The high-flying Bowling Green Falcons travel to Dix Stadium to take on the Kent State Golden Flashes on Saturday afternoon. The Falcons have the highest scoring offense in MAC play, averaging 49.7 per game. The Flashes are ranked second in the MAC in scoring defense, only giving up 20.7 points per game. So something has to give.
Although it's not "Jane, You Ignorant Slut" from Saturday Night Live's "Point Counter Point" segment, we did have a little fun discussing Saturday afternoon's match-up. Randy (randycarp) takes the Falcons, while Russ (Johnson_ERA4) has the Golden Flashes.
Here we go.
Randy: Here is something I've always wanted to ask a Kent State football fan...how can the Golden Flashes put so many guys in the NFL and still suck on a nearly every year basis? The other night I saw Julian Edelman, Roosevelt Nix, James Harrison, Brian Winters, and Dri Archer all playing prominent roles for their NFL teams. Hell, you've even got a former Kent State basketball player (Antonio Gates) in the league that will probably be a hall of famer one day. You guys couldn't win something with those guys when they were in college?
Russ: To start off, it has been amazing to see so many former Flashes do so well in the league. Of those players you mentioned, how many of them are playing the same position they played in college? To be fair, Winters, Archer, and Nix all did win something in college (just not a bowl game or a conference title) they helped Kent get to only the second bowl game in the history of the entire program! Probably isn't even in the equation when it comes to Gates, he's a first ballot hall of famer, unless his recent suspension looks over the rest of his career.
Bowling Green played quite the out of conference schedule, beating two big ten teams, and losing a shootout to Memphis earlier in the year. Is this Falcons team prepared for the defense it will see on Saturday? How are they prepared to deal with one of the nation's top corners in Demetrius Monday?
Randy: To be honest, I don't think Coach Babers and this offense overly worries about any defense they go against. I know that sounds arrogant, and they do of course break down film and develop an offensive game plan to attack each opponent. But, they feel they can move the ball and score against any defense. If your pass defense plays back to avoid the deep balls, they'll just take the short stuff and march right down the field. If you try and stop the short stuff, they have the guys to beat you deep. If you drop your linebackers back into pass coverage, they've got the running game to make you pay for that. This is a special offense. They've put up points on the likes of Tennessee, Maryland, Purdue, Memphis...and we heard last week how Akron had one of the better defenses in the MAC and you saw how that turned out. So, I think they'll be ready for what the Flashes throw at them. Mr. Monday, meet Mr. Lewis!
Speaking of offense, tell us about this new Greek guy the Flashes have starting at quarterback now. Could he be the next great possession receiver for the New England Patriots?
Russ: Bollas is a 6'3 Redshirt Freshman who made his first start last week. He had played sparingly in earlier games, and is from a Public school power in Northeast Ohio, Aurora HS. Bollas looked very, very impressive last week, going 20 for 25, something no QB has been able to do since 2010 and it will be interesting to see how he can do against this Falcons defense that has seen its share of points given up this season, being bailed out at times by the offense. Having only one game of tape on Bollas has to be hard for the BG staff, and I see that as a major advantage of what could possibly turn the game in the Flashes' way.
What is your prediction(s) for the game?
Randy: I think the Falcons will have too much offense for Kent State in this one. If the Flashes defense is as good as advertised, it might be in the neighborhood of 34-21. If Matt Johnson and the BG offense gets rolling, it could be more like 50-21. I think the Flashes will score on the Falcons, because I am not sold on the BG defense. They are playing better but I will be interested to see how they play against Western Michigan and Toledo in a couple of weeks.
If BG can beat Kent State and Ohio next week at home, they will have run the table against east division opponents and just about wrapped up the division again. The next question is how they can match-up against the west division teams.
Do you think the Paul Haynes has a reason to worry about his job after the season is over or is the administration committed to him long term? Also, do you have a prediction?
Russ: I feel like Haynes has no reason to worry about his job for the long term, as long as there are no more meltdowns. If he is able to continue to show signs of improvement, and can hopefully get more fans in the seats on Saturdays (weekday MACtion is coming) then I see no reason why he wouldn't be safe. Hazell left here after one really good year, and his results have not been the best in West Lafayette. The administration however has proposed a 60 million dollar facility upgrade for football, symbolizing the faith they have in him. As the season goes on, I look for more and younger people getting on the field, because the freshman the Golden Flashes have are too talented to sit on the bench.
I think that this Defense is going to score a touchdown, and that the BG offense is going to struggle to throw the ball, forcing the falcons to rely more heavily on the run then they would have liked. Bollas has another big game, and we start to really envision him as the future of this Golden Flashes offense. My final score prediction for this game is 28-24 Kent State, picking up a HUGE win as we head into #MidWeekMACtion.