back punts including a TD.
Outlook: Bowling Green should be exciting offensively with points aplenty if healthy although the defense will have to lend a helping hand and get some stops. I think the Falcons are good enough to win the East division strictly on their ability to move the football but defense and health might decide how far this squad goes.