BGSU vs. Kent State Preview

Bowling Green quarterback Matt McDonald looks downfield for a receiver during the Falcons opening season battle against Toledo. (Isaiah Vazquez/ BGSU Marketing & Communications)

After a disappointing start to the season, the Falcons turn their attention to Kent State tomorrow night.

The game will be played at Doyt Perry Stadium at 7:30 p.m. and will be aired on ESPN2.

The Falcons had problems on all sides of the ball during their first game, even though they did have stretches where the defense played well.

Head Coach Scot Loeffler knows there needs to be major improvements in order for this team to win.

“Right now where we’re at, we have to win on special teams, we have to win on offense and we have to win on defense. We got to play true, true complementary football in order to give ourselves a chance to win,” Loeffler said.

Bowling Green lost their game to Kent State last season 20-62 on the road. Kent State had 750 total yards that game. It was a balanced attack from the Golden Flashes as they had 375 yards rushing and 375 yards passing.

The balanced attack of Kent State seems like it will continue this season. Last week, Kent State had 431 total yards in their win against Eastern Michigan. They had 212 yards rushing and 219 yards passing.

Kent State’s quarterback, Dustin Crum, will lead the offense against Bowling Green again. Last season, Crum went 26-31 passing to go with 310 yards and three touchdowns against the Falcons. He also added 65 yards on the ground in nine attempts.

Stopping Crum will be a major focus point for the defense. The Falcons defense understands the challenge of trying to slow down Crum.

“We got study on him, he’s only thrown two interceptions and that’s because he’s an effective runner as well. If he doesn’t see his read, he’s going to run the ball,” Bowling Green linebacker Jerry Roberts said.

Loeffler also noted how Crum is “one of the better” quarterbacks in the MAC. It will be up to players on the defensive line like Roland Walder and Andrew Bench to keep Crum contained in the pocket.

The offense for Bowling Green will look to have a cleaner performance in this game. The Falcons had three total turnovers, two interceptions and one fumble lost last week. This led to the Falcons losing in the possession time by 17 minutes.

The improvement on offense will start with quarterback Matt McDonald. Last week, McDonald was off as he only completed eight of his 30 passes. Accuracy was an issue that plagued McDonald all night.

McDonald could be without his top running back Andrew Clair. As of right now, there is no certainty as to if he will suit up against Kent State. Last year, Clair had 61 yards on the ground along with a touchdown. He also caught the ball four times for 23 yards that game.

Bryson Denley will be the next man up if Clair is not a full go for the game. Denley is familiar playing against Kent State as he got a three-yard receiving touchdown against them last year.

The offensive line will have their hands full with the Kent State front seven. Kent State had four sacks and only allowed 61 rushing yards last week. Coach Loeffler noticed some of the problems on the offensive line after watching the film, especially on the second interception play.

“It was a three man go, we’re in a seven man pass protection. We get the quarterback hit, something that should never happen,” Loeffler said.

Kent State will be a tough test for this offense, but it will be a test that the Falcons are looking forward to.

“I feel like we left a lot of plays on the field, but when adversity strikes you have to respond. This week is really going to test us to see how we respond under the bright lights,” Denley said.

Kent State will be looking to start hot in the short season by going 2-0. Bowling Green will be looking to right the ship and go 1-1.

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