For the first time in a long time, BGSU football started off their season on a high note. The Scot Loeffler era of Falcon football couldn’t have gone any better with a 46-3 stomping of Morgan State last Thursday.
It was the first season-opening win for the Falcons since 2013. Quarterback Darius Wade had an impressive debut performance, totaling 253 yards through the air, 3 TD, and garnering MAC East division player of the week honors. But that was last week, as the Falcons are looking ahead to Kansas State.
“[The win] was great afterwards, it was great in the morning watching it with the players, and then after that it’s over. On to the next,” Loeffler said during his weekly press conference Monday.
Here are some things to look out for in the Falcons next game:
Kansas State is undergoing its own football transformation. Gone is longtime head coach and icon Bill Snyder, who retired after 27 seasons at the helm in Manhattan. Taking over is Chris Klieman, who leaves North Dakota State after winning four FCS national championships.
Klieman has only coached the Wildcats in one game so far, a 49-14 quashing of Nicholls State, but it’s safe to assume they have the edge. They’re not one of the dominant Big 12 programs, but a ‘Power 5’ team with good coaches and better talent.
Kansas State will likely run the ball a lot Saturday, as evidenced by last week’s match when the Wildcats scored on the ground with five different players. Shutting down the run will be one of the keys to making Kansas State uncomfortable.
The Falcons may have a formidable opponent in front of them, but this is not the Bowling Green of the past. They may be one week in, but the Orange and Brown have shown major improvements both on paper and aesthetically. The offense and defense looked reinvigorated against the Bears. Loeffler’s play-calling was quick and aggressive. QB Darius Wade thrived in the offensive scheme, moving the chains with ease. Brian VanGorder is taking a defense that last year ranked near the bottom of the FBS and now has them in the top five (at least for this week).
It may be a small sample size, but getting off on the right foot can be important. The team’s confidence is certainly better than if they were handed a loss the previous game. However, confidence can only take a team so far. Loeffler emphasized the team’s technical ability still has a long way to go. When playing a higher level opponent, it’s especially important to minimize mistakes.
“We definitely have a lot of confidence starting with a win,” said tight end Quintin Morris. “Of course there are still things we could’ve executed better."
This will easily be the best team the Falcons face behind Notre Dame. Beating the Wildcats is a tough ask for the Falcons. Few, if any expect them to. But an upset is not out of the question. As Tennesee showed last week, a flop performance from a ‘Power 5’ team at home could happen.
At the end of the day, Kansas State is the better team. Look for the Wildcats to run often against the Falcon defense. Loeffler’s offensive creativity may catch his opponent off guard a few times, but not nearly enough to stay competitive.
42-23 Kansas State
Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. Saturday.