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2007 Bowling Green Falcons

Collegefootballnews.com
Posted Dec 31, 2007


2007 Bowling Green Falcons Season, Game Recaps, Scores and Reviews

Bowling Green Falcons

Recap: Well, you couldn’t tell it from the team’s final game, a record-setting 63-7 loss to Tulsa in the GMAC Bowl, but Bowling Green turned a corner in 2007.  One year after winning just four games, the Falcons doubled that total, closing the regular season with four straight wins and finishing in a first place tie with Miami in the East Division.  Bowling Green was fueled all year by first-year starting QB Tyler Sheehan, who debuted with 26 total touchdowns and more than 3,400 yards of offense, and helped lead his team to an upset of Minnesota and a close call with Michigan State.                

Offensive Player of the Year: QB Tyler Sheehan

Defensive Player of the Year: LB Erique Dozier

Biggest Surprise: Anthony Turner.  The one-time quarterback did a little bit of everything for the Falcons in 2007, developing into a lethal weapon.  Turner led Bowling Green in rushing, threw three touchdown passes without a pick, caught 22 passes, and scored a team-high 10 touchdowns.        

Biggest Disappointment: Had the Falcons gotten a chance at Miami in November instead of October, they might have won the East Division.  When the teams met on Oct. 13, Bowling Green was still trying to find itself, and it showed in a lopsided 47-14 loss that gave the divisional tiebreaker to the RedHawks.    

Looking Ahead: With Sheehan, Turner, WR Freddie Barnes, and RB Willie Geter back in 2008, the Bowling Green has a chance to be even more prolific than last season.  The defense, too, returns most of its key parts, meaning the Falcons will again be a key player in the divisional race.

- 2007 BGSU Preview 
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2006 BGSU Season

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
4-8
2007 Record:
8-5

Sept. 1 at Minn. W 32-31 OT
Sept. 8 at Michigan St L 28-17
Sept. 22
Temple W 48-35
Sept. 29 W Kentucky W 41-21
Oct. 6 at Boston Coll L 55-24
Oct. 13 at Miami Univ. L 47-14
Oct. 20 at Kent State W 31-20
Oct. 27
Ohio L 38-27
Nov. 2 Akron W 44-20
Nov. 9 at East. Mich W 39-32
Nov. 17
at Buffalo W 31-17
Nov. 23 Toledo W 37-10
GMAC Bowl
Jan. 6 Tulsa L 63-7

Jan. 6
2008 GMAC Bowl
Tulsa 63 ... Bowling Green 7
Bowling Green lost four fumbles in the first half and Tulsa was happy to take advantage on the way to a 35-0 first half lead and a 42-0 start before the Falcons finally got on the board. With a few trick plays and the passing of Paul Smith, the Golden Hurricane rolled at will with five Smith scoring passes, including two to Trae Johnson, and a touchdown catch, run, and throw from RB Tarrion Adams. The normally high-powered Bowling Green offense was held to just 229 yards with the lone score coming on a kickoff return after a 14-yard Johnson catch. This was the biggest blowout in bowl history.
Offensive Player of the Game: Tulsa QB Paul Smith completed 27 of 45 passes for 312 yards and five touchdowns, and ran nine times for 46 yards and a score.
Defensive P
layer of the Game: Tulsa LB Chris Chamberlain made 17 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 5.5 tackles for loss and forced a fumble
Stat Leaders: Bowling Green - Passing: Tyler Sheehan, 14-19, 141 yds
Rushing: Tyler Sheehan, 7-21. Receiving: Anthony Turner, 6-33
Tulsa - Passing: Paul Smith, 27-45, 312 yds, 5 TD
Rushing:
Tarrion Adams, 17-112, 1 TD. Receiving:
Charles Clay, 11-69, 1 TD
Thoughts & Notes ... Paul Smith set an NCAA record with his 14th straight 300-yard passing game ... Bowling Green QB Tyler Sheehan was knocked out in the first half with an ankle injury. He still finished as the team's leading rusher. ... This has to be considered among the ugliest bowl games of all-time. Tulsa's normally porous defense didn't let Bowling Green have any sort of a shot by getting into the backfield time and again. The Falcon turnovers made it a laugher, while Todd Graham and the Golden Hurricane coaching staff showed just how prepared they were. All the gadgets, the execution, the defensive pressure; it all worked.

