2007 Bowling Green Preview

Posted May 17, 2007

Preview 2007 Bowling Green Falcons Preview

Bowling Green Falcons

Preview 2007

By Pete Fiutak

- 2007 BGSU Offense Preview | 2007 BGSU Defense Preview
2007 BGSU Depth Chart | 2006 CFN Bowling Green Preview 

Talk about changing up the face of the program in just a year, Bowling Green went from having one of the most exciting, high-flying passing attacks in the nation, and then after Omar Jacobs left early to try out for the NFL, the offense went the other way and became a scary running team with no production from the passing game.  

While the switch in styles, dictated by the personnel, might have been a necessity, it also signaled a screeching halt in the positive momentum started by five straight winning seasons. No matter how your season is going, things aren’t well if you lose to Temple (the Owls stunned the Falcons 28-14 for their only win of the year). 

Head coach: Gregg Brandon
7th year: 30-19
Returning Lettermen:
Off. 25, Def. 28, ST 0
Lettermen Lost: 17
Ten Best Falcon Players
1. C Kory Lichtensteiger, Sr.
2. LB Erique Dozier, Jr.
3. DE Diyral Briggs, Jr.
4. CB Kenny Lewis, Jr.
5. WR Freddie Barnes, Soph.
6. WR Corey Partridge, Jr.
7. DE Jacob Hardwick, Soph.
8. QB Tyler Sheehan, Soph.
9. QB Anthony Turner, Jr.
10. CB Antonio Smith, Jr.

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction:

Sept. 1

at Minnesota

Sept. 8

at Michigan State

Sept. 22


Sept. 29

Western Kentucky

Oct. 6

at Boston College

Oct. 13

at Miami Univ.

Oct. 20

at Kent State

Oct. 27


Nov. 2


Nov. 9

at Eastern Mich

Nov. 17

at Buffalo

Nov. 23


2006 Schedule
CFN Prediction: 7-5
2006 Record:
Preview 2006 predicted wins

9/2 Wisconsin L 35-14
9/9 Buffalo W 48-40 3OT
9/16 at FIU W 33-28
9/23 Kent State L 38-3
9/30 at Ohio W 21-9
10/7 at Ohio State L 35-7
10/14 Eastern Mich W 24-21
10/19 at Central Mich L 31-14
10/28 at Temple L 28-14
11/4 at Akron L 35-28
11/15 Miami Univ. L 9-7
11/21 at Toledo L 31-21

Most concerning was the total collapse over the second half of the season. After a decent 3-2 start with a better-than-the-score-looks battle in a 35-14 loss to Wisconsin along with a dominant win over eventual East champion Ohio, the Falcons fell off the map losing six of their final seven games with only a nail-biter win over Eastern Michigan to stop the slide. For a program that’s expected to be among the league’s elite, last season needs to be nothing more than an aberration.

The coaching staff is certainly talented, there’s plenty of experience on both sides of the ball with the not-ready-yet underclassmen of last year almost certain to be better. Most importantly, the quarterback situation should be more consistent after Anthony Turner spent a year taking his lumps.

Last year was about reloading; this year is about producing. The East, the easier of the two divisions, is certainly winnable by anyone with some offensive pop, and defensive consistency, and while Bowling Green might still be a year away from being a title contender, it should be far better.

What to watch for on offense: More confidence in Turner and the passing attack. The Falcons always have a decent line, and it should be able to give the mobile Turner time (if he wins the job over Tyler Sheehan), so now the coaching staff will open up the playbook a little more and try to get the receivers involved. The strength is in the ground game with Eric Ransom, Chris Bullock, or Dan Macon all good enough to carry the offense, but the season will likely succeed or fail with Turner.  

What to watch for on defense: One of the MAC’s best secondaries. While the defense got worse as the year went on, and it rarely came up with a great sixty-minute game, the young secondary was solid and not giving up the big play. It got dinked and dunked on, but with six freshmen and two sophomores in charge of the pass defense, it struggled to find itself. Now it should be one of the team’s strengths.  

The team will be far better if … the special teams are night-and-day better. Alonso Rojas was a big-time recruit rated as one of the nation’s best high school punters, but now it’s up to junior Nick Iovinelli. The Falcons finished last in the MAC and second-to-last in the nation netting a miserable 27.7 yards per kick. The return game was almost as bad averaging 17.57 yards per kickoff return and 7.33 yards per punt return, while then-true-freshman Sean Ellis hit just four of nine field goals. 234-pound junior Sinisa Vrvilo will try to improve the production.

The Schedule: The Falcons have to be prepared to weather the early season storm with five road games in the first seven including non-conference dates with Minnesota, Michigan State and Boston College along with key MAC East games against Miami University and Kent State. On the plus side, the road games over the second half of the year are nice and easy going to Eastern Michigan and Buffalo. Playing Toledo from the West to close things out isn’t a positive.

Best Offensive Player: Senior C Kory Lichtensteiger. The former all-star guard moved to the middle and became an all-star center. As the leader of the offense, he’s a major blocker in all phases while proving to be a tremendous quarterback on the line calls. He’ll be playing on Sundays.

Best Defensive Player: Junior LB Erigue Dozier. A fantastic all-around defender, he uses his defensive back speed to make plays all over the place in the middle. While he’s not big, he’s extremely tough and phenomenal at getting into the backfield. As good as he is, junior end Diyral Briggs might end up being the team’s top defensive player.

Key player to a successful season: Sophomore QB Tyler Sheehan. While Anthony Turner is still in the mix for the starting job, Sheehan appears to be the future providing a steadier passing arm. While he doesn’t have Turner’s mobility, he should spread the ball around better and keep the chains moving.

The season will be a success if ... the Falcons win six games. The young team has the potential to improve by at least two games after the 4-8 season as long as it doesn’t get too down after an almost-certain rough start. As long as they win the games they’re supposed to, and are able to come up with at least one good home win over a top MAC team like Ohio or Toledo, six wins is a more than attainable goal.

Key game: Oct. 13 at Miami University. Barring a total shock, BGSU should be 2-3 to start the season, but 1-0 in MAC play. With a trip to Kent State, and a date with defending East champion to follow, the Falcons can make plenty of noise if they can beat the RedHawks in the midst of a tough road slate.

2006 Fun Stats: 
- Field goals: Opponents 7 of 12 – Bowling Green 4 of 9
- Net punt average: Opponents 37.9 – Bowling Green 29.4
- Bowling Green score by quarters: 1st 45, 2nd 82, 3rd 41, 4th 45


Related Stories
2007 Bowling Green Preview - Offense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  May 17, 2007
2007 Bowling Green Preview - Defense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  May 17, 2007
2007 Bowling Green Preview - Depth Chart
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  May 17, 2007

Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Football > Bowling Green
[View My HotList]