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2023 MAC Football Week 6 Game Preview: Bowling Green Falcons at Miami RedHawks

Bowling Green looks to get right in MAC play after stunning win at Georgia Tech, while Miami looks to avenge last year’s loss and stay on top of the East.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 30 Bowling Green at Georgia Tech Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Bowling Green pulled off a stunning victory at Georgia Tech last week, scoring 38 unanswered to win 38-27.

Miami dominated Kent State in their MAC opener 23-3. Miami had 292 yards of offense, but their defense held Kent State to 206 yards.

Both will face off on Saturday for a chance to move up in the MAC East.

Game notes

  • Time and Date: Saturday, October 7th at 3:30 p.m.
  • Location: Yager Stadium in Oxford, Ohio
  • Network: ESPN+ (A valid subscription is required for viewing)
  • Gambling considerations: Miami is a 10-point favorite, with an over/under of 44.5, per DraftKings.
  • All-time series: Miami leads 45-26
  • Last Meeting: October 15th, 2022 (Bowling Green 17 - Miami 13)

What Happened Last Time?

Miami was at Bowling Green, with Aveon Smith was starting in place of an injured Brett Gabbert. Matt McDonald led the Falcons at quarterback. Miami held a 13-7 lead early in the third quarter, but the Falcon offense figured out a way to grind out the win, scoring 10 unanswered points to win 17-13 while the Falcon defense held the Redhawks to 189 total yards. That game began a three-game win streak for the Falcons, which helped propel them into the MAC East runner-up position.

Bowling Green Falcons outlook

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 30 Bowling Green at Georgia Tech Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After going down 14-0, the Falcons rattled off 38 unanswered points to come away with a huge win in Atlanta last week. The Falcons will need an inspired performance in order to stay competitive.

The Falcons average 337.8 yards/game, with 200.2 passing yards per game and 137.6 rush yards per game. The offense has been hit or miss this year, and they’ll need to put together back-to-back weeks of a great performance to keep riding the momentum wave.

Camden Orth started the scoring for the Falcons on a extra strength effort to get into the end zone. Once that happened, Connor Bazelak slowed it down, and found the rhythm he needed. As noted in the latest takeaways piece, the Falcons will go as far as Bazelak can take them. Well, we can rephrase it to how far their quarterbacks can take them since both have been crucial. Bazelak has 762 passing yards, four touchdowns, and five interceptions.

The Falcons have accumulated 688 rushing yards on the year. Why is this important? They are already more than halfway to their 2022 total of 1,283, and they’re just five games in. Terion Stewart is coming off back-to-back 100+ yard rushing performances. He also has four touchdowns on the year. The Falcons also have Ta’Ron Keith as a playmaker with 104 rushing yards and 191 receiving yards.

BG has six receivers with over 100 yards, with the most recent being Finn Hogan. Hogan had a day at Georgia Tech, proving the Falcons have quite a few receivers that can make plays.

The Falcons give up an average of 354.2 yards per game, which is fifth-best in the MAC. They have accumulated 12 sacks and six interceptions. Jalen Huskey and Jordan Oladokun lead the team with 2 interceptions. Cashius Howell leads the defense with 2.5 sacks. BG’s defense has been one of the best parts of their team in recent time, and they’ll need to put up another big performance against an electric Miami offense.

Miami RedHawks outlook

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 30 Miami (Ohio) at Kent State Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After a slow start at Miami [FL], the RedHawks have rattled off four-straight wins, including a stunning overtime win at Cincinnati to claim the Victory Bell for the first time in 16 tries.

The RedHawks average 391.4 yards per game, which is good for second in the MAC.

Brett Gabbert has returned this year after bring out most of last season with an arm injury, and he’s putting up numbers. He’s second in the MAC in passing yards (1,062) and touchdowns (10), while only tossing three interceptions over five games.

Miami has a running game to back up Gabbert this go-round, with the unit rushing for 858 yards on the year. Their leading rusher is South Carolina transfer Rashad Amos, who has 276 rushing yards with two touchdowns. Miami’s running backs have accumulated eight rushing touchdowns so far, good for fourth in the MAC.

The RedHawks have a stud at wide receiver in Southeastern Louisiana transfer Gage Larvadain. He’s caught 18 passes for 438 yards with four touchdowns. His 438 yards are good for 24th in the NCAA. Joe Wilkins, Jr. (226 yards, one TD), Cade McDonald (136 yards, two TDs) and Miles Marshall (102 yards) round out the top yardage receivers.

The defense is highlighted by 13 sacks and 4 interceptions. Linebacker Ty Wise and defensive lineman Caiden Woullard each lead the team with three sacks. Defensive back Michael Dowell leads the team with two interceptions.

Miami is a bit of a bend-not-break unit, giving up an average of 378.8 yards per game through five contests, but only allowing 22.6 points per game. The RedHawks will need to continue to come up huge in those crucial moments to limit a Bowling Green team that is trying to ride the momentum wave.