Nov 23
Bowling Green 37 ... Toledo 10
Bowling Green took advantage of four turnovers and controlled the game throughout starting with a safety off a stuffed run followed up by an 11-yard Freddie Barnes touchdown catch. A four-yard Jeremiah Kelley touchdown grab late in the second quarter would give the Falcons all the points they'd need, and a 52-yard Kelley score put them comfortably ahead. Anthony Turner closed out a 21-point Falcon run with a  20-yard dash late in the fourth. Toledo's Nick Moore caught 11 passes for 141 yards with a 37-yard touchdown catch on the first drive of the second half.
Player of the game: Bowling Green QB Tyler Sheehan completed 20 of 34 passes for 225 yards and three touchdowns, and ran ten times for 43 yards.
Stat Leaders: Bowling Green - Passing: Tyler Sheehan, 20-34, 225 yds, 3 TD
Rushing: Anthony Turner, 19-96, 1 TD. Receiving: Freddie Barnes, 5-66, 1 TD
Toledo - Passing: Clint Cochran, 15-29, 202 yds, 1 TD, 3 INT
Rushing:
Jalen Parmele, 19-82 TD. Receiving: Nick Moore, 11-141, 1 TD

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... And now the Falcons are bowling. With seven win, they had a shot, but now they'll get an extra game after stomping Toledo for the eighth win of the year to close out a sliding year with a strong November winning four straight games. The emergence of the running game to help out Tyler Sheehan and the passing attack has proved to change things around while the defense stepped up over the past few weeks. The defense did a fantastic job against a high-powered Rocket attack.

Nov 17
Bowling Green 31 ... Buffalo 17
Tyler Sheehan threw for two touchdown passes, connecting with Freddie Barnes on a swing pass for a 44-yard score, and working with Chris Wright from 83 yards away for a 24-10 halftime lead. And then Sheehan got into the act from the other way with a 25-yard touchdown catch from Anthony Turner for a 21-point lead, but Buffalo would fight back with a 17-yards Ernest Jackson scoring grab and getting down to the Falcon one on a later drive. but QB Drew Willy tripped on third down and threw a pick on fourth. The Bulls wouldn't get any closer.
Player of the game: Bowling Green WR Freddie Barnes caught ten passes or 113 yards and a score
Stat Leaders: Bowling Green - Passing: Tyler Sheehan, 20-29, 248 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Anthony Turner, 22-97, 1 TD. Receiving: Freddie Barnes, 10-113, 1 TD
Buffalo - Passing: Drew Willy, 19-32, 210 yds, 1 TD
Rushing:
James Starks, 21-137, 1 TD. Receiving: Naaman Roosevelt, 6-148

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... The Falcons might not be a machine, and the defense might be giving up yards, but it came through when it had to against Buffalo and Tyler Sheehan and Freddie Barnes helped the offense get up enough to withstand UB's push. Now they're almost assured of a bowl bid, but a win over Toledo would cement it. It's gong to be a shootout, but this is one of the few MAC teams equipped to keep up the pace with the high-powered Rockets.

Nov 9
Bowling Green 39 ... Eastern Michigan 32
Tyler Sheehan snuck it in from a yard out with just under four minutes to play to give Bowling Green the lead, and Eastern Michigan failed to respond with its final drive halted on a fourth down incompletion. Eastern Michigan got 155 yards and a five-yard touchdown run from Pierre Walker, along with two touchdown passes and an eight-yard scoring run from Andy Schmitt. The Falcons always had a response, getting a fumble recovery for a score early in the third quarter and two Anthony Turner touchdown runs. It was a nearly dead-even game with BGSU outgaining EMU 419 yards to 403.
Player of the game: Bowling Green QB Tyler Sheehan completed 20 of 32 passes for 230 yards and a touchdown with an interception, and ran ten times for 65 yards and a score.
Stat Leaders: Eastern Michigan - Passing: Andy Schmitt, 12-18, 134 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Pierre Walker, 31-155, 1 TD. Receiving: Ken Bohnet, 3-23, 1 TD
Bowling Green - Passing: Tyler Sheehan, 20-32, 230 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing:
Tyler Sheehan, 10-65, 1 TD. Receiving: Anthony Turner, 6-53

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
It might not have been a rough road atmosphere at Eastern Michigan, but Bowling Green was able to overcome a shaky first half to settle down in the second offensively. The defense couldn't hold up against the run, which could be a big problem in the final two games against Buffalo and Toledo, but Tyler Sheehan and the offense was able to come through when it had to. Getting more out of the running backs will be a must over the final two weeks as the team needs to be able to keep up in shootouts to potentially get to 8-4. That would ensure a bowl slot.

