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2023 MAC Football Week 5 Game Preview: Bowling Green Falcons at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Reeling from an embarrassing loss on homecoming, Bowling Green’s schedule does not get any easier as they head to Atlanta to play the Yellow Jackets.

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Wake Forest Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Bowling Green is ready to move on from their embarrassing 38-7 homecoming loss to the Ohio Bobcats. Ohio played pretty well, but it was more of a poor day on offense for the Falcons.

Before moving on to the rest of their MAC league schedule, Bowling Green will hope to turn the tide in their final non-conference game of the season in Atlanta against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

Game notes

  • Time and date: Saturday, September 30th at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Network: ACC Network (A valid cable subscription is required for viewing.)
  • Location: Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Gambling considerations: Georgia Tech is a 22-point favorite, with an over/under of 51.5, per DraftKings.
  • All-time series: Georgia Tech leads 1-0
  • Last Meeting: September 29th, 2018 (Georgia Tech 63 - Bowling Green 17)

What Happened Last Time?

Falcon fans have probably forgotten all about it by now, and really, you couldn’t blame them. Georgia Tech rushed for 367 yards and eight touchdowns, and notched a pick-six as well in a dominant 63-17 victory over BGSU in their last meeting five years ago. Bowling Green quarterback Jarret Doege threw for 325 yards, threw two interceptions, threw one TD pass, and rushed for a TD. All in all, the Falcons could not handle the triple option.

Bowling Green Falcons outlook

NCAA Football: Bowling Green at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Goodness gracious, where do we begin with this Falcon offense?

Quarterback play was not great once again. Connor Bazelak started after missing the Michigan game. It felt and looked like week one all over again. Bazelak was responsible for half of the offensive turnovers with two interceptions and finished 16-of-31 for 109 passing yards. While it certainly was better than week one, starting conference play off like that is not a good look.

Let’s look at a positive on offense from last week. Terion Stewart rushed for 107 yards on 8.9 yards per attempt. He also came up with the lone touchdown, racking up 50 yards by himself. Any time you have a running back that can go for 100+ yards, there’s always something to work with there. Outside of Stewart, rushing struggled with a net gain of -5. Ta’Ron Keith and Jamal Johnson each fumbled the ball to bring the Falcons turnover total to four on the day.

The Falcons averaged 207 yards of offense through their last two games. Now, we can attribute that to them playing two very good teams in Michigan and Ohio. The offense needs to be cleaner going down the road, because this average won’t cut it against the MAC teams also at the bottom of the table.

The defense had to keep playing many minutes on the field as the offense couldn’t get a drive going until late. The Falcons gave up 328 yards against the Bobcats, which was only 12 yards more than they gave up at Michigan. BG also made six tackles for loss, with Cashius Howell getting the lone sack.

The Falcons need to be better on discipline, considering there were numerous ejections against the Bobcats. Not only that, BG has accumulated 29 penalties for 284 yards. That’s something they need to clean up in order to keep moving forward.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets outlook

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Wake Forest Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

There’s one big change with Georgia Tech now, as opposed to five years ago: no more triple option.

Head coach Brent Key has started his first full year after being elevated from interim status. Key’s performance in the wake of Geoff Collins’ firing was enough to shed the tag, as the Yellow Jackets went 4-4 last season, with wins over two ranked teams in Pitt (#24) and North Carolina (#13) in conference play. Georgia Tech (2-2, 1-1 ACC) looks way better in the first four games of this season than the one before. They rank 17th in FBS with an average of 480 yards per game.

QB Haynes King, a Texas A&M transfer, is 18th in FBS with 1,132 passing yards, with 11 passing touchdowns and two interceptions. While King is decent throwing the ball, he is not afraid to take the ball and run either. Against Wake Forest last week, King rushed six times for 53 yards. That’s something else the Falcons will need to watch out for.

Don’t think Georgia Tech doesn’t run just because they’re no longer an option offense, either, because they still do it pretty well. They average 192 rushing yards per game, and they’ve accumulated 768 rushing yards overall so far. Jamal Haynes leads all Georgia Tech rushers with 331 yards on the year, which is tied for 31st in the FBS. Georgia Tech may want to enhance their focus on running the ball, since BG has a history of struggling to stop the run.

The Yellow Jackets have four receivers with over 100 yards on the season. Leading receiver Eric Singleton, Jr. has 250 yards. Malik Rutherford can surpass 200 yards next week, as he is sitting at 190. The Falcon secondary will need to focused with the four receivers.

The Georgia Tech defense will look to have a big performance on Saturday afternoon. The Yellow Jackets gives up an average of 425.3 yards per game. Despite the high average, they have five interceptions and three fumble recoveries. Defensive lineman Kyle Kennard leads the team with 23 tackles and 4 sacks.