Monday, June 7, 2010

Pre-Season Preview: Bowling Green Falcons

2009 Record: 7-6 (6-2 in MAC)
2009 Bowl: Humanitarian Bowl (lost to Idaho 43-42)
Final 2009 AP Ranking: N/A
Head Coach: Dave Clawson (7-6 in one year at Bowling Green, 65-55 All-Time)
Non-Conference Schedule: at Troy (9/4),at Tulsa, Marshall (9/18), at Michigan (9/25)

2009 Offensive Statistics
Scoring: 28.5 points per game (5th in MAC)
Rushing Yards/Game: 86 (12th in MAC, 114th in Nation)
Passing Yards/Game: 316 (1st in MAC, 6th in Nation)
Total Yards/Game: 402 (4th in MAC) 

2009 Defensive Statistics
Scoring: 27.5 points per game (7th in MAC)
Rushing Yards/Game: 194 (12th in MAC, 103rd in Nation)
Passing Yards/Game: 204 (5th in MAC)
Total Yards/Game: 398 (10th in MAC)

2009 Misc Stats
Turnover Margin: 0.31 per game (4th in MAC)
Penalties: 49 yards per game (6th in MAC)

Returning Starters
Offense: 4
Defense: 4
Kicker/Punter: 1

Phil Steele All-MAC Pre-Season 
C Ben Bojicic (Third Team)
RB Willie Geter (Fourth Team)
DT Kevin Alvarado (Fourth Team)

Top Returning Statistical Leaders
Passing: QB Aaron Pankratz, Soph (5 of 13 for 52 yds)
Rushing: RB Willie Geter, Sr (176 carries for 705 yds, 9 TD, 4.0 ypc, 54 ypg)
Receiving: WR Adrian Hodges, Jr (46 rec, 417 yds, 2 TD, 3.5 rec/game)
Tackles: LB Alex Wujciak, Sr (131)
Sacks: DB Keith Morgan, Jr (268)
Interceptions: DB Adrien Spencer, Soph (1); DB Keith Morgan, Jr (1)

2010 Pre-Season Rankings
Lindy's: Not Ranked
Mark Schlabach: Not Ranked
Rivals: Not Ranked
Scout: Not Ranked
Sporting News: #66
Sports Illustrated: Not Ranked
Athlon Sports: #111

2010 Pre-Season MAC East Prediction:
Athlon Sports: #6
Phil Steele: #5 (tied with Miami, Oh and Akron)

Former Richmond Head Coach and Tennessee Offensive Coordinator Dave Clawson took over the regins for the Falcons last year. They went 1-4 in their first 5 games dropping games to Missouri, Boise State, Ohio and Marshall. The Falcons then finished the year winning 6 of 7 games before dropping their bowl game. Clawson lost a lot of key players from last years team so it will be interesting to see how he regroups in his second year. We got the Falcon Blog to help us find out what is in store for Bowling Green in 2010.

What are the major strengths and biggest weaknesses of the team?

The Falcons are a very young team this year. Most of the offensive playmakers graduated and the defense also lost its strongest players, particularly at safety. The defensive line returns players who got a lot of snaps and would look to be a strong point, and I think we are strong at LB. While Freddie Barnes is gone, there is a lot of depth at WR.

The biggest issue facing the Falcons this year is obviously at QB. Tyler Sheehan took every meaningful snap last year. There are four players competing for the job, including a sophomore, two redshirt freshmen and a true freshmen. The ability of these QBs to be productive will be a key test.

Looking at the schedule who will be the first major test and why?

I believe the first major test will be Troy, the opening game of the season. Troy is a good program that BG managed to beat last year, but this game will be in Alabama, and with a young team opening the season on the road, it will be a very difficult test.

What team on the schedule do you fear the most?

The cop out answer is Michigan at the Big House, but in terms of games that matter, I worry about the game at Temple. We haven't played them in a few years. They have a very proficient running game, and we have a very un-proficent running defense in recent years. I think this will be a very tough challenge.

Who is the best player on your team that nobody talks about?

LB Eugene "Champ" Fells probably does not get enough notice. Also, on the D-line, Angelo Magnone is a very solid player who has seen a lot of snaps who is below the radar.

Who is the best offensive player on the team?

I'm going to say RB Willie Geter. He has never posted big numbers, partly because I don't think we have run blocked very effectively. If the running game comes around, and it will need to, he has the opportunity to have a good season.

Who is the most impactful defensive player on the team?

Champ Fells. See above.

What player(s) needs to step up this year in order for the team to reach it's full capability?

There are really three answers here, but I think of them more as positions.

First, the running game needs to step up. That will be seen as Willie Geter, but involves his blockers and other RBs (John Pettigrew, notably) too.

Second, the D-line needs to step up. They carry the experience on the defense, and we have really suffered up front in recent years. If the defense is going to keep us in games, it will have to start with them.

Third, the QB position needs to develop by the MAC season and find someone who can manage our offense.

Who is the top offensive newcomer that can make an impact this year?

Kamer Jordan is a JUCO WR who I believe can be very productive in our offense. Shaun Joplin (WR) also has huge playmaking upside.

Who is the top defensive newcomer that can make an impact this year?

This one is a little tougher. I'm going to say D-lineman Jarius Campbell or D-back Jerry Gates, a true freshmen who could see time in our backfield, which returns only one starter.

Gut feeling on the teams final record at the end of the regular season and what makes this a successful season in your eyes?

I haven't sat down and evaluated each game on the schedule, but on paper, as the season starts, .500 would be a successful season for this group.

Thanks to the Falcon Blog for providing us with some insight on Bowling Green. You can follow them on twitter @orangeandbrown.

Next Up: Ball State Cardinals

2010 Previews
Big 12- Kansas State Wildcats, Missouri Tigers, Texas Tech Red Raiders
Big East- Cincinnati Bearcats, Pittsburgh Panthers, West Virginia Mountaineers
Big Ten- Michigan WolverinesMinnesota Golden Gophers, Northwestern Wildcats, Purdue Boilermakers
Conference USA- Houston CougarsTulane Green Wave, UTEP Miners
MAC- Buffalo Bulls, Temple Owls
Mountain West- Utah Utes
Pac-10- Oregon Ducks, USC Trojans, Washington Huskies
Sun Belt- Troy Trojans
WAC- New Mexico State Aggies


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