Nov. 2
Bowling Green 44 ... Akron 20
Bowling Green forced four turnovers, with P.J. Mahone picking off two passes, and rolled up 500 yards of total offense. Akron hit two first half field goals, but the Falcons rolled with Tyler Sheehan throwing a 23-yard touchdown pass to Marques Parks and a 15-yarder to Jermiah Kelly, and Mahone returning an interception for a score on the way to a 41-6 lead. The Zips finally got into the end zone in the fourth quarter on a 42-yard Jabari Arthur catch.
Player of the game: Bowling Green DB P.J. Mahone made ten tackles, picked off two passes, and returned one for a score
Stat Leaders: Akron - Passing: Carlton Jackson, 14-31, 192 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Carlton Jackson, 24-133. Receiving: Jabari Arthur, 6-93, 1 TD
Bowling Green - Passing: Tyler Sheehan, 25-35, 268 yds, 2 TD
Rushing:
Anthony Turner, 13-104, 1 TD. Receiving: Freddie Barnes, 8-79

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... With 216 rushing yards, 301 receiving yards, and taking advantage of the Akron mistakes, Bowling Green won with ease making what was supposed to be a close game a laugher. The defense had problems handling QB Carlton Jackson running the ball, but they jumped on his passes and kept the Zip offense under wraps all game long. Offensively, as long as Anthony Turner and Chris Bullock are running well, the attack will roll. With Eastern Michigan, Buffalo and Toledo to play, it's possible the Falcons can go on a nice run to close out the year.

Oct. 27
Ohio 38 ... Bowling Green 27
Kalvin McRae ran for 200 yards and scored from three, one and nine yards out in the first half for a 21-10 lead, but Bowling Green came back with a 12-yard Anthony Turner touchdown run to pull within one. And then the Bobcat defense took over with a 58-yard Kris Luchsinger interception return for a score. Dan Macon took a pass 43 yards to a touchdown to pull the Falcons within eight, but a turnover led to a 27-yard Bobcat field goal in the final minute to finally end the threat.
Player of the game: Ohio RB Kalvin McRae ran 42 times for 200 yards and three touchdowns, and caught three passes for 17 yards
Stat Leaders: Ohio - Passing: Theo Scott, 12-17, 166 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Kalvin McRae, 42-200, 3 TD. Receiving: Kalvin McRae, 3-17
Bowling Green - Passing: Tyler Sheehan, 19-41, 249 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing:
Willie Geter, 14-90. Receiving: Freddie Barnes, 8-89. 1 TD

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
Bowling Green almost never had the ball in the loss to Ohio. Between the running of Kalvin McRae, and the four turnovers, the Falcons only had the ball for 24:37. While the offense made the most of the chances, its mistakes were too much to overcome. The once promising season now takes on a sense of urgency. The Falcons have to win three of their final four games to think about a bowl bid.

Oct. 20
Bowling Green 31 ... Kent State 20
Willie Geter ran for 203 yards and a four-yard touchdown, but it was the passing game that helped Bowling Green pull away with Tyler Sheehan hitting Anthony Turner with a 31-yard touchdown pass and Corey Partridge from 24 yards out for a 28-13 lead. The Golden Flashed tried to rally with a 32-yard Rashad Tukes catch to pull within eight, but Sinisa Vrvilo ended it with a 49-yard field goal. The two teams combined for 18 penalties.
Player of the game: Bowling Green RB Willie Geter ran 22 times for 203 yards and a touchdown, and caught four passes for 51 yards
Stat Leaders: Bowling Green - Passing: Tyler Sheehan, 14-25, 184 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Willie Geter, 22-203, 1 TD. Receiving: Corey Partridge, 4-61, 1 TD
Kent State - Passing: Julian Edelman, 8-14, 128 yds, 1 TD
Rushing:
Eugene Jarvis, 33-168. Receiving: Rashad Tukes, 3-78, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... The Falcons have tried to deemphasize Tyler Sheehan and the passing game in the search for more balance, and it got it against Kent State with a wonderful day from Willie Geter running the ball. He might not turn out to be any sort of a workhorse, but now there can be some tinkering with the offense down the back-stretch. The East is right there for the taking, but Miami has to lose and BGSU has to be consistent. The Falcons should be favored in every game the rest of the way.

