The last time the Minutemen played the Falcons, Bowling Green rolled to a 28-7 victory. Bowling Green was a defensive power house last year, but times have changed. Meanwhile, the Minutemen have found an offense this year. Let's see how each unit stacks up.
Falcons Offense vs. Minutemen Defense
Matt Johnson was supposed to be the shoe-in for player of the year in the MAC this year. Unfortunately an injury ended that dream. In his place is James Knapke, who has been more than serviceable. In three starts, Knapke has maintained a 60% completion rate, despite facing Wisconsin. The UMass secondary is much closer to the quality of the Virginia Military Institute than Wisconsin, which Knapke completed over 70% of his passes. The UMass defense does like to gamble for turnovers, though, and Knapke has thrown an interception in all three starts.
Running the ball for the Falcons will mainly be Travis Greene, who has averaged over 5 yards per carry, despite, once again, facing a Wisconsin defense that held him to 1.6 yards per carry. The Minutemen's defense is much closer to the other opponents the Falcons have faced that Wisconsin's, and Greene should have himself a day.
Minutemen Offense vs. Falcons Defense
Blake Frohnapfel leads the charge for the Minutemen, and he should have himself a day. Against bad defenses that don't generate pressure, Frohnapfel can get into a rhythm and do some damage, as he showed against Colorado and Vanderbilt. The Falcons rate 121 out of 128 schools in pass yards given up per attempt, at 8.9 yards per attempt. Expect Tajae Sharpe's name to be called often.
On the rushing side, UMass rates 120th in college football in yards per attempt. Now, with Jamal Wilson injured indefinitely, freshman J.T. Blyden tries to bring some hope to a struggling squad. If they can't get it done against Bowling Green, there's no hope left for the rush game. The Falcons rate 128th, otherwise known as last, in yards per carry allowed, at 7.4. This will settle the debate of what happens when an extremely movable object meets an extremely stoppable force.
I tend not to talk about special teams, but its worth mentioning that UMass has one of the best returners in the MAC in Trey Dudley-Giles. They also can't kick a field goal to save their lives. Meanwhile Tyler Tate of the Falcons has missed two of eight field goals, including one within 30 yards. Luckily for both these teams there should be touchdowns. So many touchdowns. I didn't bother naming a defensive player in any of the above paragraphs because there won't be defense to be had. Both teams are terrible at creating stops. Welcome to MACtion folks. Bowling Green 42, UMass 35.
Who will win against the spread?
This poll is closed
Bowling Green -5.5