2022 Bowling Green Falcons Preview

by Matt Fargo

Bowling Green Falcons

2021-22 Season Record 4-8 (2-6 MAC East) - 8-4-0 ATS - 5-7-0 O/U

Returning Starters

Offense - 10
Defense - 9

Overview

After a 10-4 record in 2015, it has been six straight losing seasons for Bowling Green which has snapped a string of four straight bowl games. Head coach Scott Loeffler has compiled a 7-22 record in his three seasons with the Falcons and this season is likely the last stand if there is not a major turnaround. Last season, Bowling Green was one of the most inexperienced teams in the country as it played numerous underclassmen so it can be excused but this season, the Falcons have the most experienced team in the nation as far as returning production so there are no more excuses. Playing in the MAC can be a rollercoaster for most teams and they can go through those ups and downs as recruiting can be a crapshoot and whether Bowling Green can return to the top for just one season or go on another multiple season run is undetermined. Nonetheless, it has to start now.

Offense

Bowling Green was awful on offense last season as it finished No. 118 overall, No. 108 in scoring, No. 119 in rushing and No. 83 in passing. That was with four returning starters and now the Falcons have 10 coming back so there should be massive improvements all around. Quarterback Matt McDonald was decent with 2,555 passing yards but threw only 12 touchdowns and tossed seven interceptions but with the experience around him, the redshirt senior transfer can flourish. His two top targets are back and there is plenty of depth with four players behind them that has at least 100 yards receiving. The two top running backs return as well after averaging over a combined five ypc but they need more opportunities and that means getting better on third down where the Falcons were No. 109 in that category. Four offensive linemen are back which sets a good foundation.

Defense

Bowling Green was good in one aspect in the defense last season but it is skewed. The passing defense was first in the MAC and No. 9 in the nation but that is misleading as the Falcons were down big so often that teams did not have to pass and gashed them on the ground where the Falcons finished No. 109 in the country. The secondary loses both cornerbacks, which are the only two players that have to be replaced, so there could be a downfall back there if teams pass more this season. The front seven is loaded with playmakers that all have starting experience and it all starts with disruption in the backfield. Obviously, that means getting better against the run and applying pressure on the quarterback which can generate more tackles for loss leading to third and long situations. Bowling Green was No. 92 in third down defense and that will get better.

2022 Season Outlook

This team is mixed with 11 seniors and 11 juniors and under as the projected starters, so Bowling Green in great shape this season and going forward. Of course, this is the key season to get the once dominant Falcons back on the map. Every level on both sides brings back plenty of experience and the fourth year in this same system brings more continuity. A quick start to the season is unlikely as the Falcons open at UCLA and then play at Mississippi St. three weeks later with home games against Eastern Kentucky and Marshall in-between so a 2-2 start is likely although they did defeat Minnesota on the road last season so anything can happen. A big revenge game against Akron opens MAC play and then Bowling Green plays four of its next five games at home, three against top teams in the East Division. The O/U win total is 3.5 and this one should easily go over. 

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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