Oct. 13
Miami University 47 ... Bowling Green 14
Miami got first quarter touchdown runs from Austin Sykes and Eugene Harris, got a blocked punt for a safety, and a one-yard Jamel Miller scoring run on the way to a 23-0 first half lead before Bowling Green finally got on the board with a nine-yard Dan Macon touchdown run. MU answered two plays later with a 73-yard Eugene Harris touchdown catch to spark a run of 24 points in the blow out. The RedHawks outrushed the Falcons 262 yards to 25.
Player of the game: Miami University RB Austin Sykes ran 17 times for 124 yards and two touchdowns, and caught two passes for 23 yards.
Stat Leaders: Miami - Passing: Daniel Raudabaugh, 16-24, 237 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Austin Sykes, 17-124, 2 TD. Receiving: Jamal Rogers, 3-23
Bowling Green - Passing: Tyler Sheehan, 16-27, 140 yds
Rushing:
Anthony Turner, 6-33 . Receiving: Willie Geter, 5-51

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... What happened to the vaunted passing game? Tyler Sheehan went from being the MAC's top new passing threat to struggling with a five-interception day against Boston College, and a 140-yard day against Miami. The Falcons didn't move the ball, couldn't get the RedHawk offense off the field, and got blown out. The run defense had better figure something out in a hurry, or the date with Kent State will be ugly.

Oct. 6
Boston College 55 ... Bowling Green 24
Jamie Silva came up with three of Bowling Green's six interceptions, Matt Ryan threw four touchdown passes, and Andre Callender scored from 51-15, and four yards out as BC won in a rout. The Falcons scored first on a 40-yard field goal, and then the Eagles dominated, with Silva returning an interception 65 yards for a score and Nick Larkin picking of a pass for a seven-yard touchdown as part of a 38 point first half. In the third quarter, Ryan connected with Justin Jarvis for a 71-yard touchdown, and with Brandon Robinson for a 14-yard score, on the way to a 52-10 lead before the Falcons got back on the board with a 32-yard Freddie Barnes touchdown catch. BC only outgained the Falcons 471 yards to 465.
Player of the game: Boston College QB Matt Ryan completed 24 of 32 passes for 312 yards and four touchdowns.
Stat Leaders: Bowling Green - Passing: Tyler Sheehan, 27-43, 275 yds, 1 TD, 5 INTs
Rushing: Chris Bullock, 7-27. Receiving: Corey Partridge, 12-100
Boston College  - Passing: Matt Ryan, 24-32, 312 yds, 4 TDs
Rushing:
Andre Callender, 15-74, 1 TD. Receiving: Andre Callender, 5-84, 2 TDs

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Boston College is among the best teams in America, so getting blown out isn't that huge a deal in the overall picture. The big concern was all the mistakes, from the six interceptions, to the 12 penalties for 92 yards. The offense moved the ball relatively well, but that was mostly after BC had the game won. To win on the road at Miami University and Kent State, the passing game has to continue to bomb, but Tyler Sheehan can't press as much and needs to be more careful.

Sept. 29
Bowling Green 41 ... Western Kentucky 21
Bowling Green got up 17-0 at halftime helped by a one-yard Tyler Sheehan touchdown run and a five-yard Freddie Barnes scoring grab, and then pulled away on the opening drive of the second half with a three-yard Corey Partridge scoring grab. WKU finished with 311 rushing yards, but never came close with the Falcons going up 41-7 before allowing a few garbage time scores. The two teams combined for 20 penalties.
Player of the game: Bowling Green QB Tyler Sheehan finished 31-of-42 for 270 yards and three touchdowns, adding eight yards and another score on five carries.
Stat Leaders: Western Kentucky - Passing: K.J. Black, 14-23, 102 yds, 1 TD, 4 INTs
Rushing: Tyrell Hayden, 18-121, 1 TD. Receiving: Curtis Hamilton, 5-32
Bowling Green - Passing: Tyler Sheehan, 31-42, 270 yds, 3 TDs
Rushing:
Chris Bullock, 11-56. Receiving: Corey Partridge, 9-80, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Tyler Sheehan has already established himself as one of the MAC's most dangerous players, and now he'll need to be even better over the next three weeks as the Falcons go on the road to face BC, Miami University, and Kent State. The run defense had way too many issues with Western Kentucky, and could have a nightmare of a time with the Eagle offensive line next week.

