Bowling Green Preview 2006
Posted Aug 7, 2006

Everyone has to rebuild at some point, right? Even Bowling Green.

Offense | Defense | Depth Chart | Further Analysis

Bowling Green is coming off its most successful five year stint in school history with plenty of national attention and a couple of bowl appearances, but for all the fireworks, big offensive numbers, and victories, there haven't been MAC titles making last year's 6-5 campaign a tremendous disappointment.

The 2005 team was supposed to be the one that took the program to another level with Omar Jacobs leading an offense that was supposed to be among the best in the nation, but the running game never got going, Jacobs got hurt midway through the year, and now the team is almost starting from scratch even with 11 starters returning on both sides of the ball.

Head coach: Gregg Brandon
6th year; 26-11
Returning Lettermen: 43
Lettermen Lost: 20
Ten Best Falcon Players
1. DE Devon Parks, Sr.
2. C Kory Lichtensteiger, Jr.
3. QB Anthony Turner, Soph.
4. CB Antonio Smith, Soph.
5. LB Terrel White, Sr.
6. OG Derrick Markray, Sr.
7. FS Deandre Perry, Jr.
8. WR Corey Partridge, Soph.
9. WR Marques Parks, Soph.
10. TE Sean O'Drobinak, Jr.

2006 Schedule
CFN Prediction: 7-5

9/2 Wisconsin
9/9 Buffalo
9/16 at FIU
9/23 Kent State
9/30 at Ohio
10/7 at Ohio State
10/14 Eastern Michigan
10/19 at Central Michigan
10/28 at Temple
11/4 at Akron
11/15 Miami Univ.
11/21 at Toledo

2005 Schedule
CFN Prediction: 8-3
2005 Record: 6-5

Preview 2005 predicted wins

9/3 at Wisconsin L 56-42
9/10 Ball State W 40-31
9/21 at Boise State L 48-20
10/1 Temple W 70-7
10/8 Ohio W 38-14
10/15 at Buffalo W 27-7
10/22 Western Mich  L 45-14
10/29 Akron L 24-14
11/5 at Kent State W 24-14
11/15 at Miami Univ. W 42-14
11/22 Toledo L 44-41 2OT

Gregg Brandon and his coaching staff are among the MAC's best and will always get the team playing at a solid level, but this season could be a step back to take a big leap forward with only six seniors and all the biggest spots filled with exciting young players.

The most scrutiny will be at quarterback, where Anthony Turner is the next in line after Jacobs and the ultra-productive Josh Harris. He got his feet wet in three starts last season, but he lost two big games against Western Michigan and Akron that effectively killed the season. A sophomore, he'll have to play like a veteran with a nearly-new receiving corps to throw to and a brand, spanking new backfield to work with.

The defense was a bigger disappointment last year with no run defense and not nearly enough pressure generated from the front seven. That should change in an effort to get quicker up front moving Brad Williams from end to tackle to make room for Diyral Briggs and a slew of redshirt freshmen to help out Devon Parks. The back seven will be a work in progress, but the secondary should eventually be a strength.

Even with all the question marks and all the huge holes to fill, Bowling Green can still surprise and get to the MAC title game because of the division. There's Akron and Miami in the East, but Buffalo, Kent State and Ohio make it the weaker of the two divisions. If the team can grow up in a hurry, the future might be now.

The Schedule: It's almost perfect for a young team. Forget about upsetting Wisconsin in the opener, games against Buffalo, at FIU, Kent State, and Ohio provide three good opportunities to tune up for the rest of the way. Getting Eastern Michigan from the West is a big break, but then things take a dramatic turn with four road games in the final five finishing up at Akron, at home against Miami University, and at Toledo in a three-game make-or-break-stretch run for the MAC title game. There's a road game at Temple, but there's also a trip to Ohio State.

Best Offensive Player: Junior C Kory Lichtensteiger. Able to play center or guard, the two-time, Second Team All-MAC performer will move inside where he'll be the big anchor of the line. He's 6-3, 305 pounds, and very strong in all phases. If he's not the league's best offensive lineman, he's on the short list.

Best Defensive Player: Senior DE Devon Parks. A great tackling end, Parks should be a better pass rusher now that he has three years of experience. He's not always flashy, but he's a steady pass rusher and can be a disruptive force for stretches.

Key player to a successful season: Sophomore QB Anthony Turner. More of a runner than Omar Jacobs, he'll allow the coaching staff to use the entire playbook this season. With so many new starters at running back and so many new receivers, Turner has to be sharper than he was when he got a few chances to start as a freshman.

The season will be a success if ... Bowling Green wins the East. Why shoot any lower? The schedule works out well with the division's best team, Miami, coming to Perry Stadium. The possibility of a ten-win regular season is there with the only likely losses coming to Wisconsin and Ohio State and the biggest MAC games coming at the end of the year when the team will be as jelled as it's going to be.

Key game: Nov. 15 vs. Miami University. Akron might be the disrespected MAC champions, but the RedHawks are the better team and will be the main obstacle to getting to the conference title game. The winner of this nationally televised contest will likely have the East.

2005 Fun Stats: 
- Punt return average: Bowling Green, 13 yards per return - Opponents 2.6 yards per return
- Penalties: Opponents 72 for 652 yards - Bowling Green 60 for 526 yards
- Field goals: Opponents 6 of 9 - Bowling Green 5 of 9

The Last Time Bowling Green…
…played in a bowl game…2004 (GMAC Bowl vs. Memphis)
…missed a bowl game…2005
…pitched a shutout…2004 (Western Michigan)
…was shutout…1998 (Missouri)
…scored 50 points…2005 (Temple)    
…went undefeated…1959
…won a conference title…1992 (MAC)
…had a 3,000-yard passer…2004 (Omar Jacobs)
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…2004 (P.J. Pope)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…2005 (Charles Sharon)
…had a first-round draft choice…1961 (RB Bernie Casey)

Related Stories
Bowling Green Preview 2006 - Offense
 -by  Aug 7, 2006
Bowling Green Preview 2006 - Further Analysis
 -by  Aug 7, 2006
Bowling Green Preview 2006 - Depth Chart
 -by  Aug 7, 2006

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