The Bowling Green Falcons meet the Ohio Bobcats on Wednesday night at Doyt Perry Stadium in Bowling Green, Ohio. IWeeknight #MACtion has returned, although (amazingly enough) you can leave your sweaters and gloves at home, as high temperatures in Bowling Green on Wednesday are forecast to reach an unseasonably high 75 degrees.
This game represents the last opportunity for an Eastern Division foe to knock off the Falcons, who are on the precipice of winning their third straight division championship. If they beat Ohio, all they'll need is one more win or one more loss from whomever wins this week's Buffalo-Kent State game. BGSU is flying high following their bye week after outscoring Massachusetts, Akron and Kent State 169-48 in their last three games. Over the last seven quarters, they've outscored their foes 100-3, including a 48-0 shutout of Kent State.
That was their first shutout since the last time Ohio came to the Doyt two years ago.
However, this game is also extremely important for the Bobcats. Ohio still has a path to Detroit, if they can beat BGSU on Wednesday. With a win versus the Falcons and two wins in their final three (Kent State, Ball State, at Northern Illinois), Ohio will finish 5-3 in MAC play. BGSU's final three opponents are at Western Michigan, Toledo and at Ball State. If the Falcons fall here, then lose two out of their final three, their MAC record will also be 5-3.
The Bobcats would also need some help from Buffalo, but the scenario is certainly possible, if not likely.
With all that's riding on this game, Matt Daley (BGSU) and Kaleb Carter (Ohio) decided to duel it out in the Talkin' sMACk ring. Ready? Here we go...Kaleb Carter: Alright, Matty Ballgame. The Ohio Bobcats are rested, ready and prepared to de-claw the Falcons. Hope y'all up there on the great gray nothingness are ready for these 'Cats. It's primetime for Falcon stew.
Matt Daley: The Falcons have their talons up, ready to make mincemeat of the Kitties. We and our Heisman Trophy-candidate QB are ready. Matty J's last start against Ohio also came at the Doyt. You remember the score of that game?
Kaleb Carter: New year, new us. I almost drove up to that game but decided to go to Ohio's basketball game against OSU that night. Good decision, right?
Also, it's a good thing that this ISN'T 2013. Doyt schmoyt. Bowling Green will slip up. And now is as good a week as any for the Falcons to let their guard down with WMU coming up. Matty J's Heisman campaign shall come crashing to a stop this week at the hands of what will be a smothering Ohio defense. Because reasons.
Matt Daley: And what are those reasons? Nobody else has been able to stop him. Kent State had a defense in the top 10 nationally and couldn't do it. What makes OU different -- on a night where November weather will be more like late September weather?
Kaleb Carter: Because hell hath no fury like the Ohio Bobcats, Frank Solich-coached teams coming off of a bye-week. I can't find the stat, but Ohio is generally insanely good coming off those bye weeks. This team will be fired up and ready to prove that this isn't another season in which the squad just falls apart. With Ohio in the top quarter percentile in stats like defensive touchdowns, turnover margin, and other such stats, expect some disruption from a motivated D. Ohio will be bowl eligible after this one.
Matt Daley: BGSU is coming off a bye, too. And I appreciate your enthusiasm, I really do, but enthusiasm alone is not going to stop the juggernaut that is #FalconFast. If you play deep to stop Roger Lewis, Johnson will throw short to guys like Dieter and Burbrink. If you drop back extra guys, Travis Greene and Fred Coppet can gash you on the ground. There's really no way to defend the Falcons.
With that said, maybe we're not even focusing on the right thing here. How do you propose that Ohio is going to score? The BGSU defense has gotten a terrible rap (often for very good reasons), but all they've allowed in the last 7 quarters is one measly field goal. That's it. Can Ohio move the ball and score against a clearly improving defense?
Kaleb Carter: * cries because I realize just how screwed we are *
Matt Daley: It's probably mean of me to mention this, but BGSU and Ohio have two common games, Akron and Buffalo. BGSU beat Akron 59-10; Ohio beat the Zips 14-12. The Falcons beat the Bulls 28-22; the Bobcats lost to Buffalo 41-17.Any questions?
BUT... you and I both know that anything is possible with weeknight #MACtion. Let's just play a what-if game here. How do you think the East plays out if Ohio is able to pull off this upset?
Kaleb Carter: Let's give this idea a go. We all know that of all things wild and wonderful outside the state of West Virginia, about 65% of those things are #MACtion. Now, if we remember the MAC in its glory days when teams like Toledo and Akron were scoring 60+ on ESPN2, those were the high times that gave us the joy to rally behind our beloved conference. How many points does Ohio score? Around 65. About how many one might expect BG to score against Ohio if the 'Cats were really collapsing. It's a toss-up either way, am I right?
As for if Ohio finds a way to pull off the upset, it'll be on BG to experience a fall of Paul Bunyan like proportions to lose its chance to go to Detroit.
Matt Daley: Absolutely. But if you look at the schedules for the rest of November, it's possible. Ohio has home games with Kent State and Ball State before closing at NIU. Beat BG and win two of those final three, and that puts them at 5-3 in MAC play. Meanwhile, BGSU closes with an all-MAC West fun pack of WMU, Toledo and Ball State. Lose to Ohio and two of those final three, and BGSU is also at 5-3. Guess who would have the tiebreaker there? So, hey, Ohio definitely has something to play for here. I won't deny that.
Kaleb Carter: True that, my mortal enemy. This is certainly one of those games where Ohio will have to hope the likes of Matty J and Roger Lewis have pedestrian days, while the BGSU defense reverts to that of games like last year's WKU, Wisconsin, or UMass games. Either way, if Ohio shows the defensive prowess that it demonstrated over the year's first six games, watch out for these 'Cats come Wednesday.
Matt Daley: I'll bring up the teams' mutual bye up again to simply point out that Ohio probably benefits more from that. The Falcons were red hot, while Ohio really needed a break after their last two games. That's usually a recipe for a close game, and I think that's what we'll get here. I say #MACtion reigns but BGSU wins 34-28.
Kaleb Carter: I've got OHIO BECAUSE HOMERISM. 'Cats prevail 38-31.
What say you, fans of #FalconFast and Bobcat Nation?