2013 CFN Preview - Bowling Green Falcons
Bowling Green QB Matt Schilz
Bowling Green QB Matt Schilz
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jul 20, 2013


CollegeFootballNews.com 2013 Preview - Bowling Green Falcons


Bowling Green Falcons

Preview 2013
 

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By Pete Fiutak

Head coach: Dave Clawson
5th year: 22-28
14th year overall: 80-77
Returning Lettermen: 50
Off. 20, Def. 27, ST 3
Lettermen Lost: 14
Ten Best Bowling Green Players
1. LB Gabe Martin, Jr.
2. S Jerry “BooBoo” Gates, Sr.
3. LB Paul Swan, Sr.
4. P Brian Schmiedebusch, Sr.
5. QB Matt Schilz, Sr. 
6. OG Dominic Flewellyn, Jr.
7. WR Chris Gallon, Soph.
8. TE Alex Bayer, Sr.
9. DT Ted Outellet, Sr.
10. RB Jamel Martin Jr.
2013 Schedule
8/29 Tulsa
9/7 at Kent State
9/14 at Indiana
9/21 Murray State
9/28 Akron
10/5 UMass
10/12 at Mississippi State
10/19 OPEN DATE
10/26 Toledo
11/5 at Miami Univ.
11/12 Ohio
11/16 OPEN DATE
11/23 at Eastern Michigan
11/29 at Buffalo
The transformation has been nothing less than stunning. In 2009, the Falcons couldn’t do anything to stop the run with no plays in the backfield, no pass rush, and little to count on other than an air show that averaged over 300 yards per game. A year later, the offense went into the take finishing 115th in the nation, and the defense wasn’t any better. Fast forward two years later, and all of a sudden the Falcons couldn’t be stopped on the defensive front, there was a good ground game to rely on, and while the passing game was inefficient, it was effective enough to get by in the scheme of the what the rest of the team was doing.

This is the year, though, under head coach Dave Clawson, when there should be a happy balance between the two sides.

With nine starters back on offense – losing star running back Anthon Samuel hurts – and nine returning on D along with all the kickers, this is the year Bowling Green has to take a giant leap forward and go from being a decent MAC team that goes to bowls to a powerhouse that can potentially run the table, even with a road game at Mississippi State on the slate.

Gone are the two best players on the defense – MAC Defensive Player of the Year Chris Jones at tackle and linebacker Dwayne Woods – but there’s enough athleticism and experience across the board to fill in the gaps and continue to dominate the weak and the sad on the slate.

Yes, it helped that the Falcons didn’t play a slew of high-powered attacks and only dealt with a few teams that ran the ball, but the 2013 schedule isn’t exactly full of killer offenses, either. As long as the D is doing its job, the O won’t have to take a slew of big chances, which means everything for what quarterback Matt Schilz needs to do.

The offense showed a little bit of balance throughout last season, but the problems start when Schilz throws picks. The line should be fantastic in pass protection, and the receiving corps is loaded with veterans and athletes, but in his fourth year at the helm, it’s up to Schilz to become a bigger-time performer. He might not be Jordan Lynch in terms of national recognition, but if he has a good year and the offense is efficient, the sky’s the limit.

It’s Clawson’s fifth year at the helm, and while he hasn’t been up for any bigger name jobs, this might be the year he’s snapped up like Dave Doeren of Karl Dorrell if everything works according to plan. He has the team, he has the experience, and he has the depth.

Watch out. This is Bowling Green’s year.

What to watch for on offense: Even more of a rotation running the ball. With Anthon Samuel transferring after taking a semester off, the Falcons have to start rotating the backs a bit more and utilizing the ground game. There are enough options and enough good players waiting to show what they can do – primarily sophomore Andre Givens – to take the pressure off Schilz and the passing attack. The offense needs to be more efficient throwing the ball, but if the ground game is working, Schilz doesn’t have to force anything.

What to watch for on defense: More nickel and dime packages. There aren’t too many big-time passing attacks on the schedule, but without much bulk up front, speed and quickness will be how the veteran defense attacks and makes things happen. There’s depth across the board, but the best backups are in the secondary with players like leading interceptor Jude Adjei-Barimah and veterans Aaron Foster and Devon McKoy needing places to play with the four starting spots locked up. Bowling Green finished 13th in the nation against the pass and 18th in pass efficiency defense. It should be able to equal those numbers.

The team will be far better if … the defense holds up against the teams that can actually run the ball. San Jose State went nowhere on the ground in the Military Bowl, but that’s because David Fales and the passing game spent so much time throwing. In the other four losses, the Falcons allowed 220 rushing yards to Florida, 130 to Toledo, 246 to Virginia Tech and 334 to Kent State. Not coincidentally, those were the four worst performances by the run defense and the only four times all season the defense allowed 100 rushing yards or more.

The schedule: This should be a good Falcon team, but it’ll be tested right away with a potential battle against Tulsa and followed up by a road trip against Kent State in the conference opener and a fight at Indiana. Home games against Murray State, Akron and UMass should provide a nice base of wins before having to deal with a trip to Mississippi State. November finishes up with three road games in the final four and the home game against Ohio could decide the East.

Best offensive player: Senior QB Matt Schilz.  He has three years of starting experience under his belt and can be the one to make a good team special. He has the ability to bomb away, but more than anything else with him is his consistency. Hitting 9-of-25 passes against Virginia Tech isn’t exactly a shocker, but it’s not okay to only complete 14-of-33 throws against Akron. He has to be strong every time out, and more than anything else, he can’t throw interceptions.

Best defensive player: Junior LB Gabe Martin. Dwayne Woods was the start of the linebacking corps for the last few years, but it was Martin who led the team in tackles and showed the consistency and hitting ability to grow into the new leader of the defensive front. Able to play inside or out, and strong against the pass with the ability to get behind the line, he can do a little of everything right. A certain all-star, he’ll be in the mix for MAC Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Key player to a successful season: Senior DT Ted Ouellet. Chris Jones was a dominant force in the interior and a unstoppable pass rusher. While there are several decent options to try taking his place on the nose, the line lacks his bulk as well as his anchor ability. Ouellet is now the size on the line at around 285 pounds, and while it would be nice if he could get into the backfield on a regular basis, his job will be to hold firm on the nose.

The season will be a success if … the Falcons win the MAC title and split between Indiana and Mississippi State. Outside of MSU, there isn’t a team on the schedule that Bowling Green can’t beat, but there can’t be turnovers or breakdowns coming off a year when the mistakes were kept to a minimum. This should be a double-digit win team that at the very least has to win the East.

Key game: Nov. 12 vs. Ohio. The MAC East is relatively light, and with a week off to prepare for road games at Eastern Michigan and Buffalo to close out the season, the Falcons might need to beat Ohio in the home finale to win the East. Missing all the big boys from the West other than Toledo is a plus, so if there’s a win over Kent State early and a victory over the Bobcats late, it should be on to the MAC championship.

2012 Fun Stats:
- Third Quarter Scoring: Bowling Green 107 – Opponents 45
- Sacks: Bowling Green 38 for 280 yards – Opponents 15 for 95 yards
- Red Zone Scores: Opponents 26-of-32 (81%) – Bowling Green 31-of-47 (66%)
 
- 2013 Bowling Green Preview | 2013 Bowling Green Offense
- 2013 Bowling Green Defense | 2013 Bowling Green Depth Chart