Bowling Green Offense:
The Falcons dominated the tempo right from the outset in last week’s victory at home. Look for the same type of approach this week at Kent State.
Led by sophomore running back Travis Green (22 carries 88 rushing yards), the Falcons amassed 233 rushing yards against Tulsa. The Falcons started the game with senior quarterback Matt Schilz leading the team. However, midway through the first quarter, Schilz was pulled in favor of sophomore Matt Johnson. Johnson finished the rest of the game for the Falcons and played within the system.
Johnson had 11 completions for 151 yards and one interception. Look for Johnson to get the start against the Golden Flashes, even though both players are battling it out in practice.
Bowling Green Defense:
The Falcons’ defense is the heart and soul of the team. Last week against Tulsa, the Falcons were able to contain two very good running backs in Trey Watts and Ja’Terian Douglas. The Falcons were physical at the line of scrimmage by consistently shutting down the running lanes and holding the Hurricane to only 273 total yards.
Bowling Green’s defensive line continuously requiring double teams from the Hurricane offensive line forced the Hurricanes into a dismal 6-of-17 on third-down conversions. Bowling Green held the Hurricanes to under 50 percent passing as a team (20-of-41). Booboo Gates, Cameron Truss and Paul Swan all led the team last week in tackles with seven.
The defense will need to duplicate the performance this week against Kent State, who has one of the most explosive players in the country with running back Dri Archer carrying the rock. The Falcons will need to stuff the run and put the pressure on freshman quarterback Colin Reardon to make reads in the passing game.
Kent State Offense:
The Golden Flashes might be without starting running back Dri Archer, who left last week’s game with an ankle injury. Archer finished the game with only three carries for 10 yards rushing. With Archer out of the game, the Golden Flashes struggled to pull out the home victory against Liberty last week.
Freshman quarterback Colin Reardon performed very well, completing 21 of 28 passes for 194 yards and two touchdowns. Wide receivers Chris Humphrey and Tyshon Goode combined for 14 catches and 163 yards and one touchdown.
However, in order to get the victory against Bowling Green, the Golden Flashes will need Archer to return to keep the Falcons’ defense on its heels. As a team, the Golden Flashes were balanced on offense, rushing for 167 yards and throwing for 197 yards.
If Archer cannot play in the game, running back Trayion Durham will look to carry the rock. Durham rushed for 92 yards on 21 carries, but does not have the same type of burst that Archer has. However, if the Golden Flashes cannot run against the Falcons, they will be in for a long day.
Kent State Defense:
The Golden Flashes defense stepped up and held Liberty to 33 yards rushing on 22 attempts (1.5 avg). They will need the same type of effort when facing Bowling Green. Kent State must press the game defensively and force either quarterback (Johnson or Schilz) to beat them with their arms.
Bowling Green does not like to throw first as they are a run-heavy offense. The Golden Flashes are led by a solid defensive line that was able to create pressure on Liberty last week. The secondary is led by senior Darius Polk, who is a very physical player.
In order to win this week against Bowling Green, they will need to be more opportunistic. The Golden Flashes were not able to get any turnovers against Liberty.
The Falcons looked to have started the 2013 season right where they left off in 2012, leading with a smothering defense that plays old-school football. The uncertainty of Dri Archer coupled with the fact that Reardon is only a freshman favor the Falcons in this ball game. While the game may be very close, the better defense prevails.
Bowling Green 21 — Kent St 13