2010 Bowling Green Preview
Bowling Green RB Willie Geter
Bowling Green RB Willie Geter
Posted Jun 5, 2010

CollegeFootballNews.com 2010 Preview - Bowling Green Falcons

Bowling Green Falcons

Preview 2010

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By Pete Fiutak

Head coach: Dave Clawson
2nd year at BGSU: 7-6
11th year overall: 65-55 Returning Lettermen: 41
Off. 17, Def. 22, ST 2
Lettermen Lost: 19
Ten Best Bowling Green Players
1. RB Willie Geter, Sr.
2. LB Dwayne Woods, Soph.
3. S Keith Morgan, Jr.
4. WR Tyrone Pronty, Sr.
5. C Ben Bojicic, Jr.
6. OT Tyler Donohue, Sr.
7. CB Adrien Spencer, Jr.
8. OT Blaec Walker, Soph.
9. DT Kevin Alvarado, Jr.
10. DT Chris Jones, Soph.
2010 Schedule

Sept. 4 at Troy
Sept. 11 at Tulsa
Sept. 18 Marshall
Sept. 25 at Michigan
Oct. 2 Buffalo
Oct. 9 at Ohio
Oct. 16 at Temple
Oct. 23 Kent State
Oct. 30 at Central Michigan
Nov. 10 Miami Univ.
Nov. 17 at Toledo
Nov. 26 Western Michigan

With winning seasons in seven of the last nine years, and just one losing campaign during the run, Bowling Green has been one of the steadiest, most productive programs in the MAC over the last decade. This year will be a test to see just how fast the team can reload.

Dave Clawson's first year at the helm wasn't steady and it was certainly rocky early on, but it was a heck of a lot of fun. Freddie Barnes set the NCAA record for the most catches in a season (155), Tyler Sheehan threw for 4,051 yards with 27 touchdowns and just seven picks, and the offense scored 30 points or more in eight of the last nine games closing out with a thrilling, but heartbreaking, 43-42 Humanitarian Bowl loss to Idaho. And now the offense is starting from near-scratch.

Clawson benefitted from having a good group of established veterans to work with, starting with Sheehan and Barnes, but now there's a four-way battle for the starting quarterback job with a redshirt freshman, Matt Schilz, likely to get the call. There are a slew of decent receivers trying to pick up the receiving slack, the running backs will have to show they can handle more of the workload, and there will be wholesale changes on defense replacing the entire linebacking corps and three starters in the secondary.

On the plus side, Clawson and his staff recognized right away that some massive changes needed to be made to upgrade the talent. The recruiting classes have been full of athletes to fit a type. The idea has been to be really fast, but smallish, in the linebacking corps, really fast in the secondary, and quick in the backfield. Because of last year's offensive success, and because of Clawson's reputation, getting a slew of good prospects for the passing game hasn't been a problem, and while this season might be a step back considering all the big changes and all the young players needing to step up and produce like veterans.

The pressure is off. The Falcons aren't expected to win the East, and in a rebuilding year, just coming close to a winning season would be a success. The coaching staff is among the best in the MAC, the systems are sound, and the history of rising up and producing is there. Bowling Green is used to winning, and if it comes up with a solid 2010, then look out for 2011.

What to watch for on offense: The quarterback situation. With four options battling for the starting job, it's wide open and it's there for the taking. Matt Schilz is the most talented option, but Kellen Pagel is a great prospect with good size and upside. Caleb Watkins is an X factor who'll get a long look. With all the options so young with upside, the starter might be the face of the program for the next four years.

What to watch for on defense: The new linebackers. Cody Basler, James Schneider, and Jerrett Sanderson combined to make 250 tackles as the top three stoppers last year. While they weren't great, they did what they could for a porous run defense. It might be addition by subtraction as Dwayne Woods, the new starter in the middle is more talented than any of last year's starters, while Eugene Fells and Paul Swan can move on the outside. This is a small, fast corps that should be all over the field.

The team will be far better if … the defense shows up. Abysmal throughout last year against the run, and with no pass rush whatsoever, all the defense had to do was be mediocre and the offense was going to take care of the rest. It didn't happen. However, it wasn't just last year for the defensive woes at Bowling Green, and the offense has to come up big for the team to win year after year after year. November 10, 2001. That 17-0 win over Ohio is the last time the Falcons scored fewer than 21 points and won, and in that time, over the last 63 wins, they have only won eight times when scoring under 30 points.

The schedule: It's too tough to win the MAC East for a team that has so many question marks. It's not enough that the Falcons start out the year playing three of the four non-conference games on the road, with the home date hardly a sure thing against Marshall, they have to go on the road to face defending East champion Ohio before going to deal with the beast of the East, Temple. While missing Northern Illinois and Ball State from the West is a major plus, going on the road to face Central Michigan and Toledo, while hosting Western Michigan, makes things tough. Considering there isn't a true cupcake to fatten up on, coming up with a winning season will take a minor miracle.

Best offensive player: Senior RB Willie Geter. The 5-7, 175-pounder was great when utilized for the ground game, running for 114 yards and three touchdowns against Toledo in the regular season finale and tearing off 96 yards and two scores against Idaho in the bowl loss, but his real worth is as a steady receiver catching 42 passes for 407 yards and a score, and making 89 career grabs. He'll have help in the backfield with the expected emergence of John Pettigrew as more of a factor, so he should be fresher for the 15 times a game he'll get the ball.

Best defensive player: Sophomore LB Dwayne Woods. Call this part speculation and part being the best of the bad lot. There isn't a lot of star power on the defense, but Woods should change all that. One of the team's top recruits last year, the 6-1, 217-pounder is a guided missile getting to the ball and he should be a statistical superstar in the middle. He'll chase down everything that doesn't come his way.

Key player to a successful season: Redshirt freshmen QBs Matt Schilz and Kellen Pagel. The defense almost never came up with a big stop last season, and it's likely to have problems again with just four returning starters. While the running game will help the cause a little bit more, Bowling Green's program is about throwing the ball. Schilz has talent and Pagel is a nice prospect, but it's asking way too much to come close to putting up the season Tyler Sheehan produced last year.

The season will be a success if … the Falcons win six games. The team isn't going to be miserable, but only seven starters are back, the kicking game is hardly a sure thing, and the schedule is sneaky-tough. There can't be any mistakes in home games against Buffalo, Kent State, or Miami University, and there must be a few big upsets on the road. It's not going to be easy.

Key game: Oct. 16 at Temple. The Owls are nasty on both sides of the ball, and this is a must win if the Falcons have any hope of pulling out the East. Oddly enough, the two Eastern division teams have played over the last two seasons, and coming off a date with Ohio, this could end up being the make or break moment for the BGSU season.

2009 Fun Stats:
- Penalties: Opponents 91 for 862 yards – Bowling Green 71 for 641 yards
- Passing yards per game: Bowling Green 316.2 – Opponents 204
- Rushing yards per game: Opponents 194.2 – Bowling Green 86.5

- 2010 Bowling Green Preview | 2010 Bowling Green Offense
- 2010 Bowling Green Defense | 2010 Bowling Green Depth Chart
- Bowling Green Previews  2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006