Times are definitely tough around the Bowling Green football program right now, and no one knows that more than Head Coach Scot Loeffler.
The Falcons are coming off a 62-24 loss at home to Kent State on Tuesday night, a game where they were outgained 667-365.
According to the ESPN Stats & Info Twitter page, Tuesday’s loss means the Falcons are the first MAC team over the last 50 seasons and the first FBS team over the last 15 seasons to lose five straight games by 35 points. They are also the fourth team in the last 15 seasons to allow 60 points in consecutive home games.
Those are not numbers that anyone likes to see around a football program.
Despite all of this however, Loeffler knows that this program is a work in progress. He knows that a turnaround, with how this program was left by previous head coaches, was not going to happen quickly.
Loeffler will continue to try and build the confidence of a young football team through this year’s season. One thing is for certain though, Loeffler was not shy about expressing where he felt the program was at the current moment.
“I was hired to do one thing and one thing only. To bring this place back and to get it so that there is sustainability. We are not going to go out and quick-fix this, we are not going to go out and get junior college recruits. I am furious with where we’re at and I am a very impatient person, but I also also understand what is realistic right now,” he said.
And Loeffler knows that there are ways to “quick-fix” the program.
Getting junior college transfers is a way to do that. But many coaches do that at the MAC level in college football in order to win quickly, and move on to a better job. Loeffler is firm in his belief that doing that at Bowling Green isn’t going to benefit the program long-term.
“No kidding, it needs to get fixed. But I also know this: I am not going to use Bowling Green and quick-fix it overnight and leave like other people have in the past here. We are going to get this thing right and the fact of the matter is that is going to take time. If I was walking into something that was right, then there are no excuses. But this thing is not right and hasn’t been right and we are going to get it right,”
The “other people” Loeffler is referring to are Dino Babers and Mike Jinks, the two previous head coaches for the Falcons before him.
Babers had a short but successful two years with the program going 18-10 and winning a MAC championship in 2015. He left for Syracuse after two seasons and as the years that followed proved, he didn’t leave much in the cupboard for the head coach that followed him, Jinks, to work with.
Jinks was head coach from 2016 to the middle of 2018, being fired after a 42-35 home loss to Western Michigan. He went 7-24 in his nearly three years with the program. In his final recruiting class, the class of 2019, the Falcons ranked dead last in the MAC in the recruiting rankings, according to 247Sports.
Loeffler recruited the entire 2020 class, and the Falcons were ranked second in the MAC.
“I have never been more fired up in my career to build this thing because we see where it can go. But to sit here and say that this thing is going to happen overnight, it might get uglier before it gets better, but we don’t care. We are going to get this thing to its standards and expectations and keep it there, plain and simple,” Loeffler said.
One of those recruits is running back Terion Stewart, who was the star of an otherwise horrible game against Kent State. The true freshman from Sandusky High School had 14 carries for 162 yards and two touchdowns.
But even with the impressive stats, Loeffler knows that he still has a lot to learn.
“Terion Stewart ran the football as good as we’ve had a guy run the football in a long time. He also got Matt McDonald killed twice. Terion Stewart busted the protection, he’s a freshman. He was a rockstar, but he doesn’t know the right protections yet. That’s where we are at right now,” he said.
Getting players like Stewart up to speed, as well as trying to recruit better going forward will be key to the grueling rebuilding process that Loeffler and the Falcons are in the midst of.