Sept. 22
Bowling Green 48 ... Temple 35
Bowling Green's Tyler Sheehan threw three first half touchdown passes, with two to Freddie Barnes, while Temple got two Adam DiMichele touchdown passes and a one-yard scoring run with five seconds to play in a wild 21-21 first half. And then it was all Falcons, as the defense got scores off two fumble recoveries, Sinisa Vrvilo hit two field goals, and Sheehan threw his fourth touchdown pass of the day as part of a 27 point run that put the game away. Temple got two late DiMichele touchdown passes to make it closer than it actually was.
Player of the game: Bowling Green QB Tyler Sheehan completed 30 of 47 passes for 351 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions, and ran seven times for 38 yards.
Stat Leaders: Bowling Green - Passing: Tyler Sheehan, 30-47, 351 yds, 4 TD, 2 INT
Rushing:
Tyler Sheehan, 7-38. Receiving: Corey Partridge, 7-71
Temple- Passing: Adam DiMichele, 27-41, 299 yds, 4 TD
Rushing:
Jason Harper, 24-88. Receiving: Bruce Francis, 8-92, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... It's all about Tyler Sheehan and a high-octane passing game that's going to give the rest of the MAC fits all season long. The running game never got going against Temple, with the tailbacks an afterthought. It was a shootout early on, and then the momentum dictated Sheehan keep passing. While there were plenty of mistakes, and the defense struggles way too often, being bailed out by three fumbles, this was still a nice stepping-stone to kick off MAC play. The Falcons don't play another conference game until mid-October.

Sept. 8
Michigan State 28 ... Bowling Green 17
Bowling Green gave a big push with Tyler Sheehan throwing a 23-yard touchdown pass to Tyrone Pronty and running for a six-yard score in the second quarter, but Michigan State owned the second half with two Brian Hoyer touchdown passes and a five-yard Jehuu Caulcrick scoring run. MSU's Javon Ringer started out the scoring with a four-yard dash, but the Falcons answered with 14-straight points. The Spartans came up with seven sacks of Sheehan.
Player of the game: Michigan State DE Jonal Saint-Dic had four tackles, three sacks and forced a pair of fumbles.
Stat Leaders: Bowling Green - Passing: Tyler Sheehan, 32-50, 295 yds, 1 TD, 2 INTs
Rushing: Willie Geter, 3-31. Receiving: Fred Barnes, 9-80
Michigan State - Passing: Brian Hoyer, 17-29, 250 yds, 2 TDs, 2 INTs
Rushing: Javon Ringer, 22-83, 1 TD. Receiving: Devin Thomas, 4-156, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... The Falcons have to quickly figure out how to hold up against the run in the second half. Minnesota ran well in the second half, and started getting into the backfield on defense, and almost pulled off the comeback. Michigan State ran well in the second half, got to QB Tyler Sheehan, and pulled away. The offense is all Sheehan at the moment, and he'll win plenty of games, he needs time and he the O line has to be more consistent in the second half.

Sept. 1
Bowling Green 32 ... Minnesota 31 OT
Tyler Sheehan connected with Freddie Barnes for a two-point conversion following a nine-yard touchdown pass to Marques Parks in overtime to give Bowling Green the upset win. The Falcons jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead as Sheehan threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Eric Ransom and caught a 24-yard trick play pass from Corey Partridge. Minnesota came roaring back in the second half with two Amir Pinnix touchdowns and a 13-yard scoring grab from Ernie Wheelwright, and then took the lead on a 33-yard Jason Giannini field goal with just over two minutes to play. The Falcons went 63 yards in 12 plays to set up a Sinisa Vrvilo 35-yard field goal with three seconds left to force overtime. Pinnix ran for a 23-yard score for the Gophers, and then the Falcons responded with a nine-yard Marques Parks touchdown leading to the game-winning conversion.
Player of the game ... Bowling Green QB Tyler Sheehan completed 34 of 51 passes for 388 yards and two touchdowns and caught a pass for a 24-yard touchdown
Stat Leaders: Bowling Green - Passing: Tyler Sheehan, 34-51, 388 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Chris Bullock, 9-47  Receiving: Eric Ransom, 7-96, 1 TD
Minnesota - Passing: Adam Weber, 15-31, 188 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT
Rushing:
Amir Pinnix, 28-168 yds, 2 TD   Receiving: Ernie Wheelwright, 4-50, 1 TD

