Bowling Green (2-8) at Toledo (6-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 17th, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Glass Bowl (26,248) -- Toledo, Ohio. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: BGSU 1-3, Toledo 2-2. Away Record: BGSU 1-5, Toledo 4-2. Neutral Record: BGSU 0-0, Toledo 0-0. Conference Record: BGSU 1-5, Toledo 5-1. Series Record: Bowling Green leads, 39-31-4.
GAME NOTES: A good old fashion rivalry game will take place on Wednesday night, as the Toledo Rockets play host to the Bowling Green Falcons in Mid- American Conference action.
This is the 75th meeting between these two rivals, and at the present moment the Falcons own a 39-31-4 edge in the series and have won the last three meetings. Toledo's last victory was a 31-21 decision back in 2006.
It has been a tough year for the Falcons, as the team has dropped eight of its 10 contests. The last time coach Stan Parrish's squad was on the field it fell to Miami-Ohio, 24-21. The loss came after BGSU posted its first league win on the year, a 17-14 decision on the road against Central Michigan.
As for the Rockets, they saw their three-game win streak and more importantly a chance at the West Division title come crumbling down in their last matchup, as Toledo was embarrassed by Northern Illinois, 65-30. The loss drops Toledo to 5-1 in conference, but the team is still bowl eligible with six victories overall.
The Falcons scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to tie the game against Miami-Ohio in their last contest only to see the RedHawks claim a victory on a last-second field goal. The offense was once again quiet for BGSU, as the team finished with just 220 yards in the 24-21 setback. Matt Schilz threw for 176 yards and one score, but he was intercepted twice and sacked three times. Alex Bayer caught the TD pass, but like always the majority of the damage was done by Kamar Jorden, who finished with 95 yards on four receptions. Surprisingly, the two late scores came on the ground, as Willie Geter carried the Falcons back into the game. However, despite Geter's attempt at being the hero, the Falcons failed to find consistent success on the ground, racking up just 44 yards on 27 carries. This has been a major problem for coach Dave Clawson all year, as his team is averaging a miserable 60.5 rushing ypg. The inability to run the ball at a steady pace has surely hurt Schilz, who has just six touchdowns against 11 interceptions through eight games.
Defensively the Falcons were able to keep the game close despite struggling against Miami's balanced attack. The RedHawks finished with 221 yards through the air, and even added 156 rushing yards. Allowing Miami, which does not run the ball well, rack up that many yards gives an idea on how bad BGSU has been in this area. The only real reason when BGSU was able to keep the game close, was because Miami could not hold on to the football, as coach Clawson's squad collected three fumbles. The three takeaways give Bowling Green 28 on the year, which is outstanding, but that is the only good thing this unit has done through the season. As mentioned earlier this unit has a glaring hole and that is against the run, as opponents are gashing this frontline for 202.5 ypg on 5.1 yards per carry.
The Rockets erupted for 380 yards and 30 points in their meeting against Northern Illinois. Production of that magnitude would lead one to believe Toledo was victorious in the matchup, but that was not the case as the Rockets suffered an amazing 35-point loss. However, the offense did everything in its power, including rushing for 194 yards. Adonis Thomas exploded for 152 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries, while redshirt freshman Terrance Owens threw for 186 yards and two touchdowns in his first start. One of those scoring strikes went to Eric Page, who finished with 67 yards on seven receptions. It was the fourth consecutive game that Toledo has scored 30 or more points, and the overwhelming improvements are evident, as the team won three straight before falling to NIU. What was a problem early in the year, has become the team's strength, and that is a rushing attack which averages 151.1 ypg. Toledo will need to continue to see this type of production out of the backfield since Owens will be making just his second start this weekend.
There is no excuse for surrendering 65 points in a single game, so it is safe to assume coach Tim Beckman was utterly disgusted after the 35-point loss to Northern Illinois. Toledo allowed 28 first half points, and allowed the same total in the third quarter alone after the offense tried to bring the team back into the contest. The Huskies main objective is to pound the rock for four quarters, and Toledo must have not missed the memo, because that is exactly what happened, to the tune of 422 rushing yards and seven TDs. NIU did not have all its fun on the ground however, as the Huskies also threw for 162 yards and one score against a Toledo defense that clearly was not ready to play. After allowing 57 points in the loss to Boise State, coach Beckman figured his defense was finally coming together after allowing just 52 combined points during the three-game winning streak. However, this defense which is allowing 146.9 rushing ypg, was knocked back down to earth by Northern Illinois.
If the cup is half full for coach Beckman, then his defense was picked apart by the best team in the MAC in Northern Illinois, and one of the best teams in the country in Boise State. Outside of those two losses, over the past couple months the defense for Toledo has improved, and should perform much better against a weak BGSU offense. Look for the Rockets to get back to their winning ways this Wednesday.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Toledo 31, Bowling Green 20