The Bowling Green Falcons (2-5, 1-2 MAC) travel to Waldo Stadium to take on the Western Michigan Broncos (4-4, 2-2) at Noon ET on Saturday on ESPN 3
Both squads are looking to bounce back after tough week 8 losses.
Bowling Green, riding high after a victory over the Toledo Rockets in Week 7, came away last week with a 38-20 loss to Central Michigan Chippewas. Three Falcon turnovers and a strong Central Michigan rushing attack were key factors in the loss.
Preseason MAC West coaching poll co-favorites Western Michigan lost to Eastern Michigan 34-27. The loss was a critical blow to the Broncos 2019 MAC West title chances. Western Michigan is two games behind Ball State with four games remaining but does play Ball State on Tuesday November 5th. The Broncos are one game behind Central Michigan and have the tiebreaker after beating the Chippewas back on September 28th, 31-15.
Bowling Green put up 20 points in back-to-back weeks for the first time this season and have some emerging offensive players.
QB Grant Loy has played in the last three contests for the Falcons, displaying a dual-threat skill-set, passing for 543 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for 291 yards and three scores.
WIth RB Andrew Clair injured, RB Bryson Denley emerged as a dual-threat in his own right the last three weeks, rushing for 151 yards and catching 11 passes for 159 yards and 2 touchdowns during that period.
Denley is the second leading receiver on the Falcons behind TE Quintin Morris, who leads the team with 32 catches for 402 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Falcon’s are clearly high on Morris’ potential as head coach Scot Loeffler had this to say about Morris at his weekly press conference: ‘The future is so bright for him its ridiculous.’
Western Michigan should be able to move the ball against the Falcons with the tools at its disposal.
The Broncos come into the contest ranked 35th in the FBS (out of 130 teams) in total offense with 448 yards per contest and can move the ball passing or running.
Bowling Green’s defense is 117th in the FBS in rushing defense and figure to be tested against one of the best rushing duo’s in the conference.
Overall, the Broncos are 48th in the FBS with 182 yards per game rushing. The Broncos feature RB LaVante Bellamy, who has rushed for 877 yards and 13 touchdowns this year. Bronco’s RB Sean Taylor has also shined as the backup, rushing for 248 yards, 7.1 yards per carry, and four scores on the season.
The Broncos also have multiple weapons in the passing game.
The passing game starts with QB Jon Wassink, who leads the MAC in passing yards on the season with 2,098.
The Broncos distribute the ball well with five players having at least 15 catches for 270 yards or more.
Like the Falcons, the Broncos also feature a marquee player at TE in Senior Giovanni Ricci, who has 35 receptions for 495 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Both QB’s are looking to eliminate turnovers in the passing game. Falcon’s QB Grant Loy had three interceptions last week versus Central Michigan and the Broncos’ Wassink has thrown at least one interception in each of the last five games.
Western Michigan has alternated wins and losses all year, so, coming off a loss to Eastern Michigan last week, figure to rebound with a win.
Western Michigan is a favorite in this one for good reason as the Broncos feature the 35th-ranked offense in the FBS in terms of yards gained per game while Bowling Green is ranked 122nd in the FBS in yards allowed per game.
The Falcons should be able to score though with some frequency this week with the emerging players they have in Loy, Denley, and Morris against a Broncos defense ranked 110th in the FBS in yards allowed.
Western Michigan 40-27 might be the final here.