We have arrived at the end of the MAC’s regular season, and we have an East Division matchup between two teams that are playing for pride at this point in 2020. The RedHawks (2-1) lost their chance to defend their MAC championship due to cancellations by Ohio and Kent State, while Bowling Green (0-5) is undergoing a massive rebuild with their closest loss this season coming by 25 points.
Where: Doyt Perry Stadium in Bowling Green, Ohio
When: December 12 (Saturday) at 12 p.m. EST
Weather: Cold and wet with a 70% chance of rain and a high of 54 degrees, low of 34 degrees
Odds: Miami is a 24-point favorite with the over/under at 49.5, per OddsShark.com
Miami currently leads the series 45-24-5.
- Largest Margin of Victory: Miami pummeled BG 54-6 in 1950
- Longest Win Streak: The RedHawks held an 11-game winning streak from 1943-1955
- Current Streak: Miami has won the last two meetings, with the most recent being a 44-3 thrashing of the Falcons in 2019
- Points per Game: 28.7
- Points Allowed per Game: 26.7
- Yards Gained per Game: 365.3
- Yards Allowed per Game: 393.7
The Miami RedHawks have an opportunity to play a football game.
That statement has not been a frequent occurrence in 2020 due to multiple cancellations stripping them of the opportunity to defend their MAC title. However, Miami has battled injuries all season long and get the opportunity to end the regular season with a win, something that the team was not able to do last season.
Brett Gabbert is coming off of his best game of his young career after torching Akron to the tune of 308 yards and four touchdowns in his return as a starter. The running game has been a struggle this season without the services of Jaylon Bester and Tyre Shelton, as no one on the team has 100 rushing yards on the season. The one constant on offense has been Jack Sorenson, who leads the team in receptions (18), yards (354), and TDs (4).
Miami’s defense has been able to create some disruption as three player have recorded multiple sacks this season, with Kameron Butler leading the way with 2.5. Despite some individual success, the RedHawks have struggles with situational football as they have allowed 46% of third downs to be converted and have gave up six touchdowns on seven red zone trips.
- Points per Game: 11.4
- Points Allowed per Game: 45
- Yards Gained per Game: 326.4
- Yards Allowed per Game: 475.8
To say that BG struggles on offense is an understatement, as Matt McDonald has thrown six interceptions on the year and has completed only 43.9% of his passes. However, the Falcons have shown some explosiveness in the running game with Andrew Clair and Terion Stewart (both have 260+ rushing yards in 2020), and the passing game has had its moments with Quintin Morris (team leader with 20 catches for 248 yards).
Defensively, Bowling Green has more bright spots as the unit has 34 TFLs and seven sacks on the season, with Roland Walder registering 5.5 and two respectively. The defense has had some problems though as it has allowed 51% of third downs to be converted and has allowed 19 red zone touchdowns in 25 trips.
It won’t be an easy conclusion to the season for the Falcons, who are near the bottom in every possible statistical category in the league—if not nationally. Simply put, they’re in a position where they have to be perfect to be able to stay close in a game, and thus far, that hasn’t worked out. It’s hard to be optimistic about this squad, but they’ve shown flashes of being competitive throughout the season, and with no other games on the schedule, they could well bring out some tricks.
2020 has not gone the way either of these teams hoped it would go, but this game represents an opportunity to play another game and get some momentum built for next season. Miami is certainly the favorite as far as talent is concerned, but motivation should be a big worry for Chuck Martin’s squad as they know that BG is rebuilding and the attention to detail may not be there for the RedHawks.
For BG to make this game competitive, they need to stop the run and create a lot of pressure for Gabbert. Offensively, they need to take care of the ball and not make mental mistakes against a defense that is known for being opportunistic. It’s a tall order, but Bowling Green has enough players to make life hard for Miami for a little bit.
Miami will win, but it won’t cover. The offense is missing too much to really take advantage of BG, and the Falcons will play with a lot of energy early. Eventually, the talent of the RedHawk defense will take over and make splash plays, as the Red and White win soundly in a 31-10 contest.