October 20, 2007

Game Preview: Bowling Green




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BOWLING GREEN

(3-3, 1-1 MAC)

at

KENT STATE

(3-4, 1-2 MAC)



Saturday, October 20, 2007

4:00 p.m. EDT

Dix Stadium (FieldTurf/29,287)


The Series:

Bowling Green leads the all-time series 52-16-6 but Kent State won 38-3 last
year on the road. The Falcons are 28-7-2 at Kent State.

Last Meeting:

Julian Edelman
completed 14 of 22 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown pass to Brian
Bell
and
ran for another as the Golden Flashes scored a 38-3 victory at Perry Stadium
in Bowling Green. Shawn Bayes scored on a 79-yard run, Jon
Drager
added a four-yard
score and Gary Ham returned a fumble for 36 yards in the victory.
Bowling Green ran 76 offensive plays but accumulated just 282 yards of offense.

When Kent State has the ball:

Kent State looks to get back on track this week after losing back-to-back games
to Miami and Ohio State.

The Golden Flashes
fell to eight in the MAC in scoring offense with 21.4 points per game and while
Kent State is second to last in the conference in passing offense, they remain
No. 1 in rushing offense with 220.6 yards per game. That doesn't bode well
for the Falcons, who are ninth in the league in rush defense. They allow 201.5
yards per game. The Falcons are even worse against the pass as they enter the
weekend ranked 11th in the conference with 233.5 yards allowed per contest.

Bowling Green is led defensively by redshirt junior linebacker John Haneline
(pictured), who ranks second in the MAC with 11.3 tackles per game. The 6-foot-2,
231-pounder has recorded 68 tackles and one sack. Classmate Erique Dozier
fell
just short of the MAC Top 10 with 8.2 tackles per game. The 6-foot, 221-pound
linebacker has 49 stops on the season.

Diyral Briggs, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound defensive lineman leads the
Falcons with 4.0 sacks.

Kent State has turned the ball over 19 times while the Falcons have forced
16 turnovers (eight fumbles/eight interceptions).

When Bowling Green has the ball:

Bowling Green's high-octane offense, ranked third in the MAC with 403.8 yards
per game, begins with sophomore quarterback Tyler Sheehan (pictured).
The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder leads the MAC with 286.5 passing yards per game.
He
completed
170 of 260 attempts (65.4-percent) with 11 touchdown passes to nine interceptions.

Three Bowling Green receivers rank among the top 10 pass catchers in the league.
Junior Corey Partridge leads the team with 40 receptions for 367 yards
but just one touchdown. Sophomore Freddie Barnes is the big-play maker
with 41 catches for 472 yards and five scores. He averages 11.5 yards per reception.
Freshman Willie Geter rounds out the dangerous trio with 28 catches
for 198 yards.

Don't look for the Falcons to do much more than throw the ball on Saturday.
They enter the game averaging just 76.0 rushing yards per contest. Sophomore
Chris Bullock leads the team with 39 carries
for 160 yards.

Bowling Green averages 29.3 points per game; Kent State allows 28.1 points
per contest--good for fourth in the league. The Golden Flashes rank second
in the MAC in pass defense, allowing just 199.4 yards per game and top the
league in total defense. They allow just 342.4 yards a game.

Senior cornerback Jack Williams and junior linebacker Cedrick
Maxwell are tied for the team lead in tackles with 54. Sophomore Kevin
Hogan is tied for fourth in the MAC with 4.0 sacks. Williams and Rico
Murray each has defended seven passes.

The Match-up:

This game comes down to the MAC's top-rated pass offense against the league's
top defense. In a game like this, it's the little things that count. Bowling
Green is +1 in turnover margin while Kent State is a dismal -9. The Golden
Flashes have been their own worst enemy and if the trend continues, this one
will be over before the Flashes can get it started.

The Falcons 22 red zone appearances into 14 touchdowns and five field goals;
they rank as the best in the MAC in this category. Meanwhile, Kent State is
12th in the league with 18 of 26 red zone conversions (nine touchdowns/nine
field goals). The Golden Flashes are equally abysmal in red zone defense as
they rank 12th in the league after having allowed opponents to convert 25 of
26 red zone chances. Bowling Green is 23 of 29.

By the Numbers:























Statistic




Advantage


Pts
/ G



29.3



21.4




Yds
/ G



403.8



392.4




Rushing
Yds / G



76.0



220.6




Passing
Yds / G



327.8



171.9




Yds
/ Play



5.4



5.3




Rushing
Yds / Car



2.9



4.6




Passing
Yds / Att



6.8



6.6




Passing
Yds / Cmp



10.5



13.1




Passing
Cmp %



64.6



50.5




Punt
Return Avg



8.3



6.6




Yds
/ 7 Pts



96.4



128.2




Plays
/ 7 Pts



17.7



24.3




Rushing
Play %



34.8



65.0




Passing
Play %



65.2



35.0




Turnovers
/ G



2.5



2.7




Fumbles
/ G



0.7



1.3




Intercept
/ G



1.8



1.4




Turnover
%



3.4



3.7




Fumble
%



2.6



2.7




Intercept
%



3.8



5.5




Kent State's keys to the Game:


  1. Run the football to shorten the game and minimize Bowling Green's offensive
    possessions; the Flashes will need a 250-300 yard performance to compete in
    this game
  2. Pressure Sheehan into mistakes; he's thrown 11 touchdown passes to nine picks,
    so he'll make mistakes
  3. Avoid the big play in the passing game and on special teams
  4. Use the league's most explosive kickoff return unit to its advantage; create
    positive field position and potential scoring opportunities in the return game
  5. Protect the football; turnovers will lead to a third consecutive loss

Bowling Green's keys to the Game:



  1. Jump out to an early lead and force Kent State to abandon the league's
    top rushing offense
  2. Disguise coverages and force Edelman to throw into coverage
  3. Spread the ball around and attack the young safeties--freshmen Brian
    Lainhart and Dan Hartman
  4. Avoid special teams breakdowns
  5. Don't turn the ball over; Kent State doesn't force many turnovers so the
    key is to avoid unforced errors

Predictions:

Steve Hare, Kent Sports Report (5-2 on the season)

The Golden Flashes are hungry for a win to snap a two-game losing streak. This
game doesn't provide the perfect recipe for that success. Bowling Green is a
solid team, and a dangerous one. The Falcons beat Minnesota and played a competitive
game against Michigan State, but then got hammered by Miami. Which BG team will
show up? Through seven games, we've seen the same Kent State team over and over
again--they dominate in the run game but turnovers continue to plague the team.
I'm not sure that changes on Saturday.

Bowling Green 35, Kent State 21

Tom Kessler, Kent Sports Report (1-0)

Can Kent State's ground attack outscore Bowling Green's aerial assault? If the
Golden Flashes avoid turnovers and mistakes, they should be able to win a close
one and remain in contention in the MAC East.

Kent State 31, Bowling Green 27

Dave Carducci, Ravenna Record Courier (5-2)

Coming soon.

Kent State , Bowling Green

Jonas Fortune, Daily Kent Stater (4-3)

A lot of the players are banged up and after a deflating defeat, they seem
to lack the fire this week.

Bowling Green 28, Kent State 17

Joe Harrington, Daily Kent Stater (4-3)

Eugene Jarvis rushes for two touchdowns and 150 yards.

Kent State 21, Bowling Green 10

Discuss the game in the KentSportsReport.com Blue and Gold Lounge.



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