The SEC has a reputation for the best defensive conference in college football. The physicality on the defensive side of the football is second to none. However, the Bowling Green Falcons are eager to prove the critics wrong when their 15th-ranked scoring defense in the nation heads to Starkville, Miss. to face the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
The Falcons are 5-1 on the year and have the top-ranked defense in the MAC (296.6 yards total yards per game). Led by a veteran group of linebackers and secondary, the Falcons are not afraid to lay the wood to opposing offenses. The Falcons are giving up 150.3 rushing yards per game and are stingy against the pass, giving up only 193.7 yards per game.
The Falcons are able to play man-to-man coverage on the outside, which allows the linebackers and safeties to play close to the line of scrimmage in run support. Opposing offenses struggle in throwing over the top of the Falcons defense.
On the year, Bowling Green has allowed seven touchdown passes through six games. In two (Kent State and UMASS) of their five victories on the season, the Falcons were able to hold their opponents under 50 percent passing for the game.
Junior linebacker D.J Lynch and senior defensive back Jerry “Boo Boo” Gates are emotional leaders for the group. Lynch has the most tackles on the team with 35 and Gates is second with 33 tackles.
Mississippi State is coming off a blowout loss to the No. 10 ranked LSU Tigers 59-26. The Bulldogs are very balanced on both sides of the ball this season. They are ranked 49th in the nation in passing offense (256.4 yards per game) and are 37th in the nation in rushing offense, averaging 208.2 yards per game. They are also averaging 32.4 points per game this year.
Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. at Mississippi State.
Joseph Lisi is a MAC writer for Rantsports.com, follow him on Twitter @GoForthe2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.