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Bowling Green has found its quarterback for the next three years. Tyler Sheehan had played extremely well in off-season practices, and then he came out and ripped apart Minnesota with a brilliant performance that should cement him as the star to revolve the program around. The defense did its part, at least in the first half, with John Haneline coming through with a great 15 tackle game. If the Falcons can somehow get by Michigan State next week, this could become a truly special year.

Sept. 1 – at Minnesota
Offense:
New offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar and his spread offense might seem like a radical departure for the Gophers, but the pieces are there, for the most part, for the thing to work right away with small, athletic linemen, quick running backs, and big receivers. The one thing missing is a steady quarterback who can hit the open receiver on a regular basis, meaning the Tony Mortensen vs. Adam Weber battle will go on until fall. Basically, the offense will undergo a change to achieve the same rushing results with a less effective passing game.
Defense: What the Gophers lack in talent they'll try to make up for in intensity and experience. For good and bad, ten starters return along with loads of experienced reserves to give hope for a big jump in overall production after finishing 113th in the nation in defense. However, there was a method to the old coaching staff's madness as the D allowed yards, but went for the big play forcing 32 turnovers. The new regime will be far more aggressive and take far more chances; they can do that with a veteran group like this. The linebacking corps will be the strength, while Willie VanDeSteeg and the line should get into the backfield more often. Can the Gophers shut down a power running attack or a high-octane passing game? No and no, but it'll be better in all phases.


Sept. 8 – at Michigan State
Offense: In keeping with the overall belief system of the new coaching staff, the offense will try to become more physical and should play to the strength, which will be running the ball. The line is big, and now has to start hitting to open things up for the speedy duo of Javon Ringer and A.J. Jimmerson and the pounding Jehuu Caulcrick. All eyes will be on Brian Hoyer, who might not be Drew Stanton talent-wise, but should be a more consistent quarterback as long as the receiving corps, which loses the top three targets, becomes productive right away.
Defense: The aggressive, attacking approach didn't work under the old regime, and now the new coaching staff will want to play it a bit closer to the vest to start, and then will start to make big plays as everyone figures out their roles. There won't be too many bells and whistles in the basic 4-3, but some chances will need to be taken, and head coach Mark Dantonio is great at adjusting and forcing teams out of their gameplans, after not doing much to generate any pressure in the backfield last year. A pass rusher has to emerge, but the overall potential is there to be better with Otis Wiley and Nehemiah Warrick good safeties to build around, while the linebackers should be one of the team's biggest strengths. The line is the key after a few awful years of doing a lot of nothing.

Sept. 22 - Temple
Offense: There was a little bit of improvement; the offense averaged 10.92 points per game after averaging 9.73 in 2005. There's plenty of experience and a major infusion of talent at running back and receiver, but can any of them play? The attack will rely on several true freshmen all over the place while praying for a major, major improvement on the offensive line. The quarterback situation is solid with Adam DiMichele and Vaughn Charlton each good enough to start after seeing plenty of time last season. Whatever happens, the offense will average more than a nation's worst 215.67 yards per game.
Defense: The good: The D improved giving up nine fewer yards and four fewer points per game than in 2005. The bad: The Owls were 117th in the nation in total defense and 118th in scoring D. The 2008 version should be tremendous once all the freshmen and sophomores are crusty veterans, but for now, there's good competition at almost every spot with no sure-thing starter. The defensive line should be far better with an instant infusion of talent, while the back seven has potential, especially at linebacker, to make a big jump in production. It would be nice if a true shut-down corner could quickly emerge with the hope that JUCO transfer Tommie Williams will be that guy. Don't expect miracles, but the overall numbers should improve.


