The Bowling Green Falcons will face off their first B1G opponent of the year, as the Indiana Hoosiers come into town. The Falcons are 1-1 this year under the new Dino Babers coaching staff. The Hoosiers are coming off a bye week after winning their season opener against Indiana State.
Last years matchup was hard to watch for the Falcon faithful. The offense threatened to score on multiple occasions, crossing the Hoosiers 30-yard line eight different times. Out of those eight, only three points were scored! The only field goal came from Tyler Tate at 27-yard line. Tate also missed two other kicks from the the 15 and 29. There were four separate instances when the Orange and Brown failed on fourth down. The seventh fail that day was a interception in the third quarter from the 27-yard line. SO, we learned that the offense just couldn't convert. Adding to that point is that the Clawson system went 8-20 on third down. The offense totaled up 409 yards for 3 points. If the 2014 Falcons want to win, I'd suggest making plays in the clutch.
The defense did everything in that game but keep the Hoosiers out of the end zone. They forced two turnovers and halted Indiana on fourth downs three separate times. IU was able total 601 yards with an impressive 266 rushing yards. Tevin Coleman returns for the Hoosiers this year. He scored twice on 19 carries for 129 yards last year in the 42-10 win over the Falcons.
With two games in the books, Bowling Green doesn't have much of a identity. There opener was a disappointing loss where the defense was torched for 700 yards. The offense came alive late but as we all know, lost Matt Johnson for the year. The second game needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Lets face it, VMI is a low level FCS program who lost their last twenty-eight straight road games.
IU has only played once, after getting the second week off, and also took on an FCS team. They took on in-state menace Indiana State and destroyed them on the ground. Tevin Coleman raked in 247 yards on 23 carries for two touchdowns. D'Angelo Roberts took his 24 carries for 129 yards and a score. SO, lets just say the Hoosiers might be running the ball. Their defense held Indiana State to 30 rushing yards and 140 through the air. I will go ahead and predict Bowling Green will surpass that yardage in the first half.
The X-Factor for Bowling Green may be the special teams play of junior Ryan Burbrink. In week one, it looked like he was on his way to the end zone before tripping in the open field. Burbs got his redemption in week two with a 75-yard return in the first quarter. Indiana didn't have any punts returned when playing Indiana State so it will be a test for them this Saturday.
Based on the first two games, there are a couple sure things we can gather from Bowling Green. The first being that running backs Travis Greene and Fred Coppet will pile up their rushing yards in bulk. Second, the defense will give up a great deal of yards. Lastly, the Dino Babers offense will be the fastest we've seen with Knapke getting more game time reps.
What this game will come down to will be if the Bowling Green defense can contain the Hoosiers running game. The Falcons offense is bound to put up points, but if the defense is depleated early, we may see a similar performance of week one.
One thing to take into consideration: IU hasn't won on the road since October 27, 2012 when they defeated Illinois.
This MAC-B1G battle will be an offensive display come noon on Saturday.