#83 Bowling Green Football 2013 Preview

Bowling Green Falcons

Overall Rank: #83
#4 Mid-American

Bowling Green Team Page#83 Bowling Green Football 2013 PreviewBuy Bowling Green Football Tickets

Bowling Green has continued to improve over the last few seasons, culminating with a trip to the Military Bowl last season. This time around the Falcons will look to win a bowl game. The Mid-American Conference should be pretty tough in 2013, but Bowling Green has the defensive talent to win a conference title. Even if they do stumble a bit, this is a team that should win six games and at least be bowl eligible.

2012 Record: (8-5, 6-2)
2012 Bowl: Military Bowl vs. San Jose State (L 20-29)
Coach: Dave Clawson (22-28 at Bowling Green, 80-77 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Warren Ruggiero
Defensive Coordinator: Mike Elko

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Jamel Martin, RB, 205 yards
Passing: Matt Schilz, QB, 2,585 yards
Receiving: Chris Gallon, WR, 720 yards
Tackles: Gabe Martin, LB, 70
Sacks: Gabe Martin, LB, 4.5
Interceptions: Jude Adjei-Barimah, S, 4

Other Key Returnees: WR Ryan Burbrink, OT Fahn Cooper, G Dominic Flewellyn, S Booboo Gates, WR Shaun Joplin, C Chief Kekuewa, G Alex Huettel, CB Darrell Hunter, LB D.J. Lynch, DT Ted Ouellet, LB Paul Swan, DE Bryan Thomas, CB Cameron Truss, DE Charlie Walker, S Ryland Ward

Key Losses: DE Chris Jones, RB John Pettigrew, OT Jordon Roussos, RB Anthon Samuel, LB Dwayne Woods

The Falcons defense ranked first in the MAC in total defense and scoring defense. They also finished the year in the top ten nationally in both of those categories. In a conference known for its potent offense, that is quite impressive. Only two starters are gone, but replacing Chris Jones will not be easy. Jones easily led the team with 12.5 sacks and 19.0 tackles-for-loss in 2012. He singlehandedly changed the opposition’s offensive game plan. Can ends Charlie Walker and Bryan Thomas do that? The interior of the line should be in great shape with Ted Ouellet and Jairus Campbell, who only played in three games due to an injury. Gabe Martin is the best playmaker among the linebackers, although Paul Swan and D.J. Lynch have plenty of experience. The secondary is absolutely loaded with talent and experience. Booboo Gates and Cameron Truss are all-conference talents and Ryland Ward, Darrell Hunter, Aaron Foster and Jude Adjei-Barimah are just a few of the returning corners and safeties with starting experience.

The Bowling Green offense was good enough for most of the 2012 season. They could move the chains on the ground and let the defense win the game. The offense may find it more difficult to get the ground game moving without Anthon Samuel and John Pettigrew. Samuel rushed for 998 yards and 11 scores, while Pettigrew added 562 yards and six touchdowns. That leaves Jamel Martin, Andre Givens, Travis Greene and Jordan Hopgood. Martin was well on his way to a decent sophomore season, rushing for 205 yards on 39 attempts, before going down with an injury. Greene, a former wide receiver, had a solid spring, so there are options. Quarterback Matt Schilz is a senior, although he was quite inconsistent in 2012. The hope is Schilz can at least be a better game manager and keep the interceptions down from a dozen. He threw for 2,585 yards and 14 touchdowns and that would be perfectly fine if the interceptions were not such a problem. The receivers are a good group that will help out Schilz. Chris Gallon is a big 6-4 wideout who caught 54 passes for 720 yards and six touchdowns. With Shaun Joplin and Ryan Burbrink also returning, Schilz can take over the offense…which is exactly what he will have to do if the rushing attack cannot replace the departed players.

The Bottom Line:
Bowling Green has pretty high expectations, as they should. However, it will not be easy for the defense to play as well as they did last year, especially without Jones. And it remains to be seen if the team can find a running back who can be productive and remain healthy. The offense does have the line going for it. Four starters are returning, led by guard Dominic Flewellyn, to a unit that has been getting better and better. If the line can help establish a run game and give Schilz time to find his receivers, Bowling Green will not need the defense to rank in the top ten in the nation to win the MAC.

Projected Bowl: None

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 153.38 (63rd in nation, 8th in conference)
Passing Offense: 212.08 (82, 9)
Total Offense: 365.46 (91, 11)
Scoring Offense: 22.92 (92, 10)
Rushing Defense: 106.54 (12, 1)
Pass Defense: 190.08 (13, 1)
Total Defense: 296.62 (6, 1)
Scoring Defense: 16.77 (10, 1)
Turnover Margin: 0.31 (43, 5)
Sacks: 2.92 (11, 1)
Sacks Allowed: 1.15 (17, 2)


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