2014 Week 3 Preview: Bowling Green Falcons

 Matt Johnson leads the BGSU Falcons offense that looks for a second straight MAC Title

Matt Johnson leads the BGSU Falcons offense that looks for a second straight MAC Title

Written By Sammy Jacobs (@sammyj108)

After a bye-week only one game into the season, the Hoosiers face the Bowling Green Falcons for the second time in two years, this time in Bowling Green, Ohio. 

Week 3: Bowling Green Falcons

Time & Date: 12pm EST, Saturday, Sept. 13th

Venue: Perry Stadium (Bowling Green,OH)

TV: ESPNU/ESPNNEWS

Falcons at a Glance:

Head Coach: Dino Babers (First Year)

Last Season: 10-4 (7-1)

Falcons Returning Leaders:

            Passing: Matt Johnson (out for the year) (64.2%, 3,467 Yds, 25 TD, 7 INT)

            Rushing: Travis Greene (1,594 Yds, 5.7 Avg, 11 TD)

            Receiving: Ronnie Moore (547 Yds, 19.5 Avg, 7 TD)

Preseason Magazine Predictions:

Phil Steele: 1st in the MAC East

Lindy’s: 1st in the MAC East

Athlon’s: 1st in the MAC East

Sporting News: 1st in the MAC East

Why the Falcon could win:

 Travis Greene, along with Matt Johnson, is part of a backfield that is ranked among the best in the nation for 2014.

Travis Greene, along with Matt Johnson, is part of a backfield that is ranked among the best in the nation for 2014.

Bowling Green had a run for the ages last year with 10 wins and knocking off BCS buster Northern Illinois in the MAC Championship Game and ending the season with a win over ACC bound Pittsburgh in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.  The Falcons return a ton of firepower on the offensive side of the ball in quarterback Matt Johnson (Now out for the year) and running back Travis Greene.  However, they do lose their top two receivers in Shaun Joplin and Alex Bayer, but they do return Ronnie Moore (7 TDs).  This offense could give the Hoosiers trouble and playing at home should give them a bit of an advantage.  The defense, ranked 5th in scoring in 2013, returns their top two tacklers in DJ Lynch and Ryland Ward, but they do lose a major playmaker in BooBoo Gates.

 Nate Sudfeld and the Hoosiers started slow against the Falcons in 2013, but ultimately won 42-10 

Nate Sudfeld and the Hoosiers started slow against the Falcons in 2013, but ultimately won 42-10 

Why They Won’t Pull it Off:

Indiana played arguably their best overall game of 2013 against the Falcons last year.  The Hoosier offense put up 42 points, while the defense did not allow an offensive touchdown.  Bowling Green comes into 2014 with a new head coach in Dino Barbers and extremely high expectations.  The Hoosiers will also have an extra week to work on a scheme to stop the two-headed monster of Johnson and Greene in the BGSU backfield.  The Hoosiers have more weapons and better personnel at almost every position, and Tevin Coleman ran for 129 yards while Nate Sudfeld tossed the ball for 337 yards in last year’s 42-10 drubbing.

Final Analysis:

This is a “can’t” lose game for the Hoosiers if they want to get to that elusive bowl game and keep fan support rolling in Bloomington.  While it may be ridiculous that the Hoosiers are traveling to Bowling Green, that cannot be used an excuse anymore.  It is time to just shut up and play football and win.  The Falcons’ offense could give the Hoosiers problems, but IU has revamped that side of the ball and returns a lot of experience.  Indiana’s offense should be set up for a big day as the Falcons lose a lot of talent on defense, despite returning their top two tacklers.  This game should help set the tone to the season, a win and the Hoosiers could be headed to a 4-0 non-conference slate, a loss all but ends the season before it starts.