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2022 MAC Football Week 2 Game Preview: Eastern Kentucky Colonels vs. Bowling Green Falcons

BGSU opens up Doyt Perry Stadium for the first time in 2022, playing host to an unafraid EKU team who nearly EMU last week.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 03 Bowling Green at UCLA Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A couple of squads looking to get win one of the season will take the field at Doyt Perry Stadium when the Bowling Green Falcons (0-1) take on the Eastern Kentucky Colonels (0-1) on Saturday.

The Falcons return home looking to bounce back after a tough loss against a quality UCLA squad, 45-17. BGSU got off a good start, leading 10-7 after the first quarter. The California heat and quality opponent was ultimately too much as the Bruins 21-0 run in the second half sealed the deal.

The Colonels are taking on its second MAC opponent in as many weeks after a spirited effort against Eastern Michigan Eagles in Week 1 fell short, 42-34. The Colonels hung tough with EMU, going into half down only by three, 13-10.

EMU took control in the third and early fourth, opening up a 35-17 lead. To EKU’s credit, they showed no quit, scoring 17 points in the last eight minutes to make the score respectable.


  • Time and Date: Saturday, September 10, 2022, at 4:00 p.m. ET
  • Network: ESPN3 (A valid subscription is required for viewing)
  • Radio/Streaming: Both teams can be heard via the Varsity Network App.
  • Location: Doyt L. Perry Stadium, Bowling Green, Ohio
  • Weather: Partly Cloudy, 83 degrees, Wind S 12 MPH, 20% chance of rain per
  • Spread/Total: ESPN’s ‘Matchup Predictor’ favoring Bowling Green to win, 78% chance.
  • All-time series: EKU leads the series 3-2, winning three games in the 1940s. BGSU has won the last two including the most recent meeting in 2018, 42-35.

Meet the 2022 Falcons

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 05 Bowling Green at Akron Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Head coach Scot Loeffler returns for year four of a major rebuild. BGSU went through some tough times in Loeffler’s first few years in 2019-2020, finishing with a 3-14 record while working through growing pains with a young roster.

In 2021, BGSU showed an improvement at times, like in their major upset win over Minnesota, 14-10. (Though, they ultimately finished 4-8 to end the season.)

Heading into this game in 2022, the Falcons are looking to establish more week-to-week consistency to take the program to the next level. Finding that consistency begins with a defense that is the most experienced and accomplished unit, featuring potential all-MAC talent at all levels.

The defensive line has a shot to be one of the better in the MAC, led by 2021 third-team All-MAC defensive end Karl Brooks. The most experienced Falcon on defense with 36 career appearances, Brooks is a load for opponents pass protectors to handle with 17.5 career sacks.

2021 first-team All-MAC LB Darren Anders returns after 124 tackles last season. Anders is joined by third-team All-MAC S Jordan Anderson who was a menace last year with 57 tackles, three interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries and five pass break-ups.

Good news for the Falcons is the return of cornerback Davon Ferguson, who was a key player in the early 2021 defensive success and who was clearly missed at the end of the season, sitting out the last four games with injury.

The offense begins with captain QB Matt McDonald who looks to make his third season in the program his best at BGSU.

NCAA Football: Bowling Green at UCLA
QB Matt McDonald vs UCLA last week
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After the five-game COVID season in 2020, McDonald got his first full year of experience in 2021, showing signs of improvement in the second half of the season. McDonald is willing to do whatever it takes to win, as evidenced by his toughness in grinding a 21-10 win in the season finale versus Ohio. In that contest, McDonald shook off several legal shots to keep drives alive and his squad on track for the win.

McDonald’s main targets return in the passing game, including his go-to guy from last year, Tyrone Broden. At six-foot-seven, Broden is a big target, logging 36 catches for about 600 yards and five scores.

Third-team All-MAC TE Christian Sims returns too after a great 2021 campaign, catching 41 passes for 418 yards.

If the Falcons are going to improve on 2021, McDonald, Broden, and Sims are going to need to shoulder the load.

Meet the 2022 Colonels

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 12 Eastern Kentucky at West Virginia Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Eastern Kentucky comes into this contest highly thought of in the FCS, ranked 27th in the preseason poll.

As EMU found out last week, the Colonels won’t be an easy win.

Last week against Eastern Michigan, EKU ran a spread offense with some QB runs like zone read. The offense runs through dual-threat QB Parker McKinney, who is an experienced signal caller with 31 career games. Last week he led the Colonels in rushing and passing, gashing the Eagles for 400 combined yards and four total scores (three passing, one rushing.)

McKinney will look to his main options in the passing game in TE Dakota Allen and WR Jaden Smith to produce yards. Word is Allen is one of the best receiving TEs in his conference and his nine grabs for 118 yards and two scores last week versus the Eagles is more evidence that the speculation is true.

Smith was significantly involved last year and last week, where he was a factor with five grabs for 50 yards and a score against EMU.

The name to know on defense is LB Matthew Jackson, Phil Steele’s conference player of the year for 2021. Jackson is an experienced player with a nose for the ball, appearing in 41 games with over 200 career stops.


This is an important game for BGSU to work on the things it needs to accomplish for its program to take the next step in its development. Although EKU has some pretty good players on offense in QB McKinney and TE Allen, BGSU should have the best unit on the field with a defense that has multiple 2021 all-MAC players.

BGSU’s defense should set the tone and provide the offense lead by McDonald, Sims, and Broden with some short fields for easier scores.

BGSU 34, EKU 17