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Bowling Green 37 … at Miami University 23

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Sep 24, 2011


Week 4 CFN Fearless Prediction & Game Story - Bowling Green at Miami Univ.


2011 Predictions & Game Story 

Week 4 - Bowling Green at MU

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Sept. 24 Bowling Green 37 … at Miami University 23
CFN Analysis: All of a sudden, Bowling Green has a bit of a running game. A 96-yard touchdown dash to put the game away helped, and true freshman Anthon Samuel might really turn out to be the team’s answer. He didn’t do too much else other than the big dash, but he’s proving to be good enough to get the ball in his hands. The defense did a nice job of letting Miami dink and dunk, but without anything big, while Matt Schilz and the passing game was effective at keeping control of the game. It’s firefight time up next with a trip to West Virginia before a showdown at Western Michigan, and unlike last year, the Falcons seem equipped for the battle.

The biggest difference between last year and this season for MU is its inability to come through in the clutch. Last year’s team found ways to win, and this year, in winnable games against Minnesota and Bowling Green, it’s not getting the key plays in critical times. The run defense that’s been so bad over the first few games fell flat when it was needed the most, and one big 96-yard Bowling Green touchdown run later, the RedHawks are 0-3 with a high-powered Cincinnati team up next. All the short-to-midrange passing from Zac Dysert has been nice, but now it’s time to start turn the yards into points.

(AP) OXFORD, Ohio. -- After Miami (Ohio) drew within a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, Anthon Samuel sped a record 96 yards to give Bowling Green the clinching touchdown in a 37-23 victory Saturday in the Mid-American Conference opener for both teams. It was the longest run in Bowling Green history, and tied a Yager Stadium record for the longest run from scrimmage.

Matt Schilz completed 19 of 24 passes for 183 yards and three touchdowns to three different Bowling Green receivers. But the Falcons (3-1) needed Samuel's record run after Miami quarterback Zac Dysert's 1-yard run drew the RedHawks (0-3) within 30-23 early in the fourth quarter.

Bowling Green fumbled the ensuing kickoff but recovered on its 3-yard line. Samuel gained a yard on first down, but then burst through the line, up the middle and outran the Miami defense for his record touchdown.

Bowling Green (2-1) at Miami University (0-2) Sept. 24, 1:00, ESPN3

Here’s The Deal … Just when it seemed like Bowling Green was about to turn things around after an ugly 2-10 season, and just when it seemed like it was going to be a major player in the MAC East race, it managed to make mistake after mistake in a home loss to Wyoming. However, the Falcons have already matched their win total from last year and they still could be a star in the East, but they have to come up with a win over defending MAC champion Miami. They have the firepower to do it.

The RedHawks have yet to come up with a win for new head coach Don Treadwell, but the road losses to Missouri and Minnesota were respectably close. The offense might not be flying yet and the defense was way too soft against the Gophers, but the team is still good enough to be the best in the East once again. With road games against Toledo, Temple, and Ohio down the road, a loss here will probably mean the end to any MAC title hopes, and the second conference game isn’t until mid-October.

Why Bowling Green Might Win: Does the Miami offense work well enough to keep up in a shootout? Yeah, Minnesota is a BCS conference team, but New Mexico State didn’t have any problems moving the ball on the Gophers two weeks ago and MU couldn’t put points on the board last week. Zac Dysert threw for 325 yards and two scores, and he kept the chains moving, but when the team needed points, he and the attack couldn’t come up with them. Bowling Green’s offense has been on fire, especially through the air, and the ultra-efficient should be able to control the game for long stretches. If this comes down to field position, BGSU has a huge advantage with Brian Schmiedebusch leading the nation in punting, averaging 52.5 yards per kick, while Miami is 118th in the nation in net punting averaging 29.3 yards per try.

Why Miami University Might Win: Turnovers. Miami hasn’t exactly been stingy with the ball so far, but Bowling Green suddenly turned disastrous. The Falcons dominated Miami, but four fumbles and two interceptions wiped away a huge offensive day. Defensively, BGSU couldn’t control Wyoming freshman quarterback Brett Smith, who’s promising, but he’s not quite good enough to connect on 25-of-38 mistake-free passes for 267 yards and a score. Zac Dysert threw for 325 yards and two touchdowns last week against Minnesota, and last year he was razor-sharp against the Falcons completing 19-of-25 passes for 221 yards and a score in the tight win. This year, he might not be able to bomb away like Falcon quarterback Matt Schilz, but he should control the tempo with MU’s midrange passing attack.

What To Watch Out For: The Miami coaching staff took promising linebacker Eric Finkles and moved him over to the offensive side, and now, shockingly, the sophomore has become the main man for the ground game. The 6-1, 196-pounder is built like a safety, and he made eight tackles last year, but so far he’s been able to carry the workload with 71 yards against Missouri and 54 against Minnesota, scoring a touchdown in each game, while also being used a bit as a receiver. He’s tough, slippery, and he can block.

While Schilz is coming off a huge day in the loss to Wyoming, the team’s best weapon has surprisingly been Schmiedebusch, who started out the year averaging 55.8 yards per kick against Idaho, followed it up by putting two of his three kicks inside the 20 against Morgan State, and averaging 58.7 yards per kick with two touchbacks against Wyoming. With the way the MU offense is sputtering, the Falcon sophomore could be the key to the game pinning the RedHawks deep.

What Will Happen: Miami needed everything in the bag to get by a bad Bowling Green team last year, but this year, Bowling Green has a little more defense, a far more effective offense, and the kicking game to pull off a tight road upset as long as the turnovers of last week were an aberration.

CFN Prediction: Bowling Green 27 … Miami Univ. 21
- Click For Latest Line From ATS: Miami -6   O/U: 50.5

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