Sept. 29 – Western Kentucky

Oct. 6 – at Boston College
Offense: It's Matt Ryan's offense and everyone is just playing in it. The new coaching staff will install a new zone blocking scheme, putting a premium on quick, flashy runners, but the line might not be suited for the system. The receiving corps is decent, but nothing special, and the tight ends are promising. It all comes down to Ryan, who'll have more control in the attack, able to change things up a bit on the fly, and he should be tremendous now that he's healthy. He was the best quarterback in the ACC last year, and that was with a broken foot.
Defense: Is it time to start giving the BC defense a little love? It allowed 17 points per game in 2004, 15.92 in 2005, and 15.69 last year. With defensive coordinator Frank Spaziani back, it should be even better with nine starters returning including the entire front seven if linebacker Brian Toal is back from a shoulder problem. The monster tackles, B.J. Raji and Ron Brace, will gum up everything inside, while the deep linebacking corps will quietly be among the ACC's best. DeJuan Tribble is one of the league's best shutdown corners, and Jamie Silva is a top free safety. The problem? There isn't a reliable second corner, and strong safety is a question mark.

Oct. 13 – at Miami University
Offense: It's all about the offensive line. The front five was hit by injuries last season and the whole machine broke down with no running game, an obscene amount of sacks, and not enough of a passing game. Now the line is experienced with decent depth, the running backs should be solid as long as Brandon Murphy is over his ankle problems, and Mike Kokal has the potential to be the MAC's most effective all-around quarterback. And then there's the receiving corps. With Ryne Robinson gone, there's no proven number one receiver, but there's a boatload of speed on the outside in Dustin Woods and Armand Robinson. While they'll make big plays, someone has to become a go-to guy.
Defense: There were huge concerns about the defense going into last season with only two returning starters, but the lumps taken against the run and against way too many mediocre offenses should pay off in a return to the days when MU had one of the MAC's best defenses. While just six starters are back, there are more than enough promising options at several positions to create good overall competition and have more depth than there's been in a long time. The pass rush needs to be better with Craig Mester needing to get back to form to help out junior end Joe Coniglio. Joey Hudson and Clayton Mullins form one of the MAC's best 1-2 linebacking punches, while the secondary should be one of the team's strengths led by speedy corner Jerrid Gaines and veteran safety Robbie Wilson.


Oct. 20 – at Kent State
Offense:
The Kent State offense was all pass, no run in 2005 (and it was really no run). It was all run, little pass in 2006. Now the ground game should be even stronger with the 1-2 rushing punch of Eugene Jarvis and Greg Keys along with the mobility of QB Julian Edelman. Four starters return to a line that needs to be better in pass protection, and a go-to receiver has to emerge with the loss of WR Najah Pruden. In the end, it'll all come down to Edelman. If he's playing well, the offense will shine.
Defense:
Somewhat quietly, Kent State had one of the MAC's best defenses last season getting into the backfield, and to the quarterback, on a regular basis, while getting a phenomenal statistical season out of the secondary. CB Jack Williams and SS Fritz Jacques are good defenders to build around, but the rest of the secondary is a question mark. The front seven, in KSU's 3-4, should be excellent led by tackle Colin Ferrell and the Buck, the hybrid of end and linebacker, Kevin Hogan, should be one of the MAC's top pass rushing terrors. The D won't be as good as last year, but it won't be bad.

Oct. 27 - Ohio
Offense: You know the fastball is coming, but can you hit it? Ohio will try to add more passing to the attack, but this is a running team that'll pound away with Kalvin McRae behind a good, though not as good as last year, offensive line. The attack has to be more versatile after being stuck in the mud against the good teams on the schedule, and that's where new starting quarterback Brad Bower comes in. He'll be looking to add more passing to the mix, but he doesn't have a great receiving corps to work with. The tight ends will get more involved this year to try to keep things moving.
Defense: The defense made a night-and-day improvement from 2005, and should be among the best in the MAC again if replacements can be found for the three star linebackers and All-MAC corner T.J. Wright. The defensive line is big and active, and it needs to be stronger against the run. Getting into the backfield won't be a problem with All-MAC end Jameson Hartke leading the way. The safeties will be fantastic leading a deep and talented group. It's all up to the linebackers, who have talent, but are relatively inexperienced and haven't stayed healthy.


Nov. 2 - Akron
Offense: The offense was a major disappointment last season with almost no production from a veteran offensive line and too much of a reliance on the passing game. Now the running game, with a good 1-2 punch of Dennis Kennedy and Andre Walker, should provide more pop, but the the line, with four new starters, has to be far better. The quarterback situation will be unsettled going into the fall with Carlton Jackson, Chris Jaquemain, and Sean Hakes all in the race. The receiving corps is fast and experienced, and now everyone has to play beyond their talent level to help out whoever the new passer will be.
Defense: The 3-3-5 defense of Jim Fleming was excellent last year, and it should be even better with eight starters returning and the right pieces in place. To run this type of defense, you need big linemen. Check. The Zips have 300-pounders in a rotation at tackle and big size at the other two spots. You need playmaking linebackers. Check. Three starters return with excellent depth to rotate in. You also need a secondary to hold it's own. Not a problem. Four starters return in the back five led by veteran corners Reggie Corner and Davanzo Tate.

Nov. 9 – at Eastern Michigan
Offense: EMU's defense hasn't been productive in years, but if there's not a major improvement this year with ten starters returning along with a slew of experienced depth, it might never happen. Junior Daniel Holtzclaw is a superstar middle linebacker who'll be the one the rest of the defense revolves around. Tackles Jason Jones and Josh Hunt can't stop the run, but they're regulars in opposing backfields. As long as the corners and ends start to produce, and the experience and quickness at all spots makes up for a general lack of size, things should be better after finishing 116th in the nation against run and 98th in total defense.
Defense: New offensive coordinator Scott Ispohording has his work cut out for him despite getting seven starters back along with a ton of experienced depth. The supposed wide-open offense was awful with no ground game from the running backs and even less of a passing attack with quarterbacks Andy Schmitt and Tyler Jones basically running, running and running some more. The line should be better with three returning starters and a decent interior, but the offense won't go anywhere unless Pierre Walker, or possible Jones, turns into a reliable tailback. The loss of top receiver Eric Deslauriers means the passing game will be spread out among several options with the hope for former quarterback Dontayo Gage to turn into a true number one.


Nov. 17 – at Buffalo
Offense: The overall offensive production improved from ten points per game to 18.33. Now the attack has to be more consistent and explosive, and that all comes from the offensive line. It's a big, experienced line that has to give the promising skill players a chance to do their thing. UB can win with QB Drew Willy and RB James Starks, but they haven't had any chance to show what they can do with no time or room to work. Naaman Roosevelt has to be used somewhere. If he's not the starting quarterback, he'll provide a boost to a mediocre receiving corps.
Defense: Last year was a big transition year with several young players getting time as the scheme was switched from a 4-2-5 to a 4-3. Size is sacrificed for speed almost everyone, but there are big backups at tackle. Now the production against the run has to be better. Getting into the backfield won't be an issue as UB could be among the MAC's leaders in sacks and tackles for loss led by senior Trevor Scott on the end. The secondary has the potential to be far better if safeties Kareem Byrom and Mike Newton, along with rising corner Kendric Hawkins, can spend all their time trying to make plays against the pass instead of always having to deal with the run.


Nov. 24 - Toledo
Offense: Injuries hit the offensive line last year and killed the production and the consistency. With John Greco back at left tackle and a slew of big redshirt freshmen, the front five should be better and could be fantastic is David Perkins and Jerry Aguwa return to their pre-injury form. The spread offense should improve with quarterback Aaron Opelt looking better and Clint Cochran healthy again after a knee problem. The receiving corps is big, fast, and so far, disappointing. That could quickly change considering all the interesting targets. Jalen Parmele and DaJuane Collins form a good 1-2 rushing punch that needs to stay healthy with the off-the-field issues of Richard Davis and Scooter McDougle.
Defense: Defensive coordinator Tim Rose has done a good job over the last two years using a flexible 3-4 alignment that occasionally morphs into a 4-2-5. Now it has to be better after getting bombed on by everyone over the first half of last year and only produced once the schedule lightened up. Seven starters return along with plenty of depth, especially up front, and now there have to be more big plays and more pressure into the backfield. Greg Hay and Keith Forestal form a strong 1-2 linebacking punch, while the safety tandem of Tyrrell Herbert and Barry Church is among the best in the MAC.


 

 

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