Well at least week one was fun right?! Alright so the clock is ticking closer and closer to football, which means that we may finally be able to wash that bad taste out of our mouth. You know the one I'm talking about, and I am not talking about my girlfriends cooking either.
It has been a long week if your a Hoosier fan, and even longer if you have to write about them, trust me!
However, if Indiana can take care of business on Saturday against Bowling Green all should be forgiven, right? OK, maybe not, but the season might get back on track, and at this point that is all we can hope for. While I am sure you all have been consuming ungodly amounts of football after a summer of pigskin sobriety, I doubt very much of that has involved Bowling Green. Don't fear, that's why we're here!
Find out everything that you need to know about the Hoosiers' week three opponent, the Bowling Green Falcons right here.
This Years Record: 2-0 (1-0 MAC)
Head Coach: Dave Clawson, 22-26 (.458), 4th year
Last Years Record: 8-5, Lost Military Bowl vs. San Jose State
Bowls Since 2000: 5 Appearances (2-3 Record)
Mascot: Freddie and Frieda Falcon
Colors: Orange and Brown
Fun Fact: Hosted ESPN College GameDay back in 2003 beating NIU 34-18.
1. The Falcons are flying high.
Sure Bowling Green is a MAC team, but they sure have not played like one through their first two weeks. The Falcons have started the season with back-to-back victories over 2012 bowl teams. In week one they demolished a Tulsa squad 34-7. Holding a usually potent Golden Hurricane offense to just seven fourth quarter points and just 273 yards of total offense. While not in quite as impressive fashion they took care of business in week two heading to Kent State and scoring a victory. It was close at halftime but the Falcons scored 17 unanswered points in the second half to pull away. Sure these are not major conference opponents, however they are both teams who have shown to be good of late. While it might not sound overly impressive on paper, the fact of the matter is there are plenty of BCS level teams who have failed early on this year against much lesser opponents.
2. An explosive and balanced offense…
While neither their passing nor running offenses rank in the top-30 nationally, they both are in the top fifty. Overall the Falcons are gaining 486 yards per game ear
ly in the season. 260 of them are coming through the air with the other 226 on the ground. They are also scoring a laudable 37.5 points per game. While they pale in comparison to the numbers that Indiana has put up early in the season, they are quite impressive for a MAC level team, oh and they didn’t get to play Indiana State in week one either.
3. Lead by an impressive young quarterback.
The Bowling Green offense starts with sophomore signal caller Matt Johnson. He has seemingly stolen the starting job from returning three-year starter Matt Schilz. Johnson came in during the third drive of the Falcons’ opener and hasn’t looked back. He has completed over 62% of his passes for 508 yards. More impressively he has averaged 10.58 yards per attempt, which would be good enough for second best in the Big Ten. Johnson has also shown the ability to extend plays and use his feet to get him out of trouble. Through two weeks he is Bowling Greens second leading rusher with 67 yards, including a 19-yard scamper.
4. Youth is running wild for Bowling Green.
The Falcons had planned to have a graduate of Miami’s Monsignor Pace High School as their starting running back, and they do. However, he is not the player everyone expected. Two-year starter Anthon Samuel left the team before spring practice kicked off. Instead he was replaced by his former Pace teammate Travis Greene. This wasn’t just a bump up on the depth chart, but a change in position as well as Greene had been playing receiver for Bowling Green. The sophomore has not disappointed. In his first two games as a starter he has rushed for 233 yards with an average of 5.1 yards per carry. While Greene has only reached the end zone once, much of that has to do with another underclassmen running back, William Houston. A legacy player at Ohio State, Houston enrolled as a preferred walk-on in Columbus back in March according to his 247 Sports profile. He apparently decided to move on and take his scholarship offer from Bowling Green instead. During his recruitment ESPN had him listed as the number two fullback in the nation, and he has not disappointed. The true freshman has scored four touchdowns in his first two colligate games.
5. Their defense isn’t too shabby either.
While I have spent much of today introducing you to the Bowling Green offense, there is another side to the ball as well. Fact of the matter is that it might be just as impressive if not better than the offense. Through the first two games the Falcons are allowing just 14.5 points per game. That is a number good enough to place them 29th nationally. This was not against FCS schools either, as I said, the two teams they have played both went to bowl games just last season. This wasn’t just a two-week aberration either, as the Falcons played arguably the best “mid-major” defense in the nation over the final two months last season.
Much of the love defensively heads towards senior Booboo Gates. Between his unique name, and his explosive playmaking ability it is easy to see why this occurs. However this is far from a one-man show. The Falcons are an efficient defense and leverage opponents into passing downs. In such situations they minimize big plays as they provide a good pass rush and their tackling is sound throughout the defense. This is a veteran unit loaded with players who have not only logged time but been productive as well. Head coach Dave Clawson and defensive coordinator Mike Elko still use the outdated 4-4 defense terminology, which is predicated on aggressiveness and speed.
While the defense is talented and has depth and options, that might just be an issue in this game. The Hoosiers, as you know, run an incredibly fast offense, making it very difficult to substitute for the defense. Unfortunately for the Falcons, they like to rotate their players a lot. It will be interesting to see how Clawson and Elko handle the pace in regards to their personnel.