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Bowling Green faces the winless FCS Rams this Saturday. Let's get to know this little opponent who has trouble scoring touchdowns.
The Rhode Island Rams are a very good basketball team. Lamar Odom played there. Their state is also not an island, but their capital is Providence, the setting for the former NBC drama "Providence."
But maybe it's time, as a Bowling Green fan, we start to learn more about the Rams football team, currently 0-3 and participating in the CAA. It'll cheer you up, because right now BGSU's quarterbacking issues were well-documented, to the point that their collective QB rating is fourth worst in the FBS behind Eastern freaking Michigan. Matt Schilz has been underwhelming to say the least and Matt Johnson might get some more playing time against URI, perhaps as a live competition for the Akron game. I'm speculating all of this ... maybe Schilz will play the entirety of the URI game.
But we know that Lil' Rhody don't last long in games. In their three matches against James Madison, Villanova and Monmouth, they're averaging a 34-7 loss. They once held a lead (against Villanova) for 7:40 and that's it. In fact, the Providence Journal's game story of their 32-7 loss to JMU says it all. The lead paragraph was about the parachutist halftime show, the second paragraph about the football game.
At first glance URI is worse offensively than they are defensively, but jeez, where do you start? They have just 23 points in three games, and 17 of those points have come in the first quarter. Their offense, at 196 yards per game, is second worst in FCS (120th out of 121) while the defense has been allowing 484 yards per contest (ranked 110th). Looking at all their net rankings of stats ... oh my lord. I don't want to play this team. I want to hold their hand, pat their head and tell them it's OK, you guys will improve as a football team, although probably not this week.
If you want to know the major players: their quarterback is junior Robert Bentsen, who has seen action in 12 games, nine with any serious playing time. This year Bentsen has thrown two touchdowns and two picks with a decent completion percentage of 60 percent. Bentsen is also their leading rusher at ... 70 net yards on 27 carries. So he's a dual-threat in a very specific interpretation of the term. Ayo Isijola is their primary running back, averaging 2.38 yards per carry. They are flanked by three main receivers: Brandon Johnson-Farrell, Billy Morgan and Ramadan Abdullah. Their offensive line seems to be doing an OK job of pass blocking, allowing less than two sacks a game.
URI's coach is Joe Trainer, in his fourth season, now 9-27 in his career. They peaked with a 5-6 campaign in 2010.
That's really all I got. For BG, after being shut out by Virginia Tech and having yet to score 30 points in a game, Rhody has ANGER GAME written all over it. I don't know if it's of the 70-point variety, but I am legitimately thinking about 50 points if they get their act together. It's also possible they only win this by something stupid like 30-10, in which case the Falcons might really be in trouble heading into conference play.
We know Anthon Samuel is a skilled running back. It may be wise to not play him very much in this game, given his injury concerns last week, and get him fresh for MAC play. Matt Schilz, this is your football team. Show 'em your true potential as a